What is Jai Ho?
Those who love watching Indian movies are well acquainted with their trademark song and dance scenes that are very well choreographed and executed. These scenes are an interesting and entertaining inclusion that has exposed the rich Hindi culture of song and dance. For centuries now, Indians have used song and dance to celebrate their festivals. Initially, the Indian movies used classical Indian dances of courtesans as well as some folk dances. Modern movies have however incorporated a blend of traditional Indian dance as well as Western dance moves. There are even some movies that feature Western dance and artists though following the original Indian movie style where the lead actor will lead a group of dancers in sing and dance routines.
In 2008, Danny Boyle directed a movie known as ‘Slumdog Millionaire that was set and filmed in Indian locations. The movie was written by Simon Beaufoy and adapted from the novel ‘Q & A’ which was authored in 2005 by Vikas Swarup. The movie lead role was performed by Dev Patel who played the part of Jamal Malik, a poor a young man who lived in the Juhu slums of Mumbai. The movie was a huge success and had ten nominations in the 2009 Academy awards. The movie managed a total of eight awards from the ten nominations. Among the awards that went to the movie was the Academy Award for Best Original Song 2009 which was for the song Jai Ho. The song was written by A. R. Rahman and Gulzar who used a combination of Hindi and some Spanish to make this great song.
The interpretation of Jai Ho in English is ‘Victory to you.’ The song plays at the end credits of the film and is accompanied by a choreographed dance. Vocalists of the song in the movie include Sukhwinder Singh who is the lead vocalist, Tanvi Shah, Vijay Prakash and Mahalakshmi Iyer. The song became a major hit and was top of the charts in 5 countries. The Pussycat Dolls and Nicole Scherzinger later released a version of the song which had English lyrics and this too became a major hit. The English version of the song topped in many European and American charts.
With Jai Ho becoming the official victory chant following its tremendous success, the Indian National Congress party paid about $200,000 to the copyright holders of the song so as to use the song in their national campaigns. Jai Ho was the perfect fit for the end of the movie Slumdog Millionaire as it celebrated the victory of Jamal Malik who was a poor young man from the slums yet he overcame serious odds to win the Indian version of the game show, ‘Who wants to be a millionaire.’ Jai Ho also won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media in the 2010 Grammy Award ceremony. It was also performed at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and the closing ceremony of the 16th Asian games.