I found Slumdog Millionaire to be a curious film. It comes from the emergence of "Bollywood" in India, and it exposes the contradictions of the worldview prevailing in the region, which has perpetuated the caste system. This film is about the human struggle at the bottom of the caste system. When Americans see this film, they are dismayed by the oppression, but the caste system is an integral part of society in this part of the world where Hinduism reigns. In our society we start to adopt postmodern values which consider all religions equally valid, but we contradict ourselves when we are offended by the oppression we see in this caste system.
What would it look like if we had a lower class like the "untouchables" in India here in the United States; a class of people who deserved only the most menial jobs? What would it be like to be able to clean the toilet only for a living? Then your children follow you in your trade. If they are trying to find a better job, like becoming a teacher or a nurse, they are first asked what their caste is. It would be intolerable in our country. We just didn't allow it. However, there are many who validate Hinduism in the name of "tolerance". But how can these two contradictory values coexist without compromising our own values? This is an important question.
There are an increasing number of “Dalits” who have converted to Christianity despite the “anti-discrimination” laws that the Indian government has adopted to compensate for their discrimination. When they convert to Christianity, they lose their "benefits" under these laws, which puts them in a state of extreme poverty. Thus, these 25 million more secret Christians claim to be Hindus in public to avoid persecution. India is considered a democracy, but without one of the basic tenants of a democracy, freedom of religion.
This is what the character of Jamal comes up against in this film Slumdog Millionaire. Going on a TV show to win a million dollars to win the heart of a woman above her caste is considered a crime. However, it looks like it is Mulsim, I am not sure. This should remind us that we are doing pretty well here in America. We have built a country based on a Judeo-Christian worldview, and although there are still those living in relative poverty, it is difficult to find someone who lives as the "untouchables" in India. Instead of our poor being irritated by the rich and demanding reparations of our government, they had better think about what they have and what is really important in life. They must recognize that there are opportunities available to them that they cannot see without help. Our rich could be more generous by helping the poor more to help them figure out how to get out of poverty. We are not counting on our government to do it for us. It fits with the worldview we have in the United States.
So, while the economic growth in India is impressive and gives birth to a new version of Hollywood, the world view of society is heading towards a crisis of contradiction. As more light is shed on Indian society, more questions will arise about the worldview of Hinduism and will strengthen American values as people flee to the United States for a better life. We hope that we will preserve these values and not let emerging "postmodern" ideas try to destroy what we have built and integrate worldviews that allow for destructive ideas like the Indian caste system. At the same time, perhaps we can learn from what we see here, and remember the foundations of our values as a country that we take for granted and true, only when we trust God and not money. or in political power, we build a healthier and stronger society.