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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Protests Against Slumdog Millionaire 
27th-Jan-2009 09:06 am
It's not nice to point out things that are unfavorable to us. You might get an unfavorable impression. That appears to be the thought behind this protest.

Ok, here goes. If you're resigned to staying where you are, and not persuading people to help change their circumstances, if you are not pestering the government (locally, provincially, and nationally) to change the things that can be changed (from public health, to building codes, to training programs for jobs), then, while I recognize your dignity as a human being, I don't respect you. If you are working at those things, then you're too busy to be bothered by things that you are overcoming. So the protest sets you, not the studio, not the author, in an unfavorable light.

Was that clear enough?
27th-Jan-2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
Bihar is in an interesting state. It is governed by an alliance of low-caste activists (and caste in India is a very real fact) and Muslims, and it is both one of the poorest states in India and quite fabulously corrupt. I hesitate to say that it is poor and corrupt as a result of being governed by low-caste activists, but certainly there has to be a reason why it so conspicuously missed the boat of rising prosperity that most of the rest of India is floating. The fingerprints of its political leaders, who have every interest in keeping slum dwellers poor and angry, are all over this tosh, including the fact that this supposed slum protest campaign is evidently well financed, has plenty of lawyers at its disposal, and easy access to the media. In short, it is a case custom made for people with your views. So I thought you might be interested to know this.
27th-Jan-2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Always happy to be handed my case on a silver platter.

Now, political leaders, who have every interest in keeping slum dwellers poor and angry is the kind of thing that attributes a startling lack of intelligence to the political leaders, so I'm not so sure about it. Surely to some of them it might have occurred that to get more tax revenue and licensing revenue, you might be better off having people who can pay the taxes and fees at a higher level? I'd have thought "something is better than nothing" was one of the easy lessons.
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