Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slumdog Millionnaire: India’s Pride or Shame??

‘Slumdog Millionnaire’ a great Indian movie indeed by a non-indian director, an NRI playing the lead protagonist and a mostly non Indian backstage crew & technicians. The great film bagged 4 Golden Globe awards and occupied prime media space all over the world, especially in India. Indian media says that its a matter of great pride that an Indian (A R Rahman) has finally bagged the prestigious award and is in lead contention for the Oscars. The same fact also makes me proud, a pride that lasts for 2 seconds and ceases to exist beneath my skin.
Why are we so fascinated by external appreciation and applaud for our work? Why we always look up to outsiders to praise our work? Is this because of our perceived notion that people living on that side of the planet are superior to us? Why we attach so much importance to their opinion about our work? It feels good to be appreciated for one’s work and that goes a long way in propelling one to work harder and smarter and produce better results. But when we have the biggest movie watching junta back in our own courtyard ‘India’ than why we need outside appreciation for our work, appreciation from people who don’t understand our culture, our language. Such appreciation is great for technological innovations but for art...I seriously doubt that.
Although the SLUMDOG occupied breaking news status on news channels and made the front page news in all mainstream newspapers, I was surprised to find equally important news being delegated to small columns in far interior of the papers. The movie is great but why are we celebrating so much the fact that outsiders enjoyed the Indian poverty, the fact that outsiders celebrated the darkness that defines India and especially Mumbai. Why are we celebrating the slums that make up Mumbai, the financial and glamour capital of India, the so called next superpower? “Slumdog Millionaire” is a great movie which makes me feel ashamed, makes me realize the apathetic conditions prevalent not only in the interiors but right in the heart of India ‘Mumbai’. It makes me aware of the huge efforts needed to truly transform India into a global power. Unfortunately the underlying reality of this beautiful movie has got lost under the more glamorous reality ‘the reality that it won some outside award which goes as Golden Globe Awards. All of us the so called educated middle class enjoyed and appreciated the movie but grossly failed to understand the underlying message it conveys.


  1. finally i found a person whose opinion abt slumdog is same as mine......

  2. Yes its a issue to feel shame about it..
    its difficult dude to remove poverty for sure..but the complications jamal and latika had faced are quite same in reality ant that badly needs help from ppl like us.
    I am quite sure that ppl will forget all this in a matter of few days..and it will be a history.

  3. Well,once the white-skin nods,the whole world nods.When the white-skinned creates,the white-skinned nods!It's a fiasco!
    Slumdog Millionaire is an eye-opener,and indeed is a good movie.But I did not find it to be a great movie,one that comes along once in a generation!We've had several other movies in India that has brought forth the darkness,maybe in more effective ways than this movie.But 1)They were not made by a white-man 2)They weren't big budget movies.So I really don't understand what all the hoopla is about.Remember Felini never got an Oscar for a particular movie(just the lifetime achievement award,well they had to coz the joke was on the Academy)and Titanic bagged 11(was it?)!
    So I do agree with you there,I don't think Oscars should not be a benchmark.
    And as for me I think Rahman has done far better work in Delhi 6 than in Slumdog :D