Monday, 23 February 2009

Slumdog Shows It’s worth

Dr. Shura Darapuri

“Slumdog Millionaire” has done it!! It has brought the long awaited eight Oscars to India’s credit. India known to be a “Third World”, “Developing” nation has proved it, that given an opportunity it is no way less than any other Developed nation. Success of the film has proved that potential of the country to develop knows no bounds and that the gems of talent lie littered even in the garbage of India, waiting to be picked up. India has proved in many fields be it in archery, shooting, wrestling, hockey, cricket and beauty contest etc. that it never leaves without making its presence felt. This time it has done it in films. From time immemorial there has been an earnest effort on the part of Indian Directors to win an Oscar. It is now that their prayers have been answered with “Slumdog Millionaire” bagging the best film award and getting eight Oscars.
The award could not be denied even by the worst of judges for many reasons. One: the actors were picked up from the slums; they were given the opportunity to prove themselves in acting. They were actually brought into the mainstream by the Director Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan and they did not fail them at any stage. On the contrary they came up with flying colours which prove that talent is not the preserve of the high born and the privileged. Given the opportunity an underdog can rise to become a millionaire.
The film is also a reflection on the fact that for long, poverty has been theorized, debated in air conditioned Seminar rooms; the time has now arrived to “Act”.The poor of the country are tired and bored of “distanced” sympathy from the rich and the need of the hour is to extend genuine hand of support so that the poor, excluded sections too get the feel of the “Red Carpet”.
In the history of films and also in the history of India “Slumdog Millionaire” has come as a “Revolution” as the film has successfully carried out its Social Responsibility. It has actually brought the marginalized sections into the mainstream translating their dreams into reality.
Media especially the films can play an important role as far as India is concerned. It has the mass appeal as even an illiterate person knows about Aishwarya Rai getting the Miss World Award. In down South the actors are worshipped like gods. That is how most well known actors confidently join politics. It is important that filmdom should carry its social responsibility by being sensitive to various issues and as in the case of “Slumdog Millionaire” make an effort to translate fiction into reality.
Some of the Bollywood Directors who just confine themselves to depicting of poverty only in terms of showing meagre clothes on the body of female actresses and concentrate on remaking of western films or a films from South, sincerely ought to take lessons from the film “Slumdog Millionaire” which shows sensitivity to the problem and gives solutions also. There should be an ongoing search for talent and depiction of originality. .
Celluloid World has to come on the streets and act for “real.” Similarly, other sectors of the nation should take lessons from the film “Slumdog Millionaire.” So that marginalized groups are given opportunity to join the mainstream to prove their worth and do India proud.

Dr. Shura Darapuri
Reader cum Deputy Director
Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy
Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (A Central University)
Vidya Vihar, Rae-Bareli Road, Lucknow-226025, U.P., INDIA
Ph.: +91522 2345661 mobile Ph. +919451883620 Fax : +91522- 2441888