More recently, Bachchan, in a blog that sparked off the current round of controversy on India's poverty, voiced similar sentiments regarding Slumdog Millionaire. Bachchan seems to find the portrayal of India's poverty gross and distasteful, rather like cracking racist jokes in front of a racially disadvantaged person, or breaking wind at the dining table. Unpleasant things, like racism, flatulence and poverty do, regrettably, exist. But must we have the bad taste to discuss or exhibit them, more so when guests are present? Wouldn't it be better all around, more polite and socially correct, to pretend that these awkward things just don't exist? And of course if you can afford to donate Rs 50 lakh to a temple which you visit with your son and your 'manglik' daughter-in-law to be, when you make as much money if not more from commercial endorsements, including an ad for what is billed to be the world's most expensive suiting material, as you do from your movie roles, poverty must seem like a really insensitive joke or a particularly nasty expulsion of gastric wind.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
Some quotable rhetoric from Jug Suraiya in a recent editorial: