Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Preity Zinta barks at Slumdogs

Preity Zinta is obviously in the mood to shoot her mouth off these days. Her latest salvo, published in today's Hindustan Times includes some choice bits about the condition of Bombay:
"We should forget about national identity cards... we should have Mumbai identity cards with finger prints and eyes scanned so that no extra people come into the city."
I can see it now. Our police, who have failed to create a manageable fingerprint database of hardened criminals, go around with biometric scanners, arresting Indian citizens for moving around in their own country. Should they arrest Zinta herself, who was brought up in Simla? Or Shahrukh Khan, who grew up in Delhi; or Amitabh Bachchan, born in Allahabad? Or should there be a cut-off point to regularise migrants like there is for slums?
It is those slums that have got Zinta so worked up. She isn't against migrants like herself and Shahrukh; it's the proles in the shanties she despises:
"At this point, I also would like to mention that it breaks my heart when I see what small-minded politicians have made out of Mumbai. Obviously, slums exist because they are looked upon as vote banks. Really, people of Mumbai should wake up and slap those who’re creating vote banks."
And here I was, believing slums had something to do with millions of people in the countryside who are so desperately poor they're willing to move to cities and brave sub-human conditions in order to scrape together a living. But let me not interrupt:
"There’s congestion.. and we have to wake up every morning to see garbage being dumped outside our windows... But look.. I’m getting carried away. Let’s talk about diamonds.. cream.. chocolates.. wines and sweet sweet things."
Nasty slumdogs, taking Preity's mind off diamonds, chocolates and wine.

1 comment:

Jabeen said...

I remember an argument I had with a 'socially conscious' college mate years ago. She was complaining about some people living on the footpath outside her highrise: "they're spoiling our footpath." Like, the building is hers, but how does it become her footpath? That's public space which belongs to every citizen. The pavement dweller has as much right to it as her, and if she wants to take it over, it makes her as much of an encroacher.