ArpitGarg's Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘slums

Scams are good

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A leading newspaper carried a story about petition filed by a multi-millionaire 2G accused, asking for a prison cell with less dust and less heat. Apparently he had some health issues as his lawyer pointed out. There were other stories carried out in media about how 2G and CWG VIP detainees were unhappy with the conditions in the prison and have even taken it up with the authorities.

I for one support their demands. In fact in Hinduism, paap-dhona as it is called, this might just be the deed, which would absolve them of their sins. Let me explain, how.

A while ago, a friend forwarded me an e-mail. There were images of a lovely place. It looked like an awesome hotel. Plush rooms, lavish swimming pool, scenic surrounding and appealing facilities. I needed to identify it. As always, I scrolled to the answer directly; was amazed to find out that it was a state penitentiary in Australia.

It was in stark contrast with its Indian counterparts. But given the condition of our slums, when even free people are forced to live in dire conditions, how can the jailed ones be treated any better. Lobbying for better facilities for so called criminals and thugs will only attract bad publicity, given the problems free citizens face day-to-day. Hence no one has ever shown enough courage to take an initiative.

Maybe with these powerful people, our jails are in for a much needed makeover. As they say, “Every ill has its benefits”. These scams might just be the positive catalyst needed for making our prisons a better place.

Written by arpitgarg

June 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Slumdog: An air of million criticism

with 2 comments

A lot has been written and discussed about Slumdog Millionaire. Much like the Obama wave it seems engulfing us all.

From the day it was nominated for the Golden Globe there have been extreme views. So much so that a war seems waged between the for and the against. The criticism more or less seems to follow two schools of thought discussed below.

First one rues the exploitation of poor India for money by the west. More like the East India Company reloaded. Westerners have been accused to revel at the mockery of Indian poverty. As Arindam Chaudhary writes, “Slumdog is a phony poseur that has been made only to mock India for the viewing pleasure of the First World”. The naked poverty of India might be self pleasing to the people of the West, given the time of depression. According to Amitabh Bacchan such underbellies do exist even in the developed nations. This is just a Western production and hence the recognition. These people have launched an offense against the team of the movie, western media and finally the whole of the western world.

The other school of thought is pretty much the same as far as the murky portrayal of Mumbai is concerned. The difference lies in how they are affected. People are worried about the answers they would need to give and ridicule they would be subjected to when they travel abroad the next time. As Preity Zinta says, “Now for the next 10 years of my life every time I travel abroad, I will be told, Oh, you live in Mumbai…where they gouge out eyes in the slums.”

One point missing here is, Does anybody care about the poverty and feel for the slum dwellers? Or it’s just the poverty in limelight which is itching the eyes. At first the movie was applauded. Then the criticism followed. Then there was criticism of the people criticizing the movie. “Isn’t that (poverty and slums) a reality”, says Shahrukh Khan. It would not be long when there would be people who would criticize the people criticizing who criticized the movie. Now, how much of criticism would that be!

Written by arpitgarg

January 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm

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