Posted: 19 January 2009 at 7:05pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by hindu4lyf
RTH I enjoyed reading your post very much. I think it sums the movie up really well-British film with an Indian heart.
And who would know this more than a Mumbaikar :)
I gotta disagree on some points people have made though. The way the world is moving right now, people DO believe what they see in the media, people DO believe movies that look real to life and generalise and in this modern day and time I can't help but say it is normal! I'm not saying we look at one person and generalise but when in the West for example we see movies that one after another continue to portray a certain place or even person in a certain way, because we see it so many times, we begin to believe it too no matter how many sides there are to a story. I can't and will not ever deny the existence of slums in India, its just it made me wonder while having a discussion about SDM when people said (not in a mallicious way) that "they think they saw the reality and how things really are". Slums exist and it is part Bharat's reality, but those people are also part of our reality who don't live on streets and actually have a roof over their head whom believe it or not aren't millionaires but an average middle class Indian. Its a shame some of these comments came from some Bangladeshis whom out of all people i thought would know better, clearly not.
Just wanna conclude with a thought of a friend of mine in one of our old religious education classes when we were talking about poverty. A classmate of african origin said that she feels so shocked when the whole world views Africa as such a poor continent and although she doesn't deny the frequent dying due to poverty..starvation etc, she also said that only she knows that when she goes back to Africa, her whole country isn't like that at all -like full of poor people at all but just over-exaggerated due to the influence of the media etc.
This is exactly how I feel about India.
I won't deny that many people assume the media portrayal to be the truth. There is a good share of Americans here who think India is a country of snake charmers who rely on elephants as a primary source of transportation. They ask dumb questions about India to which I answer with scathing sarcasm.
On the whole with the technology era, where the world is more connected people are becoming more aware. Movies and news is not the only source. People have the opportunity to access foreign media online, through discussion forums they connect to people across the world and get a taste of what local culture really is like.
When it comes to countries like India, China and the likes; I feel most of the west is in a confused state due to the high contrast in our history, culture etc. They constantly hear about India and China becoming the next superpower. Economic reports show the economy growing.(media) They lose their jobs to us and feel that it is taking from their mouth and giving us a big deal (their silly assumption). Then Indians and mostly all Asians who live abroad push academic, economic and work success. They portray their countries as ones with rich history and culture, lots of wealth, upper middle class lifestyle so a 'new age' image of these countries is impressed. (our fault). Then they see a movie like Slumdog and since many have never been to India are confused on what to draw as a 'Real Picture'. I feel it is ultimately up to all Indians to portray our country in a realistic manner. Our government, our people, everyone who represents us on the global scale even in the littlest scale should not - take pride in our country's greatness, but do acknowledge the harsh realities too.
Funny you mention Africa. I was talking to my sister about this thread and she was talking about how it must hurt Africans to see their portrayed. If Indians are sensitive about Slumdog, Africans must be depressed and devastated. People view Africa as such a poverty and Aids stricken country. It is true, but there is a rustic beauty to Africa. People think I am joking when I say the most breathaking parts of the Nile are in Uganda & Sudan. Eastern Europe has the same issue. People just view the region as home of prostitutes and brides for sale.
I might be being idealistic when I say people do not believe in the media. Most rational people ought to rise above the media and use the information we have at our fingertips. But then common sense is not that common really.