Kolkata: India has made history at the 95th Academy Awards by winning two Oscars for the first time. The song ‘Naatu Naatu’ from SS Rajamouli’s epic film ‘RRR’ won the Oscar for Best Original Song, while the documentary short film ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject.
‘Naatu Naatu’, composed by MM Keeravani and sung by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava, is a catchy and energetic number that celebrates the spirit of freedom and unity. The song features Ram Charan and Jr NTR as two legendary freedom fighters who join forces to fight against British colonialism. The song won amongst other nominees such as ‘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”.
‘The Elephant Whisperers’, directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and produced by Guneet Monga, a 41-minute short documentary on Netflix which depicts the story of two baby orphaned elephants from Mudumalai Tiger Reserve adopted by a family in Tamil Nadu. It shows the unconditional love and relationship that develops between Raghu and their keepers. Other nominees in the category were ‘Haulout’, ‘The Martha Mitchell Effect’, ‘How Do You Measure a Year?’, and ‘Stranger at the Gate’.
The wins have been widely celebrated across India, with many celebrities, politicians, media outlets, and fans congratulating the winners and expressing their pride. Amitabh Bachchan tweeted “Bharat ka jhanda gaadh diya videsh mein” (India has planted its flag abroad), while dairy giant Amul India paid a cute tribute with its signature doodle featuring an elephant holding an Oscar statuette.
The wins also showcase the depth of diversity and inclusion in India’s cinema industry, which has been taking small but concrete steps towards communicating globally through cinema. The triumph of RRR and The Elephant Whisperers is evidence of this growing trend that reflects India’s rich culture, history, and talent.