Of Slumdogs, Doxosophers, and the (In)dignity of Labour(ers)

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.

Full paper: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2096954