Writing in Dawn about Slumdog Millionaire, Arundhati Roy says:
That’s what Slumdog Millionaire is selling: the cheapest version of the Great Capitalist dream in which politics is replaced by a game show, a lottery in which the dreams of one person come true while, in the process, the dreams of millions of others are usurped, immobilizing them with the drug of impossible hope (work hard, be good, with a little bit of luck you could be a millionaire).
The pundits say that the appeal of the film lies in the fact that while in the West for many people riches are turning to rags, the rags to riches story is giving people something to hold on to. Scary thought. Hope, surely, should be made of tougher stuff. Poor Oscars. Still, I guess it could have been worse. What if the film that won had been like Guru – that chilling film celebrating the rise of the Ambanis. That would have taught us whiners and complainers a lesson or two. No?
The logical conclusion of this is that we urgently need a media blackout of Arundhati Roy. If a mere fictional movie about sudden runaway success is so scary, imagine how bad her real life story is. She too used to live in slums and then she won the Booker Prize with her debut novel. Now she is so rich and successful that her bank puts her in the list of its top twenty five forex remittance customers, along with major exporting corporations. Imagine how much impossible hope that is filling aspiring writers with. For god’s sake, she could be responsible for creating Chetan Bhagat or Tuhin Sinha.