Wednesday, February 4, 2009


There is probably a reason why "Chai Pani etc" had to face 7 months of censorship before it could be released in India, while "Slumdog Millionaire" hasn't faced any such issue in India.
In "Chai Pani etc", the dirt and poverty of the children isn't "milked" for its emotional power, but is framed in a particular setting (the images of poor rag pickers are seen in TV bureaucrat's office), in order to show, how a byzantine bureaucracy's refusal to allow the showing of the plight of poor children in slums on indian televesion, is linked to a much wider "culture of corruption", sloth and denial. Unlike "Slumdog" which thoroughly discredits whatever pretense it may have had regarding its relevance to the real world, because of its unlikely and predictable "fairy tale" second half, Chai Pani etc follows through, in a comic satirical tone, to the very end without blinking, by linking the low level bureaucrat's chai pani (bribe and nepotism) to that of the political system.

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