Dishonoring Honor

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Eight Oscars sound good and the jubilant and proud winners of Hollywood-Bollywood must be swollen with pride. Hearty congratulations to them!

The world of cinema through its whims and fancy has once again depicted the reality in which the evil of money is the nucleus of the entire world affairs.

Name, fame and money have been projected through Jamal ,the protagonist, in the film still run in the veins of the prospect competitors and makers of the films may be in search of an another fascinating and socially relevant topic. Eight Oscars winner ‘Slumdog Millionaire (SDM)’ is now the attraction of every cinema-goer. The first name of the film is a newly coined English word that refers to the protagonist Jamal (meaning beautiful/handsome). It is a film, which moves round a downtrodden sick and deprived society of the slum-dweller of Mumbai, ironically a place of fortune, the financial capital of capital where capital is everything and nothing else.

The city of Mumbai has been taken to a foreign land as set where the filming of a scene depicts Jamal who by all means tries to get the autograph of Amitabh Bachchan. He is successful in his endeavor only when he throws himself into human excreta. His passion for taking autograph does not spare him to think that his entire body is coated with such a dirt that gives him access to approach his star in a easy way, and virtually manages to meet him. What a plight of the dirtiest imagination of the director for a creation of scene in the film! Perhaps, even today, there are many country made toilets in India that has given an improvisation of an artistically conceived idea to the director of the film. Here, the Sulabh International has got a good chance to review its future program strategically.

The unfolding of harsh reality associated with Indian society is too painful, and too humiliating to talk about. Similar daily mis-happenings taking place somewhere in the world where one of them can be a fresh topic for making a film on the same pattern of SDM and can be cashed in the form of its artistic metamorphosis for the sake of entertainment of shameful deeds of a corrupt society where modern and civilized people are the witness and watching it with all hopes and pleasure and get themselves entertained. Will the maker of the film (SDM) make a film on Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman with a hope that how many Oscars it wins? It is just a suggestion and an artistic way of saying that too with all sincerity to unveiling the harsh and stinging reality of American society and mind-set. It might be a commercial smash for the British director Boyle.

The scene of blinding of about 14 years old boy in the film (SDM) does not appear to be more painful than the blinding scene of the aristocrat (The Earl of Gloucester nearly 80 the same age as the Lear) in Shakespeare’s King Lear. His eyes have been nailed live without making the victim unconscious. And the predicament of the character is that he wanders here and there and begs for help to be escorted to a place Heath, where he could commit suicide.

The paradoxical ‘darshan do Ghanshyamnath, mor-e ankhiyan payasi re (Be visible O Ghanshyamnath! My deliberate eyes are wet and waiting for you), in the film composed by a devout Hindi poet Surdas reminds the terrestrial sufferings of Jesus on the holy cross. The worst of cruelty takes out the eyes of the innocent child only because he recited with a soothing tone so that he could win the emotion of the passersby for good earning in the streets of Mumbai. This juxtaposition of the two conflicting minds of the modern society is a serious artistic landmark in the film.

Any way, Slumdog Millionaire is a grand success. It poses several questions. Its now up to the fast developing countries to answer. There must be a similar persona like Jamal in the war torn streets of Iraq and Palestine who might answer to the questions from the depth of his extreme of consciousness that too after unbearable sufferings of humanism of the modern era.


Madani Mohiuddin Ahmad, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Phone: 00966-542514538 (KSA), 0091- 9873503721 (New Delhi, India).

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