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Slumdog Protest

Jan. 23, 2009by:
With ten Oscar nominations and a strong favorite to capture best picture, SLUMDOG MILLIOANAIRE has everyone involved on cloud nine. But as these things often go, someone, somewhere is out to put a damper on their parade. The "someone" in question this time around, are the slum residents of Mumbai, India--where the story takes place--who claim that the word "slumdog" in the film's title is insulting. In anticipation of the film's Indian release, a number of Indian citizens have gone against the grain, and staged protests against the film's objectionable title.

A large portion of India does not share this sentiment, as the film has done much to promote the country and prominently features a variety of Indian actors in crucial roles. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy says that people shouldn't read too much into the title. "I just made up the word. I liked the idea. I didn't mean to offend anyone," he said.

I guess nobody likes being called a dog, except maybe Clifford, but really--I don;t quite get what all the fuss is about. Nicholas Almeida, a social activist who organized the protest, said he planned to file a lawsuit on Friday to get the name changed, which is just plain absurd. What are your thoughts on this--do the people of India have reason to cause such a furor, or are they just being sensitive little babies?

Extra Tidbit: The protest took place outside Anil Kappor's house, who plays the host of the game show in the film.
Source: Assoc. Press

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11:12AM on 01/27/2009
As a member if the middle class, white subarban neighborhood community, I am offended by Revolutionary Road. Yeah...not gunna work, so India, get over it, find another way to bring attention to your cause. Too many Americans and Europeans loved this movie and shit ain't gunna change. Sorry.

(I was kidding about being offended, I enjoyed the film.)
As a member if the middle class, white subarban neighborhood community, I am offended by Revolutionary Road. Yeah...not gunna work, so India, get over it, find another way to bring attention to your cause. Too many Americans and Europeans loved this movie and shit ain't gunna change. Sorry.

(I was kidding about being offended, I enjoyed the film.)
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2:59PM on 01/26/2009
"I am the future of India", I am assuming that that is all one family right there.
"I am the future of India", I am assuming that that is all one family right there.
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2:58PM on 01/26/2009
I could care less what these people think. The Indian population that watches primarily "Bollywood" films in our theaters are quite possibly the rudest people I've ever met on the planet.
I could care less what these people think. The Indian population that watches primarily "Bollywood" films in our theaters are quite possibly the rudest people I've ever met on the planet.
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2:05AM on 01/26/2009
Should they be offended?

Yes and no. The poverty-stricken population of India mostly consists of members of the Dalit caste, also known as "The Untouchables," humans so far down the caste list they are considered too unclean to even touch. It's a huge social issue in India that's been going on forever. Just recently those in poverty have been actively pursuing equal rights and priveledges, and have garnered much support from foreign countries for their cause. A popular film, to them, that
Should they be offended?

Yes and no. The poverty-stricken population of India mostly consists of members of the Dalit caste, also known as "The Untouchables," humans so far down the caste list they are considered too unclean to even touch. It's a huge social issue in India that's been going on forever. Just recently those in poverty have been actively pursuing equal rights and priveledges, and have garnered much support from foreign countries for their cause. A popular film, to them, that sort of hones in on their current state could seem like the proverbial bitch slap and become fodder for the more elite castes to use against them...but at the same, it's a friggin movie and I'm sure most of these protestors (much like the mentally challenged protestors of Tropic Thunder and blind protestors of Blindness) didn't even see the movie. They just see the title, hear about one or two scenes and get all uppity. While I personally support the cause of the poverty-stricken Indians (I plan on traveling their soon to volunteer with a Dalit organization), I honestly believe the film is more for them then against them. If they'd just watch the movie instead of waiting for the 4-hour musical version to come out they'd probably be more understanding.
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7:24AM on 01/25/2009
It's absurd, but hardly surprising. This is part of a larger worldwide social trend that we constantly encourage by allowing people to think that their being offended should matter to the rest of us.
It's absurd, but hardly surprising. This is part of a larger worldwide social trend that we constantly encourage by allowing people to think that their being offended should matter to the rest of us.
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9:51PM on 01/24/2009
MICRIX861

Well I was in India for 21 yrs, until I came here last here.And nowhere do i think the poor people are called "Achooth".. Untouchability was a caste status and not related to the economic condition.. the fact that in the old times the backward castes were the poor people doesnt mean it is so now.I belong to what is now termed as "OBC- Other backward castes" ..Anyway.. lets not bicker abt technicalities.. I agree theres no respect for poor people in India.

- Savyasachi
MICRIX861

Well I was in India for 21 yrs, until I came here last here.And nowhere do i think the poor people are called "Achooth".. Untouchability was a caste status and not related to the economic condition.. the fact that in the old times the backward castes were the poor people doesnt mean it is so now.I belong to what is now termed as "OBC- Other backward castes" ..Anyway.. lets not bicker abt technicalities.. I agree theres no respect for poor people in India.

- Savyasachi
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7:28PM on 01/24/2009

Q & A

Based on the book "Q & A". If they had a problem with the title they should have complained about it when it was adapted.
Based on the book "Q & A". If they had a problem with the title they should have complained about it when it was adapted.
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2:44PM on 01/24/2009

the actors house?!?

if they really had the protest outside of the teenage actors home-- what unbelievable a-holes....
if they really had the protest outside of the teenage actors home-- what unbelievable a-holes....
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2:34PM on 01/24/2009
This is almost as bad as that city in Turkey, called Batman, that was sueing the dark knight. I don't even remember why, but it was ridiculous.
This is almost as bad as that city in Turkey, called Batman, that was sueing the dark knight. I don't even remember why, but it was ridiculous.
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2:00PM on 01/24/2009

Well Savyasachi...

I mentioned the people living in slums as untouchables because that's what they are referred to as by the community. I was born and raised in India for 16 years and I have seen all that. Trust me, if you think racism is still a issue in US, you have no idea about the problems in India. You saw how jamal got kicked in the face while the Americans embraced him, that's pretty much how it is.

I am just really happy for this movie and the recognition it has received.
I mentioned the people living in slums as untouchables because that's what they are referred to as by the community. I was born and raised in India for 16 years and I have seen all that. Trust me, if you think racism is still a issue in US, you have no idea about the problems in India. You saw how jamal got kicked in the face while the Americans embraced him, that's pretty much how it is.

I am just really happy for this movie and the recognition it has received.
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1:02PM on 01/24/2009

DUE CREDIT...

Let's cut the people of India some slack. Looking at those photos alone will tell you that 90% of those people aren't even taking the protest seriously. The fact is the people who live in those slums probably don't give a shit what the movie is called. It's always the case of some upper-level activist that really has nothing better to do than protest at a movie. He gets the people riled up, he feeds them crap about how 'Hollywood has labeled them with blatant insults', and unfortunately these
Let's cut the people of India some slack. Looking at those photos alone will tell you that 90% of those people aren't even taking the protest seriously. The fact is the people who live in those slums probably don't give a shit what the movie is called. It's always the case of some upper-level activist that really has nothing better to do than protest at a movie. He gets the people riled up, he feeds them crap about how 'Hollywood has labeled them with blatant insults', and unfortunately these people listen to said activist and protest. Half of them are children who just want to be there for the sake of being there. I am in no way downplaying their situation but a movie labeling them wrongly is the least of their wories right now. They're just protesting innocently because of how information is fed to them from only one side of the tale.
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12:07PM on 01/24/2009
The film shows how one can rise from the slums and be more than what they can be. Like many of you said, I didn't find what the movie offensive or insulting at all. I mean I'm not Indian but my family is from central america and while the cultures are very different, the scenes in where Jamal and Malik are young growing up in the slums reminded me of what i saw when i visited Nicaragua years ago. I didn't find it insulting and rather informative and it just how more difficult it was for the
The film shows how one can rise from the slums and be more than what they can be. Like many of you said, I didn't find what the movie offensive or insulting at all. I mean I'm not Indian but my family is from central america and while the cultures are very different, the scenes in where Jamal and Malik are young growing up in the slums reminded me of what i saw when i visited Nicaragua years ago. I didn't find it insulting and rather informative and it just how more difficult it was for the authorities to believe the lead about his performance in the show. I think after the film wins Best Picture, the people won't care.
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11:36AM on 01/24/2009
Well as I said before there's always a set of people on the lookout for things to take offense for. There have been protests against some Indian films too,and for the most trivial of matters.From an actor (Amitabh Bacchan) wearing shoes while reciting a holy Hindu prayer to a film about Lesbians that was against "our culture" . But then there were protests against the whole "Simple Jack " thing from Tropic Thunder too. But as we all know those people were in the minority as they are in the
Well as I said before there's always a set of people on the lookout for things to take offense for. There have been protests against some Indian films too,and for the most trivial of matters.From an actor (Amitabh Bacchan) wearing shoes while reciting a holy Hindu prayer to a film about Lesbians that was against "our culture" . But then there were protests against the whole "Simple Jack " thing from Tropic Thunder too. But as we all know those people were in the minority as they are in the case of Slumdog. So lets not take this out of proportion (as these protesters have) and accuse little old India of not being a sport.
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10:34AM on 01/24/2009
Well, with the number of poor people in that country, they probably are the future.

Also, those kids in the picture look like they want to be there as much as the Iranians that the Iranian Gov forces into the streets to take those famous hate pics.
Well, with the number of poor people in that country, they probably are the future.

Also, those kids in the picture look like they want to be there as much as the Iranians that the Iranian Gov forces into the streets to take those famous hate pics.
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8:17AM on 01/24/2009
"do the people of India have reason to cause such a furor, or are they just being sensitive little babies?"

I have to agree with you there. after watching the film, i found nothing offensive about it at all? I guess Indian moviegoers just like to take things out of proportion.
"do the people of India have reason to cause such a furor, or are they just being sensitive little babies?"

I have to agree with you there. after watching the film, i found nothing offensive about it at all? I guess Indian moviegoers just like to take things out of proportion.
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3:49AM on 01/24/2009

Offensive?

How is it offensive? It's the "villans" of the film that use the term "slumdog". The movie is about someone proving they are better than what other people think. It's the opposite of offensive. If the movie was called "All Indian's are dirty idiots" then I could understand the protests.
How is it offensive? It's the "villans" of the film that use the term "slumdog". The movie is about someone proving they are better than what other people think. It's the opposite of offensive. If the movie was called "All Indian's are dirty idiots" then I could understand the protests.
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2:58AM on 01/24/2009

It's just a title.

We should bomb them.............
We should bomb them.............
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1:48AM on 01/24/2009
Please don't think that the whole of the country is up in arms against the film. Its just that there's always some people out there who just cant be satisfied. Look at all the good the films done. A.R.Rahman's the first Indian to win a golden Globe and may even win an Oscar (fingers crossed)
As an Indian I believe the film portrays the slums correctly but thats the thing, its only the slums. Like any city in the world there are the shanty parts and the good parts.
Micrix861 , dude what
Please don't think that the whole of the country is up in arms against the film. Its just that there's always some people out there who just cant be satisfied. Look at all the good the films done. A.R.Rahman's the first Indian to win a golden Globe and may even win an Oscar (fingers crossed)
As an Indian I believe the film portrays the slums correctly but thats the thing, its only the slums. Like any city in the world there are the shanty parts and the good parts.
Micrix861 , dude what century are you living in? "Untouchables" ?? seriously is that how you view the destitute??
But yeah if you translate "Slumdog" - ChoppadPatti Ka Kutta - it would definitely be offensive.
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11:54PM on 01/23/2009
The pastor at my high school did something similar. He petitioned to change the lyrics of Joan Osbourne's hit from "What if God was one of us -- just a slob like one of us..." to "What if God was one of us -- just a friend like one of us...". Of course, doing so would have underminded the entire point of the song.

As it was then, so is it now.
The pastor at my high school did something similar. He petitioned to change the lyrics of Joan Osbourne's hit from "What if God was one of us -- just a slob like one of us..." to "What if God was one of us -- just a friend like one of us...". Of course, doing so would have underminded the entire point of the song.

As it was then, so is it now.
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11:07PM on 01/23/2009

Actually

When translated in Hindi, its pretty much a term used for the untouchables living on the streets or the slums, so yeah it is offensive.

Being a Indian myself, I thought it was an accurate portrayal of India where slums resides among the multimillion dollar hotels and mansions.
When translated in Hindi, its pretty much a term used for the untouchables living on the streets or the slums, so yeah it is offensive.

Being a Indian myself, I thought it was an accurate portrayal of India where slums resides among the multimillion dollar hotels and mansions.
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10:48PM on 01/23/2009
BAAAWWWWWW
BAAAWWWWWW
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8:37PM on 01/23/2009

why don't they

see the movie before they bash it as hatred
see the movie before they bash it as hatred
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7:34PM on 01/23/2009
It's the title of a damn movie. Get over it.
It's the title of a damn movie. Get over it.
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7:32PM on 01/23/2009

Really...Really...

As we all know a name doesn't make a movie. Nor does the marketing or the credits or any other peice of text provided to sell the movie. The Movie makes the movie, and new name or old name, this movie still kicks ass. So let em' bitch...I mean look at that picture...over half the protesters are kids who look like they don't know what the hell is going on in the first place.

Riduclous India...Ridiculous
As we all know a name doesn't make a movie. Nor does the marketing or the credits or any other peice of text provided to sell the movie. The Movie makes the movie, and new name or old name, this movie still kicks ass. So let em' bitch...I mean look at that picture...over half the protesters are kids who look like they don't know what the hell is going on in the first place.

Riduclous India...Ridiculous
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7:06PM on 01/23/2009
Actually there was an uproar in Kazickstan about Borat and it was at least in the papers and news over here in the UK. This is a stupid protest made up of about 12 people and if they did some research they would know the film crew actually filmed in the Slums they live in and actually show the area in an effectionate light.
Actually there was an uproar in Kazickstan about Borat and it was at least in the papers and news over here in the UK. This is a stupid protest made up of about 12 people and if they did some research they would know the film crew actually filmed in the Slums they live in and actually show the area in an effectionate light.
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7:05PM on 01/23/2009

Trendkill24hour

Trendkill24hour,the Kazakhstan government did a number of things to counteract the image of their country. For example, they ran ads in the NY Times.

[link]
Trendkill24hour,the Kazakhstan government did a number of things to counteract the image of their country. For example, they ran ads in the NY Times.

[link]
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6:43PM on 01/23/2009
Maybe they should see the film before deciding to protest.
Maybe they should see the film before deciding to protest.
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6:42PM on 01/23/2009
i'm guessing the people might have had a problem with his interpretation but it was nto fully covered as it is in india.. ESPECIALLY since Slumdog Millionaire is actually an oscar worthy peice of film history and Borat is a lazy mans wet-dream of a film. Granted it was friggin hilarious.. it's like comparing apples to oranges...
i'm guessing the people might have had a problem with his interpretation but it was nto fully covered as it is in india.. ESPECIALLY since Slumdog Millionaire is actually an oscar worthy peice of film history and Borat is a lazy mans wet-dream of a film. Granted it was friggin hilarious.. it's like comparing apples to oranges...
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6:21PM on 01/23/2009
how come people in Kavistan didnt make a big deal for Borat, but yet this harmless movie with a silly little name in a title is causing such big controversy....come on, they need to let it go!
how come people in Kavistan didnt make a big deal for Borat, but yet this harmless movie with a silly little name in a title is causing such big controversy....come on, they need to let it go!
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