I was proud when Slumdog Millionaire was announced as the winner for best movie at this year’s Academy Awards this past Sunday. For anyone that hasn’t seen this movie yet. GO WATCH IT. RIGHT NOW! I’ll wait.

(2 hours later)…

Now, aren’t you glad you listened to me? Wasn’t that just an amazing movie? I’ll be honest; it’s become one of my all time favorite movies. It’s so well done. The story line is original and different. What a different twist to a love story. 

Now I’ll admit, the movie resonated with me more so because of the fact that I was born in India and have lived in Mumbai and even though I left for Canada at 7, I do visit the homeland every few years. It also made me proud as an Indian to see a movie based in India about Indians win the best movie award. In fact, many Indians I know we’re very proud of the fact that Slumdog won. Personally, I loved the movie for the story, and the best part, NO DAMN SONGS. I’m sure that pissed off a lot of Indians. EAT ME! 

After the Academy Awards I was speaking with eyebleaf from Sports And The City. Now he brought up a very good point. Why are so many Indians so gung ho about the fact that Slumdog won? Why is it such a big deal? I started to think about it. It hit me, Indians were just proud of the fact that they were recognized by the western world. I’m sure most Indians haven’t even seen the movie but were probably rejoicing just to see something Indian in the spotlight and being raved about. Now anyone who’s seen the movie knows that the movie, while being an inspirational love story, doesn’t really show many positives about India, or Indian culture.

In reality the movie shows what’s still wrong with India. The divide between Muslims and Hindu’s that live in India, the riots and killings that are religiously motivated, the social divide, the immense poverty. Trust me; you haven’t seen real poverty till you’ve visited the slums in India. How corrupt the police and upper class can be. The fact that so many orphaned children have to rob and steal just to feed themselves. The movie brings all these issues to light and Indians are walking around so proud that Slumdog won the Oscar just for the fact that it was Indian and no other reason.

I’m glad Slumdog won the Oscar because I thought it was the best movie, but I’m definitely no longer proud of the fact that the movie won because it was Indian.  It shows all that is still wrong with my homeland. There is still so much to fix in India. So much work still to be done, yet the Indian government doesn’t care. Indians, why are you proud of Slumdog? What about that movie makes you proud? Are you honestly sitting there and telling me you’re proud that people still get killed because of their religious affiliation? Are you proud of the fact that the police and government are so corrupt? Are you proud of the fact that there is so much poverty? Does it make you proud that so many children have to rob and steal just to so they can have food once a week? This is what you’re proud about? That sickens me. It hurts my heart.

How about we as Indians focus on having the government fix all these issues. Then maybe in the future we can be more proud of the fact that we rid our beautiful homeland with a rich culture of these travesties rather than be proud that the western world gave us an award for a movie. How about the rich start helping the poor and bridge the gap. Gandhi showed our people that no one had the right to tell us we were beneath them, and yet we turn around and do the same thing to our own people. 

It just saddens me.