(December 30, 2023) India’s presence on the global stage sparkles with a series of striking achievements. From the glitz of the Oscars to the vibrant pulse of Coachella, Indian talents are making waves, blending rich heritage with contemporary flair. Explore stories of how songs, films, and fashion originating from India are resonating worldwide, altering perspectives and embracing diversity. This journey is filled with exciting successes and touching tales, showcasing India’s dynamic impact on the international scene.
The Oscar winners
SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster hit, RRR, which became the first Indian feature film to win an Oscar. The award for Best Original Song, described as a “total banger” by actress Deepika Padukone, who presented it, went to ‘Naatu Naatu’, which was already a global hit by then. Keeravani, who received the award along with fellow composer Chandrabose, delivered his acceptance speech in the form of a re-written version of Top of the World by the Carpenters. The Telugu epic period action drama stars N.T. Rama Rao Jr, Ram Charan, Shriya Saran, Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt. Later, Richard Carpenter went on to tweak the iconic song in praise of Keeravani, who ‘broke down’ when he saw the Instagram post.
Guneet Monga and Kartiki Gonsalves’ also dominated the award ceremony with their heartwarming 41-minute documentary, The Elephant Whisperers. Set in the Nilgiri Hills, it is the story of Bomman and Bellie, a tribal couple who dedicated their entire lives to raising an orphaned elephant baby, whom they named Raghu. It is the first Indian documentary to win an Oscar. Kartiki, who received the award, said, “I stand here today to speak for the sacred bond between us and our natural world, for the respect of indigenous communities, and empathy towards other living beings we share space with and finally, for coexistence.”
Deepika and Alia become global ambassadors for two of the world’s biggest fashion houses
Bollywood icon Deepika Padukone breaks new ground as Louis Vuitton’s first Indian brand ambassador, a prestigious role unveiled during their latest handbag campaign. Padukone, a familiar figure in Louis Vuitton attire, first joined the brand’s elite circle in 2020, modeling alongside stars like Lea Seydoux. Her ascent in the luxury fashion world reflects a remarkable journey from aspirational admirer to fashion trailblazer. Reflecting on her rise, Padukone shared, “When you’re 18…you don’t even bother looking into a Louis Vuitton store…My association with Louis Vuitton is…completely out of your orbit…I can’t believe this is real. And it speaks to the kind of diversity I hope to see in the future.”
Alia Bhatt was named Gucci’s first Indian global ambassador, a landmark moment for both the luxury brand and the Indian fashion scene. Her inaugural appearance as Gucci’s ambassador occurred at the Gucci Cruise 2024 show in Seoul, commemorating 25 years since the brand’s first store in South Korea. This significant appointment reflects the rising prominence of the Indian market in the global fashion landscape. On Instagram, Bhatt shared her excitement: “I’m honored to represent the house of Gucci not only in India but at a global stage…I’m looking forward to the many sartorial milestones we create together.”
Diljit Dosanjh at Coachella
“Sat Sri Akal ji, Punjabi aa gaye Coachella oye.” The crowd roared its appreciation as Diljit Dosanjh, dressed all in black, in a traditional tehmat, kurta, vest and turban, greeted Coachella 2023 at the end of his opening song, G.O.A.T. The superstar, who is the first Indian to perform at the prestigious music festival, stuck to speaking in his his native tongue, taking pride in the fact that he doesn’t prefer to speak to English. Every gesture was an ode to his Punjabi cultural heritage. On day two, he appeared in white, in a tehmat kurta which he styled with sneakers. It was Coachella’s Patiala Peg moment and the crowds absolutely loved it.
Diljit was the festival’s headline act at Coachella 2023, alongside K-Pop megatars Blackpink and Bjork. “Jo ho raha hai, mere daayre se badi baat hai. Coachella is something I never even thought of, it was never in my plan,” he said. “Whatever is happening in my life is.. maybe I don’t even deserve it. I am just grateful to God.”
Hansal Mehta’s Scoop wins big in Busan
Karishma Tanna’s portrayal of journalist Jigna Vohra and her fight for innocence in the hit Netflix series Scoop won her the Best Actress Award at the Asia Contents Aawrds & Global OTT Awards 2023 in Busan, South Korea. The series, Directed by Hansal Mehta, also won the Best Asian TV Series Awards. Scoop is based on Vohra’s memoir, Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison, the story of crime journalist Jigna Vohra who was falsely accused of murder and sent to Mumbai’s Byculla jail.
Tanna expressed her gratitude on Instagram, thanking Hansal Mehta, and the entire team. “To be nominated here was a huge honour and to win in both the categories is just overwhelming. So much gratitude in our hearts,” she said. This is also the 39-year-old actress’ first win the Best Actress category.
A perfect ‘Landing”: India at the Emmy Awards
Actor-comic Vir Das won an International Emmy Award for his stand-up special, Vir Das: Landing, in the Best Comedy category. The 51st International Emmy Awards Gala was held at the New York Hilton in November 2023.
This is Das’ second nomination and his first win, which he shared with the hugely popular Irish sitcom, Derry Girls. “It’s an incredible honour that feels like a dream,” he said. “My journey from crafting local stories to receiving a global accolade has been both challenging and rewarding, and Netflix has been instrumental in that growth.”
The other big winner was Ekta Kapoor, who said, “I’m bringing home an Emmy. This is for India.” Ekta was honoured for her “trailblazing career and impact on the Indian Television Landscape.”