Anybody with dim eyes and a dimmer wit would identify this picture. Are you wondering still ? its incredible India folks..!! The land of the Taj mahal, the dabbawalas, the biggest slum in Asia, the slumdog millionares and salam bombays….the setting which paradoxically makes millions in the west film and entertainment industry. The whole idea behind writing this article was a simple observation that since times I couldn’t walk, talk, read or write till this date, what has been the most famous face of India abroad has been its poverty, its crime, the complex relations between unemployment, corruption, population explosion and beurocracy proudly guarding the days of the Raj. Yes, for any artist it is a vast subject to be explored and portrayed in unimaginable and creative ways. But what happened to the ‘India shining’ part of the script ? we will soon be the nation that has the ,most number of poor people and the richest man in the world in the same country. Then why such ignorance towards the brighter side of the coin ? every nation has its own set of domestic troubles, but when they are represented to the international audience it is never their underlying malignancies that are highlighted, unlike us.
It hurts me as a photographer and a traveler when I see people, especially of the tourist kind happily clicking the poor and the stricken to go home and upload the pitiful face of incredible India. And it never stops. Yes, we are incredible and in more ways than one. I need not speak here about the progress we have made in past few decades, but I would be glad to see the perspective of outsiders towards India change as much and as rapidly as India actually is changing. Wake up people, we are not a nation of beggars and lepers and snake charmers anymore. How about documenting the rich culture, the educated and hard working urban India, the new young and polished face of India. Its success stories, its development, its passion for life in the face if adversities, its lightheartedness and humor ohh and yes, the next time someone wants to film a slum, better drop India from the list.