Indo-Americans have asked for immediate public apology from “Life of Pi” author Yann Martel for reportedly labeling India as “a horrible place”.
Man Booker Prize winner Canadian writer Martel (Manners of Dying), who spent one year in India writing “Life of Pi”, in a recent interview to Indian media, reportedly stated, “India is a horrible place”. “Life of Pi”, fantasy-adventure about a boy from Pondicherry (India) who survives 227 days after shipwreck, has been adopted by Oscar winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) for the big screen, which is releasing on November 21.
Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, pointed out that one of the world’s largest economies, India gave the world four major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, ancient Indus Valley Civilization, Mahatma Gandhi, Sanskrit, Taj Mahal, yoga, oldest existing scripture Rig-Veda, etc. Where else could one find such a religiously diverse, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society living together?
India did face issues of poverty, corruption, healthcare, literacy, etc., but such a broad generalization of a country of over 1.2 billion as “horrible” was highly disturbing for its hard-working populace, Rajan Zed argued.
Zed also hoped that Lee would handle the Pi’s spirituality exploration and holistic edge with cultural sensitivity in the upcoming movie in this India-influenced story.
Rajan Zed further said that more world filmmakers should explore many finer and deeper things India offered. Planet’s most multidimensional country, fast growing economy, emerging world power, largest democracy, etc.; India has snowcapped mountains, palm-fringed and sun-washed beaches, glorious temples, colorful festivals, rich philosophy and spirituality, abundant historical sites, wildlife safaris, recharging treks, historic trade routes, cultural wealth, etc.
Filmed in India, Canada and Taiwan, “Life of Pi” is based on awards-winning best-selling novel of the same name which is an adventure tale about 16-years old Pi Patel stranded on a lifeboat with a hyena, orangutan, an injured zebra, and a hungry Bengal tiger in Pacific Ocean on his voyage from India to Canada. Film stars newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi, besides Filmfare Award winner Irrfan Khan (Life in a Metro) and National Award winner Tabu (Chandni Bar).
Oscar nominated M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense), Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men), Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen); and Dean Georgaris (What Happens in Vegas) reportedly dropped this project after preliminary exploration in the past. Keith Robinson adapted it into a play and toured England.