Editor’s Note: We are pleased to print the comments (with his permission) sent by a reader in Mumbai. For inquiring minds who would like to know, the reader is a veteran Investment Banker who runs an Asset Management Company. This is our third article on Slumdog Millionaire.*
Comments of a Reader from Mumbai – January 26,2009
1) Let us begin with the shitty scene mentioned earlier. If the boy was staying near Mumbai airport, as shown (cricket on the runaway scene earlier and Helicopter landing nearby) – there would have been umpteen opportunities for the young boy to have seen celebrities and filmstars landing including Amitabh. There was no need for him to jump!
2) The ‘Satyamev Jayate’ question of the gameshow, in which Jamal asks for an audience poll. I mean how contrived is this? Let’s look at the options first – truth, lies(?), fashion and money! What are they trying to say – the Indian emblem is so shallow? And that a young boy who has been shown to be highly intelligent, alert, enterprising and with photographic memory (every little incident of childhood he remembers with clear detail. He even remembers all the training lessons given at the BPO where he works as a chaiwallah!) has never seen this symbol in all his highly eventful life in India? Not only that – he cannot even work it out! He can work out the host’s high subterfuge and deceit in the end, but he cannot work out this simple question! I will say it once again – how contrived is that?
3) Let’s now come to the question of the Bow in Ram’s hand. I mean, again – how difficult is it to come across this symbol in India? Let’s see – on countless temple walls (even if one didn’t go inside); in movies; on BJP / VHP posters during the Babri Masjid – Ram janmbhoomi movement! ( a pan India and highly visible movement during the time the hero is shown growing up. Incidentally the riot where his mother is shown being killed is being hinted as part of the same movement); hugely popular TV serial – Ramayana and the hoardings and posters accompanying it; Ram Lila celebrations – the street plays and the burning of the effigies of Ravana during Dusshera time (again hugely popular in North India and around Agra where he is shown as having stayed during the movie). No, they have to show the hideous caricature of the young boy dressed up as Ram and looking at the hero hatefully during the riots. As far as I know, they did not show any context why the young boy would be dressed as Ram at that time except if he was participating in the riots – and I have really strong objections if that is the case. Never have I heard or read of young boys participating in riots in India. It hints at a deep rooted enmity between Hindus and Muslims in India and where one absorbs this enmity even as a young child. This is simply not the case. Most riots in India are the result of political maneuvering;
instigated by politicians and other vested interests and led by the criminal and the goonda elements of society.
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* Our earlier articles on Slumdog Millionaire:
– “Slumdog Millionaire and The Merchant of Venice” – January 17, 2009 – http://www.cinemarasik.com/2009/01/16/slumdog-millionaire-and-the-merchant-of-venice.aspx
– “Slumdog Millioanire – II – Fact & Reader Comments About Our First Article” – January 24, 2009 – http://www.cinemarasik.com/2009/01/23/slumdog-millionaire–ii–facts–reader-comments-about-our-first-article.aspx