Mumbai, Dec 7 (IANS) The song 'Jai Ho' from 'Slumdog Millionaire' has been nominated in the best song category at the Grammy Awards. Lyricist Gulzar is happy but says it's high time India honoured foreign filmmakers.
'Let's have a category for best foreign cinema in our National Awards so that we too have a chance to recognise films made outside India,' Gulzar told IANS.
Written by Gulzar and composed by A.R. Rahman, 'Jai Ho' triumphed at the Oscars earlier this year.
'Both me and Rahman have done work that has been liked before. What makes 'Jai Ho' special was that it was part of a non-Indian film. 'Slumdog Millionaire' is not an Indian film. Just like 'Gandhi' was not. We need to understand that international recognition comes to us when India is packaged into a non-Indian vehicle.
'Slumdog Millionaire' could vie for mainstream American and European awards because it was an international film. Otherwise our films like 'Neecha Nagar', 'Mother India', 'Do Bigha Zameen' and the films of Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray have been nominated in the 'foreign' categories.'
From the 'Ramayan' to Rahman - that's the journey the phrase 'Jai Ho' has made, says Gulzar.
'It's not as if I coined it on the spot for 'Slumdog Millionaire'. Jai Ho is a term that is as ancient as it is sacrosanct. I'd sound extremely foolish if I took any credit for that phrase or for the success of that song. The entire credit must go to Rahman and Rahman alone. He has taken our popular sounds to an international level,' he said.
As for 'Jai Ho' acquiring a life much longer than the film, Gulzar said: 'When I wrote 'Jai Ho', I was looking for a phrase that would best represent Indian sentiments. That it's now gone from the Oscars, where movies are honoured, to the Grammys, where music gets recognized, is an amazing journey for Jai Ho. Like I said, it's from the Ramayan to Rahman. I will take no credit for it.'