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A Passage to India: Images of India in U.K/U.S Feature Films from 1930-2000
Unformatted Document Text:  A Passage to India Page 17 of 29 Student Paper women as sex workers. For example, in The Autobiography of a Princess, the connections between development and the status of women/children is made as follows: Princess: “Ours wasn’t a backward state. Not compared to others.” Cyril Saab: “There were worse.” Princess: “Much worse. When you think of Tadpur, child sacrifices, so many cases of Sati, we hardly had any Sati at all.” Similarly in The River, the protagonist explains the arranged marriage of an Indian girl: “Then her father told her that she must marry a man of his choice…that’s the ancient custom”. In this movie, Harriet, an English girl, talks about how Indian parents are disappointed when they have a girl baby because they need to get a dowry. In City of Joy, the main Indian character, Hazari, says several times how important a duty it is of a father to save up money for his daughter’s dowry. In Around the World in Eighty Days, the British lead character Phileas Fogg saves an Indian princess from sati just like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom saves starved children from bonded labor in the clutches of an evil cult. India is depicted as a “backward” state where senseless and barbaric atrocities are committed against women and children, and, justified in the name of religion. Poverty. There were a significantly greater number of scenes portraying poverty in India (7.9%, N=48) than in the West (1.2%, N=5), χ 2 (1, N = 1016) = 22.3, p < .001. Poverty was defined as sparse availability of basic necessities such as shelter, water and food. Scenes showing beggars, famine-stricken people, the homeless, those living in temporary/dilapidated homes, tramps, slaves, servants, manual laborers, subsistence farmers, petty vendors and poor fisherfolk were included. Scenes with poor people were

Authors: Ramasubramanian, Srividya.
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background image
A Passage to India
Page 17 of 29
Student Paper
women as sex workers. For example, in The Autobiography of a Princess, the
connections between development and the status of women/children is made as follows:
Princess:
“Ours wasn’t a backward state. Not compared to others.”
Cyril Saab:
“There were worse.”
Princess:
“Much worse. When you think of Tadpur, child sacrifices,
so many cases of Sati, we hardly had any Sati at all.”
Similarly in The River, the protagonist explains the arranged marriage of an
Indian girl: “Then her father told her that she must marry a man of his choice…that’s the
ancient custom”. In this movie, Harriet, an English girl, talks about how Indian parents
are disappointed when they have a girl baby because they need to get a dowry. In City of
Joy, the main Indian character, Hazari, says several times how important a duty it is of a
father to save up money for his daughter’s dowry. In Around the World in Eighty Days,
the British lead character Phileas Fogg saves an Indian princess from sati just like Indiana
Jones in the Temple of Doom saves starved children from bonded labor in the clutches of
an evil cult. India is depicted as a “backward” state where senseless and barbaric
atrocities are committed against women and children, and, justified in the name of
religion.
Poverty. There were a significantly greater number of scenes portraying poverty
in India (7.9%, N=48) than in the West (1.2%, N=5),
χ
2
(1, N = 1016) = 22.3, p
< .001.
Poverty was defined as sparse availability of basic necessities such as shelter, water and
food. Scenes showing beggars, famine-stricken people, the homeless, those living in
temporary/dilapidated homes, tramps, slaves, servants, manual laborers, subsistence
farmers, petty vendors and poor fisherfolk were included. Scenes with poor people were


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