Arts Beat: “Slumdog Millionaire” Fact or Fiction

March 6, 2009  

“Slumdog Millionaire” has taken the country by storm.? Last month, the film won the Best Picture Academy Award at the Oscars. Although “Slumdog Millionaire” has been tapped as the feel-good movie of the year, there are many Indians who are up in arms about the film’s depiction of corruption, exploitation, prostitution and life in India’s slums.

As someone of Sri Lankan descent, I know? it may sound harsh but these things are quite evident in developing countries. I have not been to Mumbai, where the film was shot, but I have to been to other areas of India and? witnessed some of these behaviors.

Corruption is quite common in India and is often committed by the police or anyone with money. ? Police have authoritative views and think they rule everything, while wealthy people, feel anything can be bought. People are often seen as commodities and, believe me when I say, those with money are seen and treated differently.

Life in the slums is quite similar to the portrayal in the film. Religion and worship is the center of everyone’s life. Poverty is rampant; street children are everywhere and those with physical abnormalities such as missing limbs or organs definitely earn more money. My grandmother one day told me it’s impossible to help everyone so just give money to those who have more challenges than everyone else. Children are often exploited through their labor and used as a way of building wealth.

Similar to servant labor, where people are often exploited, the sex trade industry exploits many people.? Brothel owners sell young women’s bodies to the highest bidders. Virginity is prized. In a culture dominated by men, few women have control over their own bodies. ? Brothels are proof that the world’s oldest profession exists everywhere.

For more information on “Slumdog Millionaire” visit the film’s Web site at the link below.?

http://www.foxsearchlight.com/slumdogmillionaire

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-Posted By Praveen Sathianathan

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