From mutt to millionaire-Slumdog Millionaire dazzles audiences

10 Mar

By Saira Khan
Senior Staff Writer , The Retriever Weekly Online.

Slumdog Millionaire was, as the Oscars a few weeks ago proved, a favorite amongst audiences this year. The films director, Danny Boyle, and crew walked away with eight Oscars and received great praise. For a film that was intended to be a straight to DVD release in the United States, that is not a bad deal. However, the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and Bollywood have overshadowed certain aspects of the film. Many people seem to believe that the movie is a fictional tale of two unlucky lovers who, ultimately, achieve the fairytale ending that Bollywood is notorious for. What is important to note however, is that while fictional, the film does have a fairytale aspects to it, the unfortunate and tragic events that occur are all too real.

Similar to Jamal, many children in India have lost their parents to communal violence. The scene that depicted this violence was, if anything toned down in comparison to the atrocities that actually occur when there is an outbreak of such communal violence. In many cases, women are raped, beaten, and then set on fire while men and children are, if not set on fire, hacked to death by machetes. These are, of course only a few examples of the crimes people have committed against one another in the name of religion (while communal violence in India has usually been motivated by religion, for example, the riots that occurred after the destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India in December of 1992, there are cases where such crimes were committed against people of different ethnicities as well).

Not only is the concept of communal violence not foreign in India but the practice of crippling children to make begging more profitable is also a common practice in not only India, but Pakistan as well. Gang members and members of the Mafia tend to ‘recruit’ poor, homeless children by showering them with love and affection (similar to what we see in the film) and then having certain limbs of theirs amputated or by blinding them (the list of they do to these children is endless).

Child trafficking in India is a major problem. In 2006, Trafficking in India, a study conducted by Shakti Vahini, stated that of the 593 districts in India, 378 are affected by human trafficking and nearly 90 percent of it is interstate, while 10 percent is international. It is needless to say that Slumdog Millionaire is a good film but instead of looking at it simply as a fictional film, we need to perceive it as our insight into a world plagued by problems and horrible atrocities committed, not only against children but men and women as well.

So the next time you are sitting in a movie theatre, enjoying your soda and pop corn and watching an unconscious child having his eyes burned out by a sadistic man, realize that while it may just be on the screen in front of you, there is a great possibility that it is occurring at that very moment all the way across the world. Though we are helpless in such situations, acknowledging that this isn’t just a fictional story is a big step and perhaps just what the world needs to do, or at least attempt to do, to put an end to these terrible crimes.


One Response to “From mutt to millionaire-Slumdog Millionaire dazzles audiences”

  1. sgarg1394 March 10, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    Lets be honest – SDM is not dazzling any audiences in India despite the 100+ awards/ nominations in the West.

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