Does cinematic celebrity protect a person against arbitrary governmental stomping, or bulldozing, of one’s human rights to property?
Maybe it does if you live in Beverly Hills. But the answer’s a big No if you dwell in a Mumbai slum targeted by a government touting a sanctimonious “cleanup” agenda. Why? Because callously uprooting lives is part of the allegedly “acceptable” cost of that “cleanup.”
Mumbai officials have destroyed yet another shanty home of a child who starred in the popular and multiple-Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” The victims are the family of Rubina Ali, who played Latika in the film. Rubina says, “I’m feeling bad. I’m thinking about where to sleep.”
Her family had not even been given any notice when cops swooped in to supervise the demolition. The week before, the home of Azhar Mohammed Ismail, who played Jamal as a child in the movie, had also been flattened. Rubina and Azhar lived in the same part of Mumbai.
One would think that fame might have helped these kids catch a break from functionaries eager to forcibly reorder the world no matter what damage is done to innocent victims in the process; perhaps they might be sensitive to the bad publicity. No such luck.
Not that whether your rights are respected should have anything to do with whether you’re a movie star. Being a human being should be enough.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.