Friday, January 23, 2009

Slumdog and Slumbai

It had to happen again.

Some white guys threw a bone in the direction of something indian (i am referring to slumdog millionaire, the movie), and people went into raptures about how the west is 'waking up to india'.

Most people i spoke to called slumdog millionaire a "triumph of the spirit over hardship" or "the never say die mumbai spirit" or something similar and seemingly inspirational.

Friends and colleagues gushed about how the fellow in the movie rose despite the deprivations of the slums and having to dive into human faeces to win some international dole-fest.

Cliches and prejudices aside (brilliantly articulated here), they are to be expected, it is the misplaced joy of the average mumbaikar that is disturbing: not one person found the presence and the continued growth of slums troubling anymore.

Not one person.

The slum -- and the urban planning failure it represents -- is the pink elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about. Just like the pink elephant of islamic terrorism.

It is now part of us, never to be sought to be removed, merely to be accepted and taken in our stride.

However, this pattern of ignore and move on has been going on. For 60 years, year after year (or election after election) we the people of mumbai have consistently voted NOT to fix things, preferring the soporific of rice at 2 kgs (for the masses) or the "wonderful mumbai spirit" (for the chattering classes) to real, painstaking change.

Mumbai is now a city without a collective objective and a collective aspiration.
A city without a future.

Over at Shadow Warrior, Rajeev points out how this is also visible among hindus at the national level. Everyone has a plan for our decimation. We don't even know that we're being hunted.


iamfordemocracy said...

Visit this link.

Siddhivinayak temple will soon auction gold and silver ornaments donated by the devotees after getting an official nod from Maharashtra

Part of the auction money will be given to social causes and the rest will be utilised for activities in temple, he said.

I am writing this comment here because rajeev2004 would not let it get published there, and because you have shown some concern about a temple in TN.

iamfordemocracy said...

The title of the latest post of TOOTBWAHNP (The owner of the blog with a Hindu Nationalist Perspective) goes "How the UPA devalues democracy". Also, there are many new posts about lack of freedom in the Indian society. Unfortunately, the TOOTBWAHNP is unable to see how he is contributing to the gagging of freedom. Here is a blogger (and his devout followers) who has failed to promote any kind of freedom on his blog. We have noticed that neither the owner of the rejeev2004 blog nor any other poster there EVER tried to instill a sense of freedom, fairness, or justice on the blog. I would like to tell him that Congress and UPA have only perfected what he practises in a halfhazard manner.

Hindu litereature often talks about microcausm, the 'Pinda and the Brahmanda' relation. So, my advice to Mr. Rajeev Srinivasan - follow the Hindu religion and principles. Work for freedom and democracy on your own blog. The wider society will soon pick up what its constituents stand for.