The home of Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, one of the child stars of the smash film Slumdog Millionaire, has been razed by authorities as part of a slum clearing initiative. Showbiz! Whatever, he’s a movie star, he’s probably going to just fill the hole where HIS HOUSE used to be with a swimming pool in the shape of his face. Right? (Not right.) From the AP:
City workers bulldozed the home of a “Slumdog Millionaire” child star Thursday as part of the demolition of dozens of shanties in a Mumbai slum.
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail was asleep when a police officer woke him up and told him to leave his family’s home, he said. Shortly after that, the shack and about 30 more were destroyed.
“A police officer took a bamboo stick to hit me, and I was frightened,” said 10-year-old Azhar.
If there’s one thing you can say about the child stars of Slumdog Millionaire it’s that they’re really down to Earth. They’re not being allowed to let the huge success of the film, including eight Oscars and $326 million dollars at the box office, change them. They still remember where they came from. Because they still live there. And it’s awful.
“They didn’t give prior notice. We didn’t even get a chance to take out our belongings,” said Shameem Ismail, Azhar’s mother, who has lived in the shanty town for more than 15 years. She has no legal right to the land.
“I don’t know what I am going to do,” she said, sitting on a bed she had dragged from the wreckage. Next to her was a plastic bag stuffed with belongings.
[Housing Official] Mistry said residents who have lived in the shanty town for more than 15 years–including Azhar’s family–would be resettled elsewhere in government-built housing. He gave no other details, and such official promises of resettlement often amount to nothing. When slum-dwellers are given housing, it is often in poor-quality buildings on the outskirts of cities and far from jobs.
My favorite part was
the Bollywood dance sequence in the train station during the end credits when his mom was sitting on a pile of wreckage next to a plastic bag of her belongings, worrying about how she was going to take care of her family. Very dramatic. I give it 5 ‘s!