Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire and the Bengal Famine

India being an emerging economy, the instances of street urchins jostling for space in the same city where millionaires and billionaires move around, are numerous. The movie Slumdog Millionaire used this premise to show a society where people live in abject poverty, in spite of the abundance of cash changing hands in the country at large. Something similar to this had happened during the Bengal Famine, when on one hand the British bourgeoisie lavishly wasted tonnes of rice, while on the other the poor farmers had to grovel dirt for a few grains.

We in India, have got immune to the existence of slums, and their inhabitants. We know how to avoid the stench emanating from these places by pinching our nose. Also, how to look the other way when brought face to face with the heart wrenching sight of an amputated or blind beggar.