The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Slumdog Millionaire – a different perspective

Slumdog Millionaire is a wonderful movie, and I, like millions of others, enjoyed watching it. It was a real delight when the film bagged eight Oscars.


The film portrayed very well the fact that anyone could achieve, if the will was there.


But, later, I reflected on some aspects of the film and the unedifying spectacle that has unfolded after the Oscar awards.


The film showcased the slums of Dharavi – an area that has been known more for its filth and squalor, as well, perhaps, for its seamier side, too. The movie, however, tries to present a different aspect – that of a vibrancy and a human spirit that ultimately prevails over all the hardship.


Which is fine.


But, what is disturbing is how various quarters have so very quickly tried to exploit the sudden prominence that the film has attained.


The previous party that governed India touted its “Shining India” slogan. Dharavi certainly is not a display of that “Shining India”.


The party in power at the moment speaks about an India that has achieved. Hello??? For sure, India has made progress in several spheres. But, Dharavi (and other slum areas like it) debunk such tall claims in an overall context.


The euphoria of the Oscar awards, has to a considerable extent, drawn attention away from the real problems faced in areas such as this, and given politicians of various hues a platform to manipulate the sensibilities of the real-life people who struggle each day to eke out an existence.


One rags-to-riches story, as portrayed in the film, stands out in stark contrast to the numbing poverty that exists in the slums.


Are we, as a society, doing anything to correct this?


It’s great to adopt “Jai Ho” as the party theme for the election, as was another catchy theme “Chak de India” in a different election.


But, let’s get real. Let us not get swayed by rhetoric that is being conveniently being spouted by vested interests.


Slumdog Millionaire is a great film. Nothing more, nothing less. If you spent two hundred rupees to go and watch, feel good about the fact that you witnessed a different way of portrayal of a genuine social problem.


But, scoring brownie points from it? That’s insulting!!!


Jai Ho !!!


March 4, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that | , , ,

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