Thursday, February 26, 2009

Slumdog - British dirty tricks?

Is Slumdog Millionaire another dirty trick by the British?

If you know a bit about the history of India, you will know the British instigated hostilities between Hindus and Muslims as a way to break up the independence movement using their time tested divide and rule strategy. This cynical ploy later led to the deaths of about 1.5 million people and the forced migration of about 20 million.

This movie was made by an Englishman who twisted the characters from original book to make the secular hero a Muslim and added in a large dose of persecution at the hands of Hindus.

Understandably the western audience is largely unaware of the realities of religious identity and secularism in India and will take this at face value. But reading the comments at various blogs and news sites you can see a clear polarization of opinions on this movie based on religion.

For example:

Here is an comment to an uninformed article by Barbara Crossette:

I am a 67-year-old ex-Indian. In 1946, when I was 4 years old, my paternal uncles, aunts and their families were massacred in cold blood, forty-eight in number in three small towns in Bihar: Telhara, Karai Perserai and Salarpur! The total death toll ran into thousands. In 1964 I personally escaped being thrown alive into an industrial furnace in the industrial city of Jamshedpur, the HQ of Tata Steel and other other heavy industries. On the same day the massacres started, similar massacres were conducted by Hindu "terrorists" in two other major industrial cities; Rourkela and Bhilai both in North East India like Jamshedpur! In 1964 the Kashmir "intifada" was two decades ahead. Osama bin Laden was in a primary school. It was 1965 when India "invaded" West Pakistan (now the only Pakistan remaining after India helped East Pakistan secede after another invasion by India). In 1964 the Kashmir cease-fire line was "quiet" in every sense of the word. Why then forced boiler crematoriums for the living? Because it was only in industrial cities like Jamshedpur an educated Indian Muslim like me could land a job on merit, like I had done.

In 1964, right after being saved by a Sikh colleague, I crossed the border into East Pakistan where I was welcomed as an unwanted refugee, but that's another story.
In 1965 I flew to Saudi Arabia after accepting the first overseas job I could land, and it here that I have lived, worked, married locally and raised kids who are now lecturers in Jeddah University.

Had the Hindu "terrorists" who are now being courted by the US allowed me to continue living and enjoying my "human, civil and citizen rights" in India, I wouldn't be sharing any "past hell" with you all!

Hindu "terrorism" is very much alive and getting healthier and stronger with every passing day.

syed salamah ali mahdi
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Is Ms. Crossette aware that the central character in the novel Q and A (on which Slumdog is based) is named Raj Mohammed Thomas? Despite the West's obsession with identity politics and revulsion at the caste system, religion/caste and identity have had a fluid nature in India--a point Vikas Kashyap, the author of Q and A, emphasized in naming the protagonist.

The primary reason for the backwardness of Muslims in India and indeed the world is their desire to shield and protect their women, thereby depriving them of opportunity. To read absurd subtexts can only be accomplished by an elite journalist who during her tenure in India predicted the coming disintegration of India with a confidence matched only by her colleague Judith Miller's on the presence of WMDs in Iraq.

Sumant Rawat
Pueblo , CO
02/24/2009 @ 7:18pm

Finally someone has notice and written about the pro-Muslim subtext of the film! The subtext is that Muslims in India are the victims of Hindus. This fits very well into the standard pro-Muslim line that Muslims are always victims--of Hindus, of Christians, of "colonialists," of Jews, you name it. Muslims are always victims.

Unfortunately, neither the author, Barbara Crosette, nor anyone else will tell you that Muslims slaughtered literally millions of Hindus when they invaded and conquered India centuries ago. The Hindus have a lot of pent up grievances against the Muslims in India--which, of course, does not justify the anti-Muslim pogrom portrayed in Slumdog Millionaire.

Abdul Ameer
Chicago, IL

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