I know that Slumdog Millionaire was a good film, though it didn’t deserve to win that many Oscars, but I never thought it would encourage slum-fetishism.
Here’s some dude called Kevin McCloud in the Telegraph telling the government: ‘Forget eco-homes and look to the Mumbai slums‘.
“I’ve come back with a sense of renewed hope about how we can do that,” McCloud said. “If I have one message for developers and the Government, it’s to focus less on eco-housing and green buildings – because, frankly, we know how to do that. Let’s start focusing on the social stuff, on how we can make people happier.” His words are likely to dismay the Government, which is pressing ahead with the plans to build 10 sustainable â€œeco-townsâ€ by 2020.
No, actually the government probably isn’t dismayed because only a complete idiot would tell people they should think about living in slums than eco-towns. But I suspect this is more down to the Telegraph’s own agenda against ZaNuLabour and anything ‘eco’ related.
You know what won’t make people happier, Mr McCloud? 1 toilet for every 1400 people. No hospitals or public sanitation programmes. Typhoid, maleria and cholera. McCloud also brings women’s oppression into his praise of the slums: “Because women donâ€™t have huge kitchens, they rinse their pots in the street. That has to be the most civilised, sociable way of doing the washing-up â€“ outside in the sun, chatting to your neighbours.” Women engaging in arduous domestic labour in the streets; what a pretty picture indeed!
Do people even think before they write up these news stories or give these interviews?
Of the six programmes, four are somehow or the other based on slums. And the one film is Om Shanti Om. Ugh.
Damn straight. Now, I realise India has lots of slums but there’s no need to turn them into a fetish; there’s plenty more interesting stuff to the country. This just looks like cheap, lame programming. And there’s no need to start worshipping people who live in slums – 90% of them want to escape the poverty and live somewhere with proper sanitation.
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