Channel 4 and its Love Affair with the Slums of Mumbai

OK…at first when I saw a bunch of  Indians (and cows) getting out of a truck in their various outfits, holding variety of props…I had my doubts of how this Indian winter would turn out on Channel 4 and wallahh….it’s lived up to my expectations. It’s totally crap!!! What’s with channel 4 and its love affair with slums. Gimme a break but India is not all slums and stray dogs. I am not saying channel 4 should not show the slums at all, but I guess one program should’ve been enough. But no, the season started off with Slumdog Millionaire the movie, and then Kevin McCloud Slumming It, and Slumdog Secret Millionaire with Seema Sharma and The Slumdog Children of Mumbai. There’s just one show that appealed to me in this season and that is Gordon Ramsay’s The Great Escape. Watched the first episode yesterday and I really liked it. His trip to Lucknow and his meeting with the really old muslim chef (whose name I cannot remember now) was fantastic…and the biriyani…wow!

But enough with the slums already! India is not all slums and open drains and cows roaming about on the roads. There is so much more. Discovering Indian food is a step in the right direction. It is so diverse. Every state has its own cuisine. Classical dance of India, like its food, is unique to the states. The history of India is immense. The architecture of India does not end with the Taj Mahal…there is so much more…like Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, Sun Temple in Orissa, the Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad just to name a few.

We really don’t need Kevin McCloud and Seema Sharma slumming it out for us to understand the problems of the slum dwellers. Though I really appreciate what they are doing…I think most of us already know that dreadful conditions these people live in. It is good if we can help but please please do not portray India as a country of slums. If you cannot resist, then at lease show some positives along with the negatives. I think Slumdog Millionaire did its jobs well when it comes to slums and Mumbai. We do not need anymore!!

A Woman Among Warlords

…..a Woman Among Warlords follows the campaign of a woman running in Afghanistan’s first democratic parliament election in more than 30 years. 27 year-old Malalai Joya, one of the country’s most famous (and controversial) women since 2003 challenged the power of warlords in national politics. Forced to live in hiding and surrounded by armed guards, Joya conducts her parliamentary campaign in the remote desert province of Farah, the heart of poverty in Afghanistan. Despite death threats and assassination attempts, Joya continues to meet with clan leaders, opium kings, and adolescent girls pressured to marry older men. Six years after a U.S.-led coalition overthrew the Taliban, WIDE ANGLE provides unique insight into the politics and culture of a nation almost ruined by war, still ruled by fear, but desperate for change. A Woman Among Warlords is the television version of the celebrated documentary Enemies of Happiness, a film by Danish director Eva Mulvad……

Pic Courtesy of http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/graphics

I watched this documentary on More4 couple of days ago and had been wanting to write about it. We came back after watching Mongol. It was 11 PM…our bedtime. I still had some last minute stuff to sort out when I switched on the tv. I put a reminder for this particular show and was glad I didn’t miss it. The documentary finished at 12.20 AM and both of us were wide awake and S usually dozes off by 10.

There were tears rolling down my eyes. We watched the documentary in awe of the woman, Malalai Joya. Often, we are not grateful for what we have and who we are and this documentary makes us realise just how blessed we are.

It’s true…when the going gets tough…only the tough get going and Malalai Joya is a fine example of this. She is all of 29 and dreams of a better future for her country. In a male-dominated society, she is fearless, strong and out-spoken. She is the voice of thousands of Afghani women who lead a life if desperation…in search of justice and hope. Inspite of innumerable death threats…she still fights for her and the rights of other Afghani women and children. 

I RECOMMEND EVERYONE TO WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY. NOT JUST WOMEN. IT’S AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY FOR ALL.