When Ridiculous People Say Even More Ridiculous Things

We have talked about ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ many times here at TLH. We have criticized the corporate double-standards, celebrated dhols, and even discussed ways to get involved.

Yes, many have jumped on the Slumdog bandwagon (TLH included!). However, this one takes the cake. The Congress-led UPA government in Delhi now counts Slumdog’s success as one of the government’s accomplishments.

In an unmistakable resonance of the previous NDA government’s `India Shining’ slogan, Congress floated the idea of an `achieving India’ and listed among the milestones the Indo-US nuclear deal, Chandrayaan, near 9% growth and the total sweep of the Oscars.[link]

I wonder – is the government celebrating its role in the creation of the slums? The facts don’t seem to lie as one article wrote:

Fact: The number of people living below the poverty line has actually increased by a horrifying 20 per cent. India had some 270 million people below the poverty line in 2004-5, when the present Government took office. That number has gone up by 55 million, or 20 per cent, after five years of policies named after the aam admi (common man) but shaped for the khaas admi (vested interests).[link]

The ridiculousness didn’t stop there.

The party officials stated:

“They represent the finest traditions of our film industry and are an inspiration to all of us,” Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said. Her party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi went a few steps ahead and termed Slumdog Millionaire “a film of India, for India, by India” and talked about the “conducive atmosphere with emphasis on good governance contributing to an achieving India”[link]

Since when was Danny Boyle Indian?

Despite the celebration, many of India’s voices of conscious have criticized the film. As for me, while I could ‘enjoy’ certain parts of the film – at the end of the day for me, anyways, it was a tell-tale Bollywood film.

You know how these things work. We have 2 brothers – one becomes a gangster and the other is a ‘goodie two-shoes.’ They go their separate paths and then must battle each other at the end over a girl. Then (as all Hindi movies are also moralizing) the ‘bad’ brother sacrifices himself for the ‘good’ brother. All the while the ‘beautiful damsel in distress’ does nothing, sits there, and basically has no agency. Of course there was the post 9/11 torture scene. Dev Patel’s character (Jamal Mallik) is brutally tortured, but then of course the next day he is bright and gleaming, like nothing happened, and ready to win the grand prize. Torture-light! Afterall, torture isn’t a ‘big deal.’ In fact, now, America doesn’t torture (Whoo-hoo! , this is where all Democrats are suppose to stand and cheer like the Lakers won the championship!). Now, America just engages in ‘rendition’, you know torture-outsourcing (we just manage the brown people torturers, but we don’t get our hands dirty).

Oh well with all the ridiculousness, I will shut up about Slumdog. I’m done.


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4 Responses to “When Ridiculous People Say Even More Ridiculous Things”

  1. I love this blog and read it regularly. However, I have a big problem. The left side is always cut off on my screen. Does anyone else have this problem or ius it just an artifact of my ancient computer?

    As for this post, I have long since given up trying to make sense of any aspect of the Government of India.

  2. I love this blog and read it regularly. However, I have a big problem. The left side is always cut off on my screen. Does anyone else have this problem or ius it just an artifact of my ancient computer?

    As for this post, I have long since given up trying to make sense of any aspect of the Government of India.

  3. Sundari says:

    I love this blog and read it regularly. However, I have a big problem. The left side is always cut off on my screen. Does anyone else have this problem or ius it just an artifact of my ancient computer?

    ::

    Mai, others have had that same problem too. We will look into this problem…

  4. Sundari says:

    I love this blog and read it regularly. However, I have a big problem. The left side is always cut off on my screen. Does anyone else have this problem or ius it just an artifact of my ancient computer?
    ::
    Mai, others have had that same problem too. We will look into this problem…