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Q.

No country is free from social evils of one form or the other but most of them conceal it from the foreign media and try to address it within.India sadly exports her poor underbelly stories to the world(slumdog millionaire).Do not you think that our government has to do some international public relation homework to project the image of an emerging nation to the world than being allowed to be portrayed as a land of snake charmers,elephants and unimaginable poverty?Serious thoughts are most welcome.

Asked by vinod, 18 Jan '09 12:48 am
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Answers (21)

1.

Let us see this issue from another perspective. Had an Indian filmmaker made the movie; then we would have lauded him. We would say it is to show the reality to those within the country. It is for those who are not aware of such conditions. No Indian filmmaker has done it so because we have a penchant to run away from reality. Besides, we do not want to place the miasma within the country in front of others. This does not mean that if we do not do it then others also might not do so.

Danny Boyle has made the movie Slum dog Millionaire. He is a foreigner. He made it by taking Indian star cast to portray the grim side of India. Scores of photographers, literary writers, and painters did this before in the days of yore, when India was under bondage to show to the world that how can snake charmers and the like are fit to run a country. This gave them a reason good enough to the world that they are justified in not according a freedom this country. That was precisely the reason why Indi ...more
Answered by Jack Johnson, 18 Jan '09 09:32 pm

 
  
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2.

May I take the liberty of saying "why not see the movie as a enunciation of the harsh realities of life as it exists in this vast country of ours" than as a glorification of poverty and deprivation for all the world to see. Movies are the best way to tell a story. It is there, it exists right under our nose, most don't even notice it or don't want to notice it as we go about our daily life in pursuit of our dreams, our daily chores, our struggle for a decent living for ourselves. I personally (this is purely a personal thought) find nothing wrong if such movies are produced and screened all over the world for the simple reason that, it may atleast jolt some people out of their cushy chairs and utopian idea of this country to realise that, in this vast milleu of this nation of 1100 million people, there are a sizeable percentage which is struggling out there in pitiable conditions to make the simple art of survival a daily miracle. Our heart goes out to the the pitiful urchin who extend ...more
Answered by Omega, 23 Jan '09 06:48 pm

 
  
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3.

It is commendable on par of Mr. Prashant Sharma, that he has put his views and face of impressions only after watching the movie on screen. This surely gives him more comfort and authenticity to comment in the way one likes to in justifiable manner. Many, like me, do not have this privilege, yet that won`t be any kind of hindrance in relaying our say, as the core issue of the question is not about the movie itself, but about the mentality of foreigners in using other side of the India instead, as Mr. Vinod put it, of her progress in other illustrative fields. But here I differ from his views on seeing the issue by using specific glasses. No, I simply never would consider the Hollywood moviemakers shrewdly use slum like issues to enjoy hell in strange ways. There is no use in denying that slum life has become part of any metro all over the world. Even in countries like US and UK you can witness that kind of life. The term `Ghetto` was not used only for the Jews in Hitler regime, but in ...more
Answered by Indra Pawar, 26 Jan '09 12:11 pm

 
  
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4.

I just saw your question. What is this hue and cry about showing India in a bad light? Are there not movies the world over that depict worse faces of other countries. Are there no worse faces than poverty. What is terrible about poverty? Most of the rich become rich by wrong means. Is this face not worse than poverty? What about killings, looting, cheating, child molestations, the list is endless and these faces are not hidden but shown for the whole world to see. Relax!
Answered by gem mina, 27 Jan '09 06:31 am

 
  
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5.

We need not much serious about what they have shown in the film. after all it is a story in a film.
Answered by Alexander Mathew, 27 Jan '09 01:03 am

 
  
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6.

You are right Vinod. But i dont think that this matter is very serious. Because we cannot deny that we have slums and poverty in our country. It is also one of the truth. In slumdog millionair...it supports the story of a slum boy. So projecting proverty was not a serious issue. May be Amitabh got irritated to see Anil Kapoor in a Villainous Look...or may be got irritated to see his helicopter entry to the slum to give his autograph :) I dont think the Slumdog Millionaire is master piece movie from India. Its a good entertainer masaala movie. Nothing more than that. Good picturization & splendid actors they got. There are also some scenes which not at all matching to the logics and reality. I think we should not make this as a political issue.
Answered by peekay first, 26 Jan '09 10:45 am

 
  
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7.

Hi Vinod, I'd like to give more emphasis on the movie itself before putting my comments on the real question. My first reaction to the movie when I watched it two days back was-'Good'no hangoverI generally have this hangover for a day or two after a good moviemovies are more of an experiencethis one being just another good experience. There is something about Bombay that fascinates the westand it is rather unfortunate that an Aussie's Shantaram or a Brit's Slumdog Millionaire or even an Indian yet Canadian Passport holder Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay has to do the job. I guess its high time Indian cinema gets more recognitionits high time an almost Indian movie stops getting noticed only because it has a white directorits high time Indian music stops getting noticed only because it features in a Hollywood movie.Agreed we've had a terrible cinematic history but cant really hold that against us for a lifetimeRGV's Satya is one of the better depiction of the city and it's mafia everwhere it ...more
Answered by prashant sharma, 25 Jan '09 06:00 pm

 
  
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8.

I think that you are overreacting to this issue. You need to see it just as a movie with a premise and character. Indian povertyis a backdrop of the movie and not the objective of the movie. I have nto seen the movie, but well they project it sometimes reality and soemtimes exageration. it's OK. Are people in New York habituated to seeing gun-totting goons and racing cars on daily basis. No!!! So that's it. I somehow knwo that you are in USA. Now if you have seen Harold and Kumar starring Kal Pen, do you remember the way they have shown the administration poor light? It's OK for this movie. I recently saw another movie - Outsourced. Here, there were hillarious scenes from India. They were showing a 1980 India in 2000. But well it was a comedy and a drama. That's it.
I can understand that it looks embarrassing if you are an educated person in a foreign country and have always studies in good schools and been brought up in an elite or middle class atmosphere, but if you look at reality, ...more
Answered by manish varma, 21 Jan '09 06:52 am

 
  
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9.

Dear Vinod,
Accidently I caught on with your this Q. And I found you to be a concerned citizen. Congratulations.=== Dear Vinod, Slumdog Millionaire is not only about poor underbelly as many thinks. If many would see, many would reason and hence many would comeup with many solutions as well. Why should we hide it? As you correctly mentioned our motherland's other names as "Land of snake charmers,elephants and unimaginative poverty", no one made a 70 mm, and still people world over know like these sullied names. Bingo, this SM stirred up many sleeping souls and now started looking self assured that now they don't want to be known and shown as in SM. How facinating ! ==== Had it ( SM ) not won many golden awards, several international nominations, Do you think people would have bothered for Indian's pride the same way it is today after SM ? Well, Again my DIAMOND GLOBE AWARD for SM, because it stirred up many souls. When "Ardhya Satya " " Manthan " etc won Kalovary awards , the interna ...more
Answered by prabhat kumar kumar, 18 Jan '09 11:29 pm

 
  
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10.

I think movies like slumdog millionaire, City of Joy and Salaam bombay depict the reality of the side of India which we would rather ignore.... what is depicted in the movies is real...the poverty, the undernourished children, the illitereate ppl, the dirty slums are all real....and is just as real as the sprawling concrete jungle, modern and upmarket lifestyle and well educated urbane society. It reeks of escapism when we refuse to acknowledge the cinemas that show the ugly underbelly of any society. America churns out many movies depicting the gangwars, crime, poverty and misery seen in its country...but it doesnt mean that America is poor or crime ridden. We need to overcome this because our country has the richest like Ambani as well as the poorest of the poor.....and nothing touches us more than seeing another person's misery....maybe seeing this onscreen, it will give us impetus to become proactive in eradicating poverty. The world recognises India as an emerging develope ...more
Answered by sumitha, 18 Jan '09 12:52 pm

 
  
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