Leaders shower praise on Rahman, Pookutty for Oscar glory


New Delhi/Chennai : Composer A.R. Rahman and sound designer Resul Pookutty had made India proud with their three Oscars, President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday as congratulations poured in following the sweep by “Slumdog Millionaire” at the Academy Awards.

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The president said in her message: “I congratulate the winning team of ‘Slumdog Millionare’ and especially A.R. Rahman and Resul Pookutty for winning the Oscars in the three categories.”

“They have made India proud,” she said.

“Slumdog Millionaire” got eight Oscars, including two for Rahman and one for Pookutty. “Smile Pinki”, which bagged the best short documentary Oscar for its story about the problems faced by a little girl in an Indian village till she got her cleft-lip surgery done, also came in for praise.

The prime minister congratulated the creative teams for their Oscar awards wins and said their achievement was a tribute to the Indian film industry.

“The achievement of the creative teams of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Smile Pinki’ is a recognition of their vast talent. Their achievement is a tribute to the Indian film industry, which is a reservoir of multi-disciplinary talent which the medium of cinema embraces.”

“The winners have done India proud and all those involved in the making of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Smile Pinki’ have our heartiest congratulations,” he said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also sent in her congratulations.

“I am delighted that A.R. Rahman and Resul Pookutty have won this year’s much coveted Oscars for music and sound editing. I congratulate them.”

She said all the actors, technicians and support staff who had worked in the movie had made India proud.

Lavishing praise on “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Smile Pinki” for winning the Oscars, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Anand Sharma Monday said it was “the finest hour of Indian cinema” on the global stage.

In his home state of Tamil Nadu, Rahman was hailed by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi as a “worthy son of Chennai”.

“I consider the awards won by Rahman as precious jewels in the crown of one of our own with pride. I join 100 crore Indians and six crore Tamils in showering flowers of appreciation with pure minds on this scion from a minority community,” Karunanidhi said in a statement.

AIADMK chief and former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalitha also came forward to say: “I would like to congratulate composer A. R. Rahman, who has won two Oscars – for best original song and best original score, and Resul Pookutty, who shares the Oscar for best sound mixing, for having kept the Indian tricolour flying high at the Academy Awards this year.”

In the national capital, “Slumdog Millionaire” was granted entertainment tax exemption with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit saying it had “created history in the field of Indian cinema”.

“This film has earned a special distinction by claiming eight Oscar awards in different categories and hence created history in the field of Indian cinema,” Diskhit said in an official statement.

British director Danny Boyle’s hit film about the rags to riches story of a boy from Mumbai slums has won eight of its 10 nominations.