Jai Ho!

Slumdog Millionaire

“Slum Dog Millionaire” sweeps eight Oscars accepting and recreating the genera of Hindi Films for an English speaking global audience. In his second acceptance speech(for Jai Ho!) Rahman said to a rapt audience “The essence of the film is about optimism and the power of hope. All my life I had a choice of hate or love. I chose love and I am here”

India has arrived when every one is talking of an Indian film. What makes this film special is nothing stopped the producer from making the film. When child actors could not be found, it was made using real life children to shape the characters. Credit was given when they deserved it and no pretences were made to make them something else than they were. The context and real life situation that was needed to make the film real was used. Every one who helped make the film was used to make it and duly acknowledged. It captured the city the way it was and the way it was not, with no-frills. Yet it was so optimistic and hopeful, for all those in the city who had no where to look.

It is this same exact solidarity and oneness that is the foundation on which the future of our cities is constructed. As years go by the number of Urban cities is going to rise in India, by 2020 we are expecting more than half our population to be urban. The first step is to register and identify who these communities are and start meeting them more regularly, so that there is a face and a name to the Resident Welfare Associations. The step in the right direction were the formation of Resident Welfare Association meetings with the municipal ward officials as the Chief Minister had initiated and put a structure to it.


Environmental anthropologist by training, been in the field for over 20 years, Gialome (pseudonym) is mainly concerned with the impacts of infrastructure and technology projects on local communities.

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