‘Aren’t our slum people the best in the world?’

Tunku Varadarajan in The Times, London:

“Maybe it’s a result of 200 years of colonialism, but Indians are world champions at caring—really caring!—about what foreigners (more accurately, Westerners) think or say about them. They will live blithely with impressively foetid slums in their midst, thinking nothing of the juxtaposition of Victorian-era poverty and world-class, 21st-century living standards. But the national outrage stirred when a Western film-maker uses “slumdog” in the title of his film is an incandescent sight to behold.

“That foreigner’s neologism (“slumdog” doesn’t exist in real parlance in India, although gali ka kutta, or alley-dog, comes close) is thought to heap more shame on the land than the slums themselves. And yet when that same film, with that same neo-imperialist title, is fêted by tuxedoed Americans at an awards ceremony watched across the globe, Indians burst with pride.”

Read the full article: Aren’t our slum people the world’s best?

Also read: Why do we crave certificates from white men?