Yeah, updating you guys on the TOIFA scandal.
TOIFA stands for the Times of India Film Awards being held in Vancouver. Basically, the provincial Liberal government is spending $11 million on the whole thing, hoping to attract investments from India. They are also trying to woo the votes from the South Asian community.
Well, what is the problem?
You can read a little bit about the scandal on this page. Holding an award show to woo ethnic votes is just stupid. It is also a waste of money. The local B.C Film industry is also against this award. I live in Ontario, and the previous Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty also hosted a Bollywood award show called the IIFAs. They went from majority to minority in the House. I doubt the South Asian voters were thinking of IIFA while voting. The liberals in Ontario were particularly punished by the rural communities. They held their seats in the 905 area but many voted due to fear of Conservatives getting power. My dad is a huge fan of Bollywood and he went to a lot of events to see the Glamorous Bollywood stars. I don’t think he even cared about the Politicians nor was he thankful they held an award show. Plenty of Bollywood actors come to Canada to promote movies and then there is TIFF. There is not a dearth of actors from all over the world coming to promote their movies. The government doesn’t really need to promote Canada in India. Believe me, many Indians know about Canada. That is why it is such an attractive destination for immigrants.
Another thing, both IIFA and TOIFA claim to be Bollywood Oscars. However, that distinction goes to the Film Fare awards held in Mumbai. They have the longest history and the trophies are more coveted. The most prestigious awards are the National awards that are always held in India. So, the marketing over hypes these awards. I am sure plenty of South Asian fans will purchase the ticket to see their favorite Indian actors and actresses but the awards could have been held without government support.
Furthermore, the Globe and Mail posted an article about how some of the staff from TOIFA was making racist demands. They didn’t want South Asian vendors because they would be too star struck. Umm, yeah.
Anyhow, it is up to the people of British Columbia. I guess they will have to evaluate the Liberal government’s performance. If most of them are happy, they will get re-elected and if not, they will see another party in power. Hopefully, during the democratic process aka elections, lessons will be learned. For instance, try to not to buy up ethnic votes using glitzy award shows and stop insulting ethnic minorities. We are no sheep.