India’s double win at the Oscars on Monday was hailed by politicians cutting across party lines as the song “Naatu Naatu” from Telugu film “RRR” and Tamil documentary “The Elephant Whisperers” created history in Los Angeles.
While “Naatu Naatu”, the chartbuster from SS Rajamouli’s Telugu period action film “RRR”, became the first Indian track to win the Academy Award in the “Best Original Song” category, “The Elephant Whisperers” created history at the awards by becoming the maiden Indian production to win in the “Documentary Short Subject” category.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country is proud and elated with “Naatu Naatu” winning an Oscar and hailed the song as one that will be remembered for years to come.
“Congratulations to MM Keeravaani, Chandrabose and the entire team for this prestigious honour. India is elated and proud,” Modi said in a tweet.
“Naatu Naatu”, “Naacho Naacho” in Hindi, was composed by Keeravaani and penned by Chandrabose.
In another tweet, the prime minister congratulated director Kartiki Gonsalves, producer Guneet Monga and the entire team of “The Elephant Whisperers” for winning the Oscar award.
“Their work wonderfully highlights the importance of sustainable development and living in harmony with nature,” he said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said it was a landmark day for Indian cinema.
“A landmark day for Indian cinema, as the ‘Naatu Naatu’ song creates history by winning the Oscar Award. The song was on the lips of Indians as well as music lovers across the globe. Congratulations to Team RRR @ssrajamouli @mmkeeravaani @boselyricist @tarak9999 @AlwaysRamCharan,” Shah wrote on Twitter.
In another tweet, he said, “Congratulations to @EarthSpectrum and @guneetm on their Oscar win for the short film ‘The Elephant Whisperers’. The film brings to the forefront India’s efforts to save elephants. The award underlines the potential of the Indian film industry and will inspire young filmmakers.”
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said it is a matter of pride for all Telugu people that a song from a Telugu film has won the Oscar award.
The words used in “Naatu Naatu” reflect Telangana’s culture, the taste of Telugu people and the diversity in people’s lives, Rao said in a release.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi hailed the teams behind “Naatu Naatu” and “The Elephant Whisperers”, saying their achievements have made the country proud.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh hailed “The Elephant Whisperers” winning the Oscar award and said maybe this will force the Modi government not to press ahead with the “widely-opposed elephant-unfriendly” amendments to the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said “history” has been made.
“History made! The Elephant Whisperers produced by Achin Jain and Guneet Monga, directed by Kartiki Gonsalves, wins India’s first ever Oscar for Best Documentary Short. Congratulations!” the Left leader wrote on Twitter.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said this is just the beginning and India will soon become the content hub of the world.
“Indian film and Indian content makers have the potential to make it big in the coming years as well. It is just the beginning. India will become the content hub of the world and congratulations to both the teams,” Thakur told reporters outside the Parliament House.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meenakshi Lekhi said the recognition India has got at the Academy Awards ceremony is a matter of great pride.
“It is an inspiration to further develop India’s creativity. India has no lack of creativity and it gives us great pride that this is being recognised by the world,” she told reporters.
“Naatu Naatu” was nominated alongside “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman”, “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”, “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once”.
This is the third major international recognition for the song after the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award wins.
“RRR” (Rise Roar Revolt), a pre-independence fictional piece, follows the lives of two real-life Indian revolutionaries — Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Junior NTR) — in the 1920s. (PTI)