IIFA Awards no longer a respected brand?

Ranbir Kapoor at IIFA Awards 2012
MUMBAI: The 13th annual edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards) kicked off in Singapore on 7 June 2012. With much glitz, glamour and industry backing, the awards have been held at various locations across the globe since its inception in 2000. With support from Bollywood bigwigs like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan in the form of them being brand ambassadors, the IIFA awards was a brand to be reckoned with. This year, however, these very bigwigs gave the event a miss!

Bachchan had resigned from the post in 2010 due to much controversy about holding that year’s ceremony in Sri Lanka. Salman Khan stepped up to the profile that year, and Shah Rukh Khan was a one-man show in the 2011 edition in Toronto. All three actors gave the event a miss in favor of personal and professional commitments.

Shah Rukh categorically refused to attend because he is busy shooting for the untitled Yash Chopra movie and is also due for a family vacation. Aamir Khan has boycotted all award ceremonies from the beginning. Salman, on the other hand, was to have attended the event, but commitments to Dabangg 2 kept him away. Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan, too, kept away from the awards this year.

Commenting on the absence of these stalwarts, actor Abhay Deol, at the world premiere of his movie Shanghai said on Thursday, “It would have been good to have the Khans and the Bachchans, but I hope that not having them won’t make the award function look any less.” Shahid Kapoor believes that no one can match up to the Khans and Bachchans. Actress Priyanka Chopra, however said, “I think its wrong to segregate the industry by age or certain surnames. We are all here as actors and part of the same industry.”

The question to be asked then is: Is IIFA being ignored? With more number of industry bigwigs dropping out each year, is IIFA awards no longer a respected brand? Is IIFA now just about entertainment and not about promoting Indian cinema?