Saturday, January 24, 2009

Slumdog success - a Defeat for India & Indians

It immensely pained me to see this movie…

Within just 30 minutes into the film, I wanted to turn away.

But I sat through till the end to see what it offers.

It did not offer any solace or justice for why we should see this film

or why we should acclaim this film..

But for the Golden Globe and Oscar nominations,

this film would not run in our theaters even for a week.

But for these international awards, we would not be talking about this film.

This is the fact that makes us think

whether the film does justice to the Indians to be proud.

We have a few instances of international fame for Indians.

When Abinav Bindra won the Olympic gold,

the one billion Indians were happy about.

It was after all a recognition for a single person’s hard work and talent.

But we all felt as though it was a recognition for all of us.

Bindra’s success did us all proud.

Similarly every time Vishwanathan Anand clinches a Title in Chess,

we feel as though we have won the title.

But this movie does not make us think in similar lines.

The success of the movie in the international arena

is not a success for India!

What ever awards are given for this movie

are not the awards for the Indians at large.

The image of India portrayed in the movie may be real.

But certainly no Indian can feel proud about getting applause for this image.

It is like washing the dirty linen in public.

Would any sane person do it (which is about himself)

and feel happy if he is praised for it?

It is argued that films like this had already been made in India.


Films dealing only with the harsh side of India may have been made.

But there would have certainly been a note of hope –

a desire to see India rise up from those harsh facets.

That note is missing in this film.

This film has given hope to Jamal and Latika

but sends a signal that India continues to remain as harsh and rude as portrayed!

Jamal's victory was something he himself was not keen on getting,

once he came to know that Latika was back and safe.

Because Jamal knew what he wanted.

Once he got it, he just did not care about the money, did not bother about winning.

If at all there is something for the Indian audience in this film,

it is this –

that we must also know what we want.

We want an India to be showcased well for the international audience?

Or we want Indians to win global acclaim at the expense of India?

Jamal handled the dilemma in the best way.

He did not reveal the background from where he learnt the answers

He just delivered the answers and rose up.

The Entire India that watched the Millionaire show

knew only Jamal's performance,

but not the painful way by which he learnt the answers.

Shouldn't we do the same?

Shouldn't we showcase our performance without showing

the pains and thorns in our backyard?

No facet of India is left unscathed by this film.

Even Anil kapoor – the la Big B of Crorepathy

was portrayed badly.

The outcome we can expect from this film is that

from now on the westerners will change their opinion about India -

from being a land of snake charmers to

a land of hellish slums and heartless exploiters.

India stinks behind the victory of Slumdog.

This is not the film I would like my fellow Indians to be acclaimed for their talents.



From Editorial of

Gutter inspectors

'Slumdog Millionaire', a film made by British director Danny Boyle based on the novel 'Q & A' authored by Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup, won four top awards this year at the Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.


The film has won Best Dramatic Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Original Music Score awards and India has gone berserk over A R Rahman's win.

Rahman has become the first Indian to bag the 'prestigious' Golden Globe Award! Though Vikas Swarup is an 'Indian' diplomat, he seemed to have no hesitation in 'selling' India for his self-interests.

No doubt Rahman's musical track record has been phenomenal and he has been tasting only successes right from his first film 'Roja' in 1992 and he has never looked back since then. India has a great tradition of music and it has produced great musicians of all sorts since time immemorial.

Indian history has enough evidence to highlight its grand musical tradition, which has evolved with its magnificent cultural heritage.

Even in the present contemporary music, India has stalwarts in the industry and Rahman is one among them. It is rather unfortunate that the Golden Globe authorities have taken so many years to recognise an Indian Composer.

While wholeheartedly appreciating Rehman for his achievement, it is imperative to view the issue in a different perspective and analyse the 'western attitude' in awarding people, who denigrate India.

The fact of the matter is that, the award has been given to Rehman for scoring the music for a film, which has shown the 'ugly' side of India in an 'exaggerated' manner.

Had Rehman scored music for a movie, which has shown India's brighter side, he might not have got the award at all! The film has denigrated India right through from the 'title', picturising as if India is poverty-stricken and violence-prone.

The word 'slumdog' itself seems to be intended to insult the children living in Indian slums and the film is supposed to have projected them in an insulting manner.

The history of awards and accolades given to India by the western world, particularly in the literary and entertainment arena, shows that the projects, which have attempted to denigrate India's time-tested civilization and culture and tried to project the poverty and illiteracy, have won the awards and accolades.

The recent example has been the awarding of 'Man Booker Prize' to Arvind Adiga for his book 'White Tiger'. Here again, the book has depicted India in a very poor light and all nationalistic Indians have condemned the author for his 'attitude'.

Also the 'secular' media in India too follow this tradition set by western 'worthies', as evidenced by NDTV awarding 'Indian of the year award' to M F Hussain, who portrayed Indian Gods and Goddesses and Bharat Matha in the nude!

Similarly film maker Deepa Mehta has always projected India and her culture in a very bad light and her films like 'Fire' and 'Water' are worst examples.

She never bothers about the Indian people and their sensibilities and sentiments, but mainly focuses on western audience and their accolades, apart from making money, and for that she never minds defaming her own mother nation.

Likewise Mira Nair is another example and her films like 'Salaam Bombay' and 'Kama Sutra' belong to those categories of 'selling' India.

The most disgusting fact is that, all these film makers and authors, who portray India as the worst third world country, are 'Indians'! And the government of the day never bothers to restrain them from spreading falsehoods about India by distorting history and concocting stories.

And most of these 'intellectuals', who wax eloquent on the so-called freedom of speech and freedom of expression, never speak about 'nationalism', for they are married and have western spouses and are mostly settled outside India.

They simply follow the trend set by Katherine Mayo, who depicted India in the worst possible manner in her book 'Mother India', but was rightly snubbed by Gandhiji as 'gutter inspector'.

Indians must follow Gandhiji in this particular regard and condemn people like Vikas Swarup, Arvind Adiga, Deepa Mehta, et al and that is what Amitabh Bachchan has done! He has protested the bad depiction of Bombay in the book 'Q and A' and the government must ban such books and movies, so that, India is not insulted in future.,0,4412918.story

No comments: