"Slumdog Miilionaire" won 8 Oscars! The Indians around the globe are gushing with pride. This is a rags-to-riches fairy tale of a slum dweller and the miserable life he led in the shanties of Mumbai. He is not just a character in a film, we feel his pain. But most importantly,we are celebrating his pain through the awards. Doesn't that make us masochists in our own little worlds??
We enjoy showing off the world our miseries and all we ask in return is a damn good "Happy ending" no matter how unrealistic it is.And no doubt Hollywood takes the advantage of this fact. Poor India!Hungry India!Deprived and sad Indians! The world is our stage and we gain the sympathy votes. A nice market strategy. And I am sure Hollywood is hoping it can do the same trick what the cosmetic industry did with the Indian beauty pageant winners.
I know what you are thinking. I am an ungrateful and unpatriotic Indian who should be summoned by the House of Un-Indian Activities. But here is a fact. I am an Indian who loves to see India as a super-power not as a developing Third World country. I do acknowledge the problems we face, but I hate to celebrate them. And I hate when they make films which looks like "an instant coffee illumination of a dark continent for the underexposed waspy American who is, of late, finding it kindda cool to engage with the rest of the world."
Headlines like"India's Jamals can't afford dal-roti daily" are flooding the national newspapers today. Looks like the whole country has awakened from a deep slumber to show their concern for the slum dwellers. Do you think we really care for the likes of Jamal, Latika and Salim? Hell no! We are bloody hypocrites. Noboby changes overnight over a British-American film about India with some Indian collaboration. No doubt the "slum story" can be a good topic to discuss over the brunch on a Sunday morning, but nothing beyond it. Till the new found hype and glamour of the slums is there,I say its Christmas for the people in the shanties- Health camps, donations etc. Maybe people on the better side cares or maybe they just want to earn some Good Karma in their free time. Either ways its short-lived.
But Mr. Boyle good job! And I agree small is beautiful. I am sure India will deliver you many such storylines. And why not? We love being SMALL. So what do you plan to tell the world next? Hmmm..how about the deprived SC/STs in India and how they require quotas in everything they do?? 'coz after all, Indians are the only people who take pride in being from backward society.