London, Feb 27 (IANS) The co-producer of “Slumdog Millionaire” says one of the best things to come out of the Oscar winning movie is the debate on poverty and torture that it has sparked in India. Christian Colson disclosed that when the filmmakers sought the initial permission of the government, the only thing the ministry of culture objected to was a scene in the script where the hero is tortured by a Mumbai deputy commissioner of police.
But the objection wasn’t over the torture itself – “the letter from the ministry said it is inconceivable that anyone above the rank of an inspector could be involved in torture”, Colson told a large crowd at the House of Commons Thursday night.
As a result, the filmmakers lowered the torturer’s rank – Irfan Khan plays an inspector but doesn’t carry out any of the torture himself, leaving the job to his subordinate.
Colson made the comments while accepting an award for international achievement at the Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards in the exclusive setting of the Members’ Dining Room of the British parliament.
Other winners included: IANS European Bureau Chief Dipankar De Sarkar (journalist of the year), Minister for Women and Equality Harriet Harman (parliamentarian of the year); Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal and Executive Vice President Anita Goyal (international entrepreneurs of the year), Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather (opposition parliamentarian of the year) and Baroness Paula Uddin (peer of the year).
Among the large gathering at the ceremony were Transport Minister Geoff Hoon, Asian Voice Publisher and Editor C.B. Patel, Conservative Party Chairman Eric Pickles, Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman and Labour MP Keith Vaz as well as a number of other British MPs and ministers.
Feb 27th, 2009