Mail from Readers 

In the March cover story Poorism Takes Off, the author has done a brilliant analysis of the movie. India has much more to offer than the negative clippings potrayed in Slumdog Millionaire. The article is very balanced and informative.
Monica Kapoor

Many thanks for looking at things from another perspective. I did see the film but did not enjoy it. How did this film bag so many Oscars. Frankly, I have never understood why there is so much excitment about the movie — just because it has won so many awards or its contents, which are disgusting.
Ganesh Gureja
By email

I entirely agree with the views expressed by Rakesh K. Simha in the cover story. The article on ‘Struggle for Citizenship’ was also interesting.
Sudhir Shah
By email

As a recent visitor to India and having seen the slums and living conditions in various parts of India I don't know what those Bollywood types are bellyaching about. Some of us found it very disgusting walking among the filthy and deplorable hygenic conditions of some of the streets of Indian cities. I know of many PIOs who vowed never to go back to India after their experience. 
Amitabh and his Bollywood school should take off their blinkers, get away from those infantile/fantasy song-and-dance movies that project "Incredible India" as the land where all ends well, and start making reality movies that deal with critical issues.
We know about the slums of developed countries too, so what's the point of comparing?
To regard Slumdog as a conspiracy because India is on the move is a classic case of denial of the highest order. Rather I think Slumdog should be seen as an added incentive and a wake-up call/challenge to everyone who cares about India to get real and clean up!
Arnold Thomas
GOPIO member, by email

PI appreciate the timely intervention by you to show our anger about such films produced on Indian soil. Slumdog is against our image and principles. As an Overseas Citizen of India I am hurt by the film, and I know it has hurt many other too.
Abdul Karim
Africa regional president, World Malayalee Council; vicechair, Indian Citizens Welfare Association of Kenya

Slumdog gets it totally wrong. Yes slums are degrading and they offer a horrible alternative to the Indian way of life—a life of colour, happiness, family values, spacious homes and time for leisure. But they certainly are not cesspools of crime; the dwellers are not criminals or cheats, or pimps or prostitutes. Riots rarely, if ever, take place in Indian slums. However, for Danny Boyle and his western cohorts, these are mere technicalities; they want to make a fast buck because as ‘entertainers’ they know the West loves to see the desperately poor. At a time when millions of Americans are going hungry, when millions are living in slums, motel rooms and tents, driven out of their homes, when millions of British people have no future, at a time like this they get vicarious pleasure in seeing people poorer than themselves. Of course, many are just plain racist and colonialists and love to see the misery of an India that is taking its rightful place on the global table.
S. Vaidyanathan

Last month I met a woman from Sydney who wanted to bring her children to India and show them the slums so they could see “the other side of life”. Her reasoning was that her children would have a better appreciation of their own country, how lucky they are to have what they have! I told her it was poverty porn that she was doing, or about to do. But she kept saying that her country is unique and blah, blah, blah. She might have as well have told me: “We love your poverty, we like to see you that way.”
Monish Chatterjee
Los Angeles

I don’t understand why Indians are acting so helpless. Priyadarshan, the director, has blasted the movie but do you think he’ll spend a few million rupees to make a movie on British poverty? 
Sonia Sharma

April 2009

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