I saw the movie, slum dog millionaire. This movie shows vividly the human depravity in all its nakedness. This is abundant in all societies and my country is no exception. Had the movie been made keeping only this in mind I would have rated this movie much higher than I did or do now. If you show filth and scum and try and vicariously titillate the audience [both Indian and western] and win plaudits for having done so, I don’t much care for it. This is one such movie and that it won so many awards shows that we want to hide behind the depicted shame and get some satisfaction by awarding the moviemakers who I am sure will not lift one little finger of theirs to improve the conditions of life depicted in the movie.
The much acclaimed novel, White Tiger, is more realistic but follows the same theme. Arvind Adiga, the author of this novel tries to bring the reality of India in this novel and he does a much better job than then the movie slum dog millionaire does. The writing style is also unique and one has to get used to his style to really appreciate the depth of the novel. The brutal reality of the unsuccessful India which we try to hide stands exposed in this book. It is a must read not because it is on the best sellers list and has won the award but for the realism.
Incidentally, Mr Sainath, journalist, writer and social activist and author of the much acclaimed book ‘everybody loves a draught’ has refused to accept the Padma Shri award by the Indian Government, befitting reply to the official hypocrisy, I thought.