Friday, January 23, 2009

TCP Toon: Slumdog Millionaire Protest

Friday, January 23, 2009 Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

Slumdog Millionaire will release on 23rd January and it has started generating some controversy, first it was Amitabh Bachchan’s comments and now there is a Hindu right-wing group that is protesting about some scenes. Predictably, many of us will call this nonsense and probably an equal number will slam the film for these scenes and more.

Slumdog Millionaire is an insult to all hindus and must be stopped. A Christian Man has made a film showing Hindus attacking Muslims, he has shown our Bhagwan Ram in the dirtiest of places, A Muslim Slum and Hindus have been portrayed negatively. It is a Christian/Muslim conspiracy against Hindus.Aakraman.

The scene in question is one where a Hindu mob attacks a Muslim locality, the character of Ram shown in the riots as Jamal and Salim run for their lives.

I have no issues with what was shown in the film, there were some scenes I could not handle. To me, it's a film and no one is forcing us to watch it. But I have a question.

What if Muslims had been shown as attacking Hindus and a symbol of Islam had been prominently displayed in the scene? Every Muslim organization would have protested, a Fatwa would have been issued in Danny Boyle's name, the film would have been banned by , the list is endless. Would Danny Boyle have even dared to make a film with that storyline? I don’t think so.

However, the Government must make sure that this film is screened without any incidents. And show the same resolve in screening a film where Muslims or Christians are shown in a manner that they don't agree with. Protests are fine, every section of society has a right to express itself. But they must be willing to take responsibility for the impact of their expression and respect the rights of other sections as well.

I will leave you with this quote from an article in the International Herald Tribune

"The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance"

Have fun watching the film, it’s a good film although not as great as it’s made out to be.

UPDATE: There are more protests. The first one was actually a Tapeshwar Vishwakarma who filed a defamation suit. Slum dwellers are protesting against the title of the film here. I think pigs and mosquitoes are going to protest too – Why not Slumpig or Slumachhar?

UPDATE: Key people are still missing in action. It seems like they are busy threatening the owner of Karachi Sweets to rename his shop (thanks for the tip dustedoff) Apparently, a huge MNS rally is being planned in Thane (near Bombay) and they are likely to pass the shop. And the police has suggested that the shop owner rename the shop to “Mumbai Sweet House”.

18 comments:

Cloudy said...

Whoooooooooooooooo first!

Very pertinient question - how about a TCPToon around that?

dustedoff said...

Hmm...that's an interesting post. I haven't got around to seeing Slumdog Millionaire yet, though it's definitely on the agenda.
The latest rant seems to be for the Karachi sweetshop in Mumbai, which the MNS has issued a notice to, asking the owner to change the name... taking things a bit far, I think.

The Comic Project said...

@cloudy: Too many ideas, too much happening, too little time and even fewer skills to execute the ideas. Not a satirist or a writer you see..But I think some event will trigger me off :-)
@dustedoff: Thanks for the tip, this is unbelievable. The Shiv Sena and its offspring have been a nuisance for a long time, and each time they take it one step further.

Toonfactory said...

I agree to your thoughts, felt the same while seeing the secens in the film. wrote something on my blog which might interest you...www.2nfactory.blogspot.com

The Comic Project said...

@toonfactory: Am looking forward to your review :-)

Anonymous said...

Very good thoughts....

I would have loved to say very balanced and apolitical as well....but the only thing i would disagree is when you say there would have been fatwas and all...

There have been many films with a hindu/muslim love story (mostly hindu boys and muslim girls, remember Bombay). Everyone have been fine with it and also on showing muslim mobs, you should see a train to Pakistan.

What i want to add to your comments is that India is a largely secular (this word has been badly damaged, i think purposefully by communalists). I cannot say this for any other country in the world at present.

samuncle said...

First of all, I would like to ask these fundamentalists, that whether they have even seen the film. I dont understand why people just cannt accept this movies as simply a crowd entertaining movie?Why they cannt just stop finding issues in the film to gain publicity?

Rahul Viswanath said...

I guess you should get a nomination in animation category ....... Lol !!

Another Kiran In NYC said...

hmmmmmmm
food for thought!
chomp chomp

Did I just eat all fascists... on all sides?

mmmmm... crunchy!

Burp!

The Comic Project said...

@anonymous: Thanks for considering it a balanced/apolitical view although while writing it, I almost thought this was a pseudo-secular post ;-) I do agree with your point on the Hindu boy/girl love story, but in the current context and the furore over the depiction of Prophet Mohammed with a Bomb in his turban a couple of years ago, you never know how people react. Salman Rushdie probably still has that Fatwa hanging over his head although Khomeini died years ago. The word "secular" has been exploited by everyone, the Congress and the Left and others have misused it to take people for a ride, while the BJP, RSS and the Right are trying to turn it into a four letter word, or rather trying to redefine it for their own benefit. Both are to blame leaving those in the "centre" nowhere to go. Other countries have official state religions but probably provide more protection to other religions and minorities than in India. But that is debatable.
@samuncle: This time it is not just fundamentalists but people all across the spectrum trying to make their point. Thankfully most of us are debating it, and only a few are out on the streets. Thanks for dropping by. You haven't been here before I think
@Rahul: LoL No. Thanks. I don't want people stoning my house ;-) But this is just an attempt to develop a narrative style. Hope it works out for me and for the readers.
@AKNYC: Would have burped but they all taste horrible!! :-) Too much intolerance, isn't it? Ice Age, Stone Age, Industrial Age and now this is the Age of Intolerance.

Rafiq Raja said...

Hi TCP, I agree that all these uproar is a cheap way to cash in on the popularity and attention generated by Media.

But have to contradict with your concept, that why Danny Boyle didn't have the guts to show the Mob attack, as vice versa.

It's generally a practice in any movie, to cash in on the overall belief or mathab shared in a community. So, we are expected to see these kind of scene depictions. With that said, I don't buy in any of the ideas what the others are throwing at it. For me, it is just a work of fantasy, and I won't take any meanings out of it, other than thinking how we could eradicate the poverty in the poor sects.

Rafiq Raja
ÇómícólógÝ

Ravija said...

The cartoon artist in Denmark drew a holy prophet. Compare that artist to mf hussain, who doesnt live in India because he is scared for his life after he drew our holy Gods in bad ways.

I am v. strict Hindu, but I dont agree what saffron brigade does. I havent seen Muslims protest how Al Qaeda are shown in films worldwide. These kind of films are out there EVERY DAY. it is not v. separate from Slumdog. THIS should be the comparison, because the Shiv Sena = Al Qaeda in any sane brain's eyes, including our Lord Ram and Ganesha.

It is movie, dont take v. seriously. As you have said yourself the same. Relax yaar. I seen the movie. TOo mind blowing, but only movie.

The Comic Project said...

@Comicology: I was particularly pointing towards a symbol of a religion being used in such scenes. I am not talking about the mob attack.
@Ravija: Being Hindu and being part of the Saffron Brigade are different things, but the lines are getting blurred because of some people. Luckily, there are more sensible people than senseless people around. as of now. Again, I was highlighting the "symbol". Other than painting everyone from a religion with the same brush, it gives these goons a pretext to misuse religion for personal and political gains, a reason to whip up emotions, drive people to do irrational things while they sit back and watch. Protesting against vandalism is summarily dismissed as liberal or pseudo-secular or that kind of shit, and voices of dissent are suppressed over a period of time. Until we start accepting that as a norm - not talking back is used as a sign of acceptance. It just keeps getting piled on.
I pointed out the difference in treatment for this reason.

Let's not dismiss such people (both Hindus and Muslims) as a bunch of crazies, they are very smart, more articulate than many of us will ever be, and know exactly how to draw a contrast, drive a wedge between people to further their interests. Their message resonates and at some level, they also seem to be great believers in one of Goebbels' quotes "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. "

inavda bhatt said...

Sorry comic project,
The way you try to drag muslims into everylittle things ,even where it is quite unwarrented , is simply PATHETIC.
You have clearly demonstrated yourself as Right wing fascist person who is galling enough to say that even though you have nothing against muslims but subtle ( some times very clear) tidbits are ALWAYS thrown into what ever topics you are discussing.

"What if Muslims had been shown as attacking Hindus and a symbol of Islam had been prominently displayed in the scene?"


Why is that necessary? why show a symbol of muslims? did muslims attack hindus during bombay riots? HELL NO. but siv sena hindus did massacre muslims and that's a fact which is shown in the movie because the lead actors ARE muslims and they escape hindu mobs and flee elsewhere.

IS that concept too difficult for you to understand that you have "just one question" ?

Not every one in the entertainment industry is out to appease hindus/muslims/christians etc.

What they are doing is film making. if you are so much embarrassed about scene of hindus attacking, do something about it. What happend in mangalore? about the rss goons beating upo ladies. is that your religion? sounds very talibanist to me. defend that. say something like " but they never show muslims attacking people on tv"

WTF? I had immense appreciation for you and your collection of phantom comics but that stop right here , right now.

The Comic Project said...

You seem to have made up your mind already :-)

The toon depicts frustration at how such incidents are misused by these manipulators. I am surprised you found fascism in it and in my opinion - subtle, direct, intended or not. Read my response in the previous comment and you will know where I am going with this.

My intention is to stir a debate that I think will take us a step closer to understanding the psyche of these mobs and those driving them. There is hypocrisy and bias in attitudes and media coverage, and that acts like fuel to this dangerous fire.

If direct comments make me look like a fascist, I can only try to represent my views better, but do not expect me to be politically correct.

Anyone or anything that threatens our liberty, our freedom, must be exposed - be it Sri Rama Sene in Mangalore or Muslim women who recently beat up a girl for having a Urdu tattoo on her back. My blood boils at the murder of Muslims in Gujarat and also the carnage at Godhra. Because human life and dignity has no value for these monsters.

The retaliation for perceived or real insults to religion is not new – Salman Rushdie, Theo Van Gogh, M.F.Husain. Now some Hindus want to mimic Muslims and project an image that will scare people away so that they can be undisputed bullies of Independent India and slowly throttle any form of dissent against them.

THAT..is fascism.

inavda bhatt said...

"Now some Hindus want to mimic Muslims and project an image that will scare people away "

Yeah, right sir!

This is exactly what I meant about having a right wing fascist mindset.

It' as if muslims have already projected image that scares away people.

Next time I meet my friend seeraj, I will to find how many people he manages to scare away.

BTW, you link gujrat riot with godhra carnage as if it was mulims who did the godhra carnage a a fact.

PLEASE.

if you are ignorant, that's not bad, many ARE( I am also ignorant about lots of stuff that happens around me) but please don't sound stupid.

TrailBlazer said...

Why is Mr. Inavda Bhatt so agitated? Face the reality dude, "Muslim fanatics" have terrorized the world. You need to wake up to reality brother, and if you ever get to read some of the fundamentalist teachings that are being spread throughout the Islamic world, you will be terrified by discovering their agenda.
Shiv Sena is no where close to the fundamentalist ideas of these fanatics but yes I do agree their presence itself is a disgrace to Hindu society.
Anyway, Mr. Bhatt, open your closet and get out of the crayon world you live in... it is more than a known fact that Godhra carnage was a pre-planned attack as per the findings of the Nanavati panel. Not every muslim is a terrorist... but unfortunately most terrorists are muslims.
TCP is right, Danny Boyle didn't have the fkin guts to show a similar scene from the other side of the wall.

~xgurl~ said...

I HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE ...

i do not see anything wrong with the movie because the movie have showed only the true scenario in India (PAST AND PRESENT SCENARIO). Muslims should not be ashamed of the movie. They should be proud of it coz it only depicted how strong their values and beliefs are.

Don't get agitated just because some parts of the movie were about the bad side about the Indian culture. Every country has a bad side! 3rd world countries have the same problems like them.. ugh! my bad! 1st and 2 world countries have too!..

For me, slumdog millionaire is a wonderful movie. Not only me would agree to that but also my fellow classmates, friends as well as my family. We are entitled to our own opinions and we should respect other people's point of view.

Before criticizing any movie.. make sure that you've already seen it.

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