Today's Evil Beet Gossip
Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire Child Star Publishes Memoir


OK, so I finally got around to watching this movie a couple of weeks ago. I had been worried that I would hate it and it would depress me, but I actually loved it, and now I get why everyone cares so much about those little child stars from the film. So now I’m going to start covering the stories about them, including this one.

Rubina Ali, the 9-year-old who plays young Latika in the film, is releasing a book of her memoirs called Slumdog Dreaming.

July 16 will find her book, Slumdog Dreaming, simultaneously released in the U.S. and U.K. Publisher Transworld, says, besides recounting Oscar night, Ali will tell her story of “playing marbles with her friends beside the sewers of Garib Nagar in Mumbai, to dancing along to the Bollywood films she and her family watch on their old television set.

“Rubina brings alive a world of wastelands and rat-infested shanty dwellings, and shows us her home, a wooden shack with a tarpaulin roof, where she grew up with her beloved father and siblings,” says the statement.

Despite her newfound fame and hectic promotional schedule — Rubina accompanied the other child stars of Slumdog to a Hong Kong charity event this weekend — the young woman still lives in poverty. Her Mumbai slum was razed several weeks ago, prompting worldwide concern for her safety

I’m sure this book will sell well enough to support her for many, many years in Mumbai — I just hope whoever’s in charge of her money right now is trustworthy and knows how to invest it wisely.

Shanty Homes of Slumdog Child Stars Demolished by Government

Ismail and his family have already rebuilt their family home

Ismail and his family have already rebuilt their family home

The child stars of the movie Slumdog Millionaire have continued to make headlines long after the movie has won its Oscars and appeared on shelves in video stores. The parents of the children claimed that they were not adequately compensated for their progeny’s work on the film, although producers and directors claimed to have bought apartments for them and made arrangements for the kiddos’ education. Then, there were allegations that the father of the young female star, Rubina Ali, had tried to sell her to a few different parties.

In the latest chapter in the ongoing tragedy of Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail’s lives, their ramshackle homes– shanties made from scavenged refuse– were demolished by the Mumbai civic authorities in a campaign to rid the city of such illegal dwellings.

Ironically, it may have been the film Slumdog Millionaire and the international interest it generated in the welfare of those living in the shanty towns that led the civic authorities, in typical bureaucratic fashion, to do something rash aimed at improving the city’s image. So, they decided to knock down some shanties, even though more than half of the city’s 18 million residents live in such dwellings.

Unfortunately, some of the houses they knocked down belonged to the child stars of the film. D’oh!

The state government is trying to dig itself out of this PR nightmare by offering new homes to the child stars and their families.

Two child actors from the Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” have been offered new homes by the ruling Congress party of India’s western state of Maharashtra after their slum homes were torn down.

The offer on Saturday came days after a private trust said it was replacing the demolished shantytown dwellings of nine-year-old Rubina Ali and 11-year-old Azharuddin Ismail.

The flats offered by the Congress party in the western part of Mumbai cost around 400,000 rupees each (8,500 dollars) and were earmarked for low-income families.

The government has offered to pay for the flats, even though the producers of Slumdog claim to have set up a trust fund that has already bought a flat for Ismail and is currently funding the purchase of a flat for Ali. This slapdash solution also does nothing for the millions of other children whose houses were knocked down. What the hell is going on over there??

Father of 9-year-old Slumdog Millionaire Star Tries to Sell His Daughter

Rubina Ali washing clothes outside her home

The father of one of the child stars of Slumdog Millionaire is accused of attempting to sell his daughter.

The British tabloid rag News of the World reportedly caught wind of rumors that Rafiq Qureshi, father of 9 year old Slumdog star Rubina Ali, had been in talks with a Middle Eastern family who wished to “adopt” his daughter…. to the tune of £50,000. A News of the World reporter then posed as a “sheik” who contacted the girl’s uncle to arrange a meeting. The girl was then offered to the fake sheik for an increased price of £200,000.

Rubina’s uncle is believed to have confirmed the family were interested in ‘selling’ the young star for millions of rupees.

‘Yes, we are interested in securing our girl’s future… Obviously if you wanted to adopt we could discuss this, but her parents would also expect some proper compensation in return,’ the paper quoted the uncle as saying.

Rubina’s father, Rafiq, is reportedly angry that his family has not received enough compensation for Rubina’s part in Slumdog. Although director Danny Boyle set up trust funds to finance the education of all of the film’s child stars, and a sound engineer who worked on the film bought luxury apartments for the kids and their families, Rafiq claims that he hasn’t see any of it.

Mr Qureshi said: “What they showed in the film is exactly how life is here. The Government doesn’t help us. We get nothing.

“We live in one room. Seven of us sleep on the floor. I earn £2 to £3 a day. I have to consider what is best for me, my family and for Rubina’s future.”

The illegal trafficking of girls from India to the Middle East, where they are taken to work as sex slaves and domestic servants, is considered a serious problem.

When the allegations came to light, Rubina’s mother showed up at Rafiq’s house and demanded that the child be released to her custody. That visit ended with Rubina’s mother and step mother punching and choking each other in front of Rubina’s house.

Of course the father is denying the allegations, saying that he thought he was negotiating a paycheck for a job, attempting to secure a new acting role for Rubina, and didn’t understand everything that was being said to him.

Someone get Madonna and Angelina Jolie on a plane to India right now.

If It’s Profitable When Indian People Sing It, Surely It Can Be More Profitable When Americans Sing It in English


That took basically zero time at all.

Ryan Seacrest took to the airwaves this morning to premiere Oscar-award winning song “Jai Ho” — sung by the Pussycat Dolls, in English. The remix was composed by A.R. Rahman and produced by popular hip hop producer Polow Da Don. You can check it out here.

For comparison, the original song, from the movie, is here. It’s sung by Indians … in a foreign language.

Ummmm, thoughts? Not just about the song, but about their decision to release an English-language, titty-infused remix so quickly.