01 March 2009


This is the picture that came to my mind when I was writing this post, Jai Ho?! and watching Oscars at the same time.

These people are homeless trying to put a roof on their head. Hence slum dwellers, otherwise Homeless.

While a movie depicting a slice of their life is spun into a cindrella like tale and has swept recognition, they are mesmerized at the "identical twin" syndrome effect as they sit glued to the screens. May be they too now can begin to have hopes but the reality is they are back in the slums!

Related posts: Slumgods.


ves21 said...

I have the feeling that the business of the "angrezy" director is still itching....Would the reaction have been different if it were Amir Khan?

Whether a "cindrella story" or a more heavy going film à la Ken Loach, I think you do need to show the grim parts of life. The KANK or K3G etc that run in multiplexes for the rich seem to have become too much a way of Bolly life nowadays.

And well, usually the exploited ones who are depicted, tend to remain where they were. I think a film's objective is(should be) to rub the noses of the ones who prefer to forget, don't want to see and walk through life eyes wide shut, in the shit they want to sweep under the carpet.

The Ken Loach type of films would not easily survive because of box office problems... unfortunately. Films have always been a means of dreaming: would the slum dwellers watch a really grim film? I don't know if they saw SDM. But you need films about injustice, so guess you can choose your arms in the more efficient manner perhaps.

Film directors, writers or painters don't solve problems. But they can influence opinion in a positive way.

Pangala Nagendra Rao said...

Yes, it brings us tear and makes heart heavy with sad when we see such facts of people in slums!! A day after Award same child was beaten by his father for bringing less money. Isn't it the cruel hardcore fact or fate of the child? But who cares...
Those who are rich and got the award, name and fame etc are now sleeping in an AC room while the people because of whom they got the award are still to be continued with their inhuman life style. Then what for the movie is made?
Hope is that seeing these images some people will do something or other to benefit these. But it is only hope and fact may be that people in the name of helping poor are only interested in gaining popularity.
Any how in any case I sincerely wish that life of people in slums become more human like.

Ordinary Guy said...

i work in mumbai and i can tell you one thing...
The gov does contruct flats for the slum dwellers.... it has in the past... and what do the people do after that...
They rent it out and still live in the slums...
That is what is happening...
yes I agree that they need money to live, but The problem is that too little is being done....

Vinod_Sharma said...

Yes, hard reality hit them after they got back home...fortunately now the media, for once, will not allow things to revert back for at least the 'main' stars in the movie who are from the slums...they are well on the road to a better life, possibly even riches as they will certainly land up more roles even in Bollywood.

I agree with Ordinary guy.This happens in Delhi too..it is quite a racket. In fact many of those who live in slums have combined family incomes that exceed yours and mine..but they are happy to live in slums. Of course not all are well off. Some are really, really poor.

manju said...

Anrosh, I think that this is far too complex a question to be solved by producing a movie. The most that a movie does is make the viewers think that they are doing some good for the slumdwellers just by watching it on the screen.

Re: slumdwellers not going to live in flats after reconstruction of slums- I have talked with some slumdwellers who live in the Kumbharwada area in Dharavi.

They told me that while they lived in their hutments at the ground level, they could use the area outside , even on the street outside, to make the pots, dry them, and even sell them.

This would not be possible if they went to live in the flats given by the govt. It was a question of not being able to earn a living living in the flats.

They have problems that we cannot understand just by watching a movie.

Indian Home Maker said...

Anrosh It's very difficult to sort this, they are exploited and they, like all other Indians exploit each other also.

It's true that they are offered home, but they are generally on the out skirts of the city and it is nearly impossible for them to commute to their work places from there.

Also the houses are allotted to the street-smart ones who already have similar property elsewhere, and obviously these allotted homes are rented ...the really needy ones continue to stay in the slums as tenants.

The local parties who want their votes make sure they continue to stay there and vote for them, the more such settlements the more their votes.

Indyeah said...

can understand to an extent from the pic and what you have shared as to what led to the earlier post..
I have recived the same replies that Manju and IHM speak of from people where I work...the really needy ones dont get it though..the houses that is..

Solilo said...

That is a harsh reality but why blame gora directors. Anyone who touches this kind of subject is going to win critical accolades but that is not going to solve the problem.

Even if given an opportunity most don't grab it for the betterment of the family instead waste it because they are either mislead or simply they have no clue about money management as they lack basic education.

There are so many rackets in slums that it needs an entire cabinet ministry to look into even a Renuka Chaudhary who is Child and Women's dev. minister prefers to get easy fame and not actually looking into real issue. It takes time and effort. How much time does these politicians and we have?

pink dogwood said...

It is a complex problem and I am not sure what the solution is. But I really feel for the two kids - though I know they will fare well since they have had so much publicity.

Anrosh said...

Ves21: welcome

Rao: As Ves21 says above the movie is made for influencing ..but in my opinion entertainment.

do you know our friends in the slum go to see movie to beat the heat for 3 hours ? and tax free movie makes it all the more cheaper.

ordinary guy, vinod - how could i have forgotten such a vital info?

manju - dharavi has a very entrepreneurial bug. but if these guys would be given a place to do work and have a decent place to stay they would .. who wouldn't want to live in a decent place - they are used to by "choice of force".

ihm - it is all about the votes - period - that is how societies, communities and nations function. that is how democracy functon. (how would the elected candidate fare in the next election if he signs a certain bill when he is in office?
Lawmakers and lobbyists form part of the gang! ( i didn't understand the process until i came to this country and had to work on an issue for myself)

solilo - yes, the cycles of poverty is the culprit.

pinkdogwood - have you heard of jeffrey sachs? he wrote an interesting book called - the end of poverty.

thank you all for taking the time to express your views.

Anrosh said...

indyeah -- do not get disheartened. think dr.younous - how he bought microcredit to people that banks were scared to loan - everything works --
for all that you may know one of the kids that you teach is able to break the cycles of poverty. and you have already saved a generation. i once had a friend who lived in the slums ( he told me that ) who studied at IIT Bombay for his masters. and his sister studied medicene where both their parents were janitors in the government hospital.

Mahesh Sindbandge said...

Interesting sir...
Indians are always on the verge of listening to things that inspire them and this movie is one example..

That picture is nice one..
it depicts thousand words out of one;s mouth..:)

UI said...

The latest straw .. one of the political party has bought the rights of Jai ho for election... also they have very well linked it up with their India achieving story ..

Why to question the British and Americans when we have our home growns ready to give it a spin

Indyeah said...

Thanks Anrosh:)and the story of your friend and his sister is inspiring :)
did you change your header font size and colour and tagline?Its looking different and nice:)

Anrosh said...

mahesh, welcome.

UI --the world just gets merrier, isn't it ! now that will be worth watching how the new twist and turns be.

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