Slumdog Millionaire: An Alternative View from an Indian Perspective

A friend sent me an email citing what follows. It is excerpted from an Indian website and offers an Indian perspective on Slumdog Millionaire. Not everyone, it appears, is cheering in the aisles.


The film portrays the poverty in India and shows to the world the life led by the children in slums. Pre-Independence Britishers equalled Indians with dogs by saying “Dogs and Indians not allowed” into a restaurant. Even after 50 years of Indian Independence these western people call the children in our slums as “dogs”. They made good money making fun of India at the International level. There are many humiliating scenes in the movie which will make us feel ashamed, like:

  • The children posing as guides at Taj Mahal and cheating the tourists
  • he children working in hotel refills the Mineral water bottle and cheating the customers
  • Pick pocketing, stealing and reselling tourist footwear
  • Grounding a car of a foreign tourist
  • Training and employing the children for street begging
  • Making a child blind to make him an impact beggar
  • Training and pushing young girls into brothel house
  • Children becoming criminals at the age they don’t know what is life
  • Host of the game suspecting the knowledge of a slum boy and trying to mislead the participant

Hollywood  journalists called Slumdog as “Poverty Porn” What impact will this have on India amongst the audience of western world? What do the children in slums learn from this film?

It is rightly mentioned in Amitabh’s blog : “if Slumdog Millionaire projects India as Third World dirty under belly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky under belly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations.” Bachchan also states: “It’s just that the Slumdog Millionaire idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a Westerner, gets creative Globe recognition. The other would perhaps not.  British calling us dogs before 200 years made us angry but Americans calling those living in our slums as dogs make us feel proud ”

If we had won an Oscars for a film like Lagaan in which  we threw out British from our country by defeating them in their own game, every Indian would have been really proud. The Academy did not  think  Lagaan  was good for an award but for Slumdog Millionaire.

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