There are only a handful of awards nights that are solely dedicated to the medium of radio. Bagging an award at the end of the year, after all the hard work, is more than satisfying. You’d feel luckier if you were in a station close to the Tropic of Cancer or above it, and maybe not so lucky if you were in a regional radio unit, especially in the South.
All the big gigs happen out of these coordinates—19° 04’ 22 ”N, 72° 52’ 57” E—and the jury, or the advisory panel, generally have no idea about the various kinds of regional flavours that exist in our country. When it’s showtime at an awards night, you will hear a buzz among the seated audience—that the evening will be all about favours and favouritism. The ones who win don’t complain, and the ones who deserve to win have no say.
When Judge Dredd decides who the winner is in a particular category, the council is left dumbfounded since the entries are in different languages. The team moves in swiftly and decides that all regional language creatives have to be translated to the language they are familiar with. Once that is done, the deciding members, who have an amazing ability to spot talent along with their extraordinary judicial powers, gather together in a huddle and figure out where to go out for dinner.
It’s a joke when you have a panel of members who just know one language. Someone has to put them through a fast-track course of Indian geography and maybe then they would understand that they have no business being there. You cannot dub a classic Tamil or Malayalam movie into another language and expect the same feel. The experience of it will be shadowed, much like a Chinese Kung Fu movie that is dubbed in English.
To understand word play and feel, the group that decides have to comprise of people who are proficient in various languages. When this is in place, you know, as an audience, that you aren’t witnessing a three-hour joke. See you next week!
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.