Title

سلام بومباي : رؤية عن عشوائية التخلف / Salaam Bombay: On Underdevelopment and Desultoriness

Authors

Salwa Bakr

Program

ALIF

Find in your Library

http://www.jstor.org/stable/521898

All Authors

بكر, سلوى; Bakr, Salwa

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

Publication Date

1998

doi

https://www.doi.org/10.2307/521898

Abstract

[This article is based on the belief that the Indian film Salaam Bombay is fit to be a study of desultory people - akin to the lumpen proletariat - who do not have any life experience that qualifies them to be immersed in urban society. The article traces the film since its very beginning when the child, Krishna, comes from the countryside to the big city of Bombay, where he dreams he could achieve his self- realization and a degree of success that would enable him to go back to his mother who lives in a village. However, Krishna's life in Bombay follows a different route that eventually transforms him into a desultory person. The article points to the fact that the film depends on a basic triangle for its structure: the train, the brothel and the juvenile institution. The train carries the child from the village to the city; the brothel formulates his desultory world; and the juvenile institution - with all its backward methods of upbringing and administration - makes a murderer out of him after being forced to run away from it. The article highlights the strong tie between desultoriness in human societies, on the one hand, and the chaotic quality of capital production, on the other, foregrounding randomization as a phenomenon closely linked to colonization in backward countries. The symbolic use of the train in the film is one of the indicative factors of this link. The article hints at the absent relation between urban society's institutions and desultory people, except when such individuals become threatening to the institutions and when, consequently, a relation is established between them and the police as an institution.]

First Page

69

Last Page

79

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