Advertisement

Psychological Studies

, 54:194 | Cite as

Salaam Slumdog! Personal and cultural trauma and restitution in the Mumbai slums

  • Alfred Collins
Original Article
  • 123 Downloads

Abstract

The film “Slumdog Millionaire” when viewed together with the earlier “Salaam Bombay!” penetrates into the cultural psychology of urban India, revealing continuity with traditional Indian esthetic theories and commonality with psychoanalytic self psychologies. In films where plot is secondary and character is everything, we are led deep into the essence of the heroes’ feelings and learn to appreciate how being loyal to affect points the way to selfhood. Both films explore the psyches of boys struggling to hold on to fundamental “blueprints” of selfhood in the face of environments which seem to deny them any chance of fulfillment. While “Salaam Bombay!” presents a tragic and depressive response to the trauma and deprivation of slum life, “Slumdog Millionaire” appears grandiose and manic. Beneath the surface, both films sustain faith that these children can and will find the families they need to flourish. While hope is deferred in “Salaam!” it is ultimately achieved in “Slumdog.”

Keywords

Deprivation Individual Karuna Narcissism Psychoanalysis Self 

References

  1. Collins, Alfred (2000). Dancing with Prakrti: the Samkhyan goddess as pativrata and guru. In Alf Hiltebeitel and Kathleen Erndl (Eds.) Is the goddess a feminist? The politics of south Asian goddesses. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Dumont, Louis (1985). Homo hierarchicus. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Freud, Sigmund (1914). On narcissism: an introduction. Collected Papers of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 4, 30–59.Google Scholar
  4. Gerow, Edwin (1974). In Edward C Dimmock, Jr., Edwin Gerow, C.M. Naim, A.K. Ramanujan, Gordon Roadarmel, and J.A.B. van Buitenen Eds. The Literatures of India: An Introduction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Ingalls, Daniel, Masson, Jeffrey, and M.V. Patwardhan, (1990). The Dhvanyaloka of Anandavardhana with the Locana of Abhinavagupta. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Kohut, Heinz (1976). The restoration of the self. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  7. Lingat, Robert (1973). The classical law of India. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Marriott, McKim (1989). India through Hindu categories. Contributions to Indian Sociology.Google Scholar
  9. Masson, Jeffrey L. and M.V. Patwardhan (1969). Santa Rasa and Abhinavagupta’s philosophy of aesthetics. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.Google Scholar
  10. Masson, Jeffrey L. and M.V. Patwardhan (1970). Aesthetic rapture. (2 volumes). Poona: Deccan College.Google Scholar
  11. Swarup, Vilas (2005). Q & A. New York: Scribner’s (2008 reprint).Google Scholar
  12. Van Buitenen, Johannes A.B. (1959). The Indian Hero as Vidyadhara. In Milton Singer (Ed.) Traditional India Structure and Change. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  13. Winnicott, Donald, W. (1971). Playing and reality. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AnchorageUSA

Personalised recommendations