Of Slumdogs, Doxosophers, and the (In)Dignity of Labour(ers)
14 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020
Date Written: September 30, 2009
This paper seeks to critique the majority opinion among Indian and Indian origin intellectuals who largely criticized the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' for what was seen as a stereotypical portrayal of poverty and slums. Instead I seek to read the film in a different way based on research on urban aspirations and mobility in Mumbai.The paper adopts a more Ambedkarite perspective in understanding issues of labour, poverty, and social change in urban India within a larger context of global flows. The paper uses the Ambedkarite perspective in critiquing conventional academically oriented marxist, liberal, and post-modernist critiques of Slumdog Millionaire. In the process it attempts to generate a more nuanced view of the role of market forces and India's new service economy in transforming the caste and status determined opportunity structure in urban India.
Keywords: India, slumdog millionaire, urban, aspirations, poverty
JEL Classification: A14, B14, D11, I30, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation