The Indian public's reaction to the award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire has gone from indifferent to outright hostile. Rioters in the eastern city of Patna attacked theaters showing the film and tore down posters to protest the use of the word "dog" in the title. The protests were organized by social activist Tapeshwar Vishwakarma, who has also filed a lawsuit against actor Anil Kapoor (who played the game show host in the film) and Academy Award-nominated composer A.R. Rahman for violating the rights of slum dwellers by depicting them in a bad light.As Mia Wallace tells Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, she can't promise him that she won't be offended by what he asks her, because her natural reaction could be to be offended, and then she would have broken her promise through no fault of her own. I guess the same could be said of India, which cannot be faulted for an instinctively negative reaction to what they view as a mischaracterization.
But they're totally missing the positives: Slumdog has been extremely successful in the U.S., and if anything, the film's popularity makes it more likely that non-Indian Americans will sympathize with Indians, and the poor of all developing economies. Such sympathies may go far in increasing aid, creating a stronger bond between the two countries, and increasing the general cultural knowledge of Americans who might not otherwise be exposed to the slums of Mumbai.
Critics should take this into consideration before they throw rocks at a theater (or worse). You don't have to see the movie, but you shouldn't squander the good press.