Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is a slumdog birthday cake not the real poverty porn?

India's Bollywood elite turned out in force for a 60th birthday bash in the Juhu area of western Mumbai on Saturday night.

The birthday girl in question, Shabana Azmi, is almost as old as independent India, having been born just three years after the British Raj ended.

She comes from a prominent Muslim family: her father was a well-known poet and her husband, Javed Akhtar, is Bollywood's best-known lyricist and a member of the upper house of parliament. For the last two decades at least Shabana Azmi has been noted for her social activism.

Controversially, she starred in the 1996 film Fire, as a middle-class Delhi housewife having a sexual relationship with her sister-in-law. Rightwing Hindus were up in arms about it: her character was called Sita (also the name of a Hindu goddess) and to them a Muslim playing a lesbian woman called Sita was – well – a bit too much to digest.

But back to the birthday party. Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood's biggest star and eight years Ms Azmi's senior, sent out a series of tweets as the festivities progressed. Here they are, in order. The last one reveals the reason for this article.

Full report here Guardian

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