Rush Limbaugh recently raised the hackles of many Indians with his remark about outsourcing. The brouhaha began when Limbaugh told a caller that it is futile to wait for outsourced jobs to come back if the job is being done by a slumdog in India.
Not only is the Indian media assailing Limbaugh for saying this, the Indian community in the U.S. is also at Limbaugh's throat. Take for instance the Indian American Republican Council (IARC). Their vice chairman Dr Sambhu Banik described Limbaugh as a leader of millions of loyal right wing conservatives and as a "demagogue" for making "outright insulting" statements about Indian workers. An article making the rounds of Indian websites is even shriller — it claims that the Limbaugh statement could trigger violence against Indians by right wing extremists.
Of course this newsletter prefers to take the high road by remaining neutral in controversies of this type, but after looking at the facts it's not obvious why the Indians are raising such a stink about this. For one thing, the movie Slumdog Millionaire is now considered to the pride of India. Take this statement for example:
"They have done India proud," said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a message congratulating the "entire Slumdog Millionaire team."
Rush Limbaugh would get the impression that it's an honor to be called a slumdog if he saw that statement by the Prime Minister but that probably isn't what caused Limbaugh's confusion. More likely Rush Limbaugh is a closet PBS viewer (ROFL!). He probably saw this Frontline story:
In an arrangement that is apparently fairly common in Delhi, NIIT's corporate offices are located next to a fetid slum, where people live in what can only charitably be called shacks, with little access to sanitation and health care. A high, thick boundary wall separates the two worlds. It's the wall — or more precisely, what's inside it — that has brought me to NIIT.
Addendum: I saw Slumdog Millionaire and enjoyed it. The first half of the movie was the best part because it so accurately portrayed what living in the slums of India is like. The second half of the movie got progressively sillier until it was more like a farce. Americans should watch this movie to see what the future of the U.S. will be like if we continue our insane free trade policies with India.
Overall the movie had a preposterous plot, and at its core it was a rather corny Bollywood "love conquers all" and "rags to riches" theme. There is no question in my mind that the movie would win all of those awards like the Golden Globe and the 8 Academies, and I was certain of this despite the rather low quality of the movie and despite its competition with American movies that were better in every way conceivable. It was quite a sight to watch the Academies being handed out for the movie by a bunch of politically correct Hollywood dunderheads that are too stupid to understand that they were rewarding the demise of their own home grown movie industry. Their livelihoods are being outsourced to Bollywood but they were probably too busy snorting coke to realize that giving out those undeserved rewards will legitimize and accelerate the drive to shove aside American movie production.
Slumdog Millionaire was one of the most offshored movies ever, and it was very cheap to make—and therefore very profitable. Bye! Bye! to Hollywood's latte sipping billionaires, and hello to curry slurping Bollywood millionaires!