Yes, Slumdog Millionaire won the Oscars. Congrats to both Rahman and Rasul for winning the same. It was a well made film and good creativity was seen in the entire film. It’s also possibly the best marketed film but the question is how did the film project India? I just saw the movie today and hence I thought I will chip in with my bit of the movie. I was supposed to have a feel good factor after seeing the movie alas it was the opposite.
The movie started with the slums clearly showing how our slums are and how bad it can be. It’s the truth but it was shown very unrealistically. The kid swimming the shitpool for the autograph of an actor is the first scene which was completely absurd and it clearly shocked me not because it doesn’t happen here but how it shows India in poor light. The film shows poverty and the very negative side of India. The accolades of the Oscar suddenly slipped my India and I was left stung by the complete apathy in projecting the movie as “the world taking note of India”. Is this what we wanted to show them?
Here I can only say we are sadly mistaken. We were the land of maharajas, bullock carts, magicians with the great Indian rope tricks and very poor, for our masters around 60 years ago. Now we have a new status. We are the slumdogs, shit swimmers, beggars, stealers and child racketeers.
Yes they are turning rich and the world is noticing it but they are doing it through the moneys of the westerners or through sheer luck like the winner of the quiz. So if a foreigner tomorrow asks me whether children swim in shit-ponds in India what can I say, for it is the image created in the western world.
In my article the third stimulus package I had written about the stimulus provided to the Indian market. But whom are they benefitting after all? We are not slum dogs just because we live in slums. If we are not, then what are we doing about these people? Elections have come and gone the slums still remains as it is. Government spends crores on election advertising and all tax sops which is sheer wastage of taxpayer’s money. Can’t we accommodate the poor in good houses?
If slumdog is not the image which we want to project the western world then what should it be? The buoyant Indian economy needs an image modification and we have to do just the right thing to eradicate the wrong image projected of India.
Surely we can take pride of Rahman who is extremely talented and Rasul too. But was this the right way to win an Oscar? Danny Boyle’s film had brought some cheers to the foreigners reeling under recession and wanting to blame India for all their worries.
It’s time we remind ourselves of this sorry saga and elect the right person to the chair at least the next time.