0.5 Poor

Slumdog Millionaire

I am quoting a review posted here:


With everyone singing hosannas to Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, let me offer an alternative perspective.

This film targets the easiest of targets: the average placid Hindu. The hero is, of course, a Muslim in India, whose mother is burned to death by an attack on Muslims by barbaric, fanatical Hindu mobs. No need for subtlety in either dialogue or depiction here; the Hindu mob says: “They are Muslims. Let us hit them,” and the hapless Muslims cry as they flee in terror: “The Hindus are coming! The Hindus are coming.”

To make sure his point about Hindu devilry is not missed, director Boyle has a shot of a child dressed as Rama, one of Hinduism’s most cherished gods. Imagine the outcry that would have resulted if Boyle had reversed the above: i.e., had a shot of a child dressed as prophet Mohammed or Jesus as Muslims/Christians hurried off to persecute members of another faith! But since Hindus seem oblivious to any and every insult, Boyle has not only gotten away with his blasphemies, but seems well on his way to awards and accolades.

The sledgehammer hits against Hindus and Hinduism does not end there. On the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, the Muslim hero is asked a question by the TV host: “What weapons does Lord Rama bear in his hands?” Our Muslim hero answers: “if it wasn’t ram or allah, my mother would have been alive.”

I have picked just two of many blasphemies from Boyle’s film. And he is being feted and felicitated, because most Hindus have been too cowed by hundreds of years of Mogul invasions and British rule and subsequent Christian conversions to feel any sense of pride in their faith or outrage when their beliefs and Gods are blasphemed. We take no pride in India being a secular democracy—for Hinduism openly sheltering, over thousands of years, Christians and Jews from Syria and Persia, who fled Islamic persecution; Parsis who fled Muslim persecution for worshiping Zoroaster; Armenians who fled the Turks, and now Tibetans fleeing China. We take no pride in the fact that our faith does not ask us to proselytize or convert anyone else, nor are we proud that Hindus have never waged wars or invaded any other country in the name of religion. We give no credit to our religion for having the open-mindedness to give freedom of worship to others who believe differently, so that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Bahais, Jains, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and others can rightly call India their home.

And since the average Hindu is without pride—or a clue, for that matter—we have become the easiest of targets. There will be no “fatwas” against Boyle and his cast and crew, no protests or organized expression of outrage by Hindus against his producers and distributors. Indeed, most Hindus would be delighted that a white man has made a film about their country. After all, any attention from whites and the Western media—even of the most viciously negative sort—must be good!