The British tabloid, News of the World, had reported that Qureshi, father of Slumdog Millionaire child star Rubina, wanted to get rid of poverty and become a millionaire by selling his nine year old daughter, after it conducted a string operation on April 19, 2009.
The British newspaper claimed that the father of Rubina, tried to sell her for 200,000 pounds in his bid to cash in on the celebrity status of his ‘Oscar Child.’
Nine year old Rubina shot to flame by playing the young Latika in Danny Boyle’s film, which picked up 8 Oscars besides earning millions at the box office.
The film depicts the heartwarming story of a Mumbai slum dweller, who escapes the Mumbai slums by winning USD 20 millions in the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ Rubina was picked from a Mumbai slum to play the young protagonist in the film.
"My children are with me, and I could give my life for them," Qureshi said. "I will never sell them to anybody, no matter how much money they offer me."
The film slum dog millionaire had been the subject of a number of controversies notably regarding how it portrays Indian society when on 27 February ’09; 10-year-old Azharuddin Mohammed, who played Salim as a child, reportedly received a beating from his own father when he declined to participate in an interview, just days after the child walked the red carpet at the Academy Awards.
Protests were also made against the film on grounds that it intentionally exploited the poor for the purposes of profit.
Amid these startling revelations are the questions which concern everyone; was it an effort from the tabloid to make a sensational story out of the poverty, which Rubina's family lives in? Is the reality of life for India’s most famous child actor even more brutal than the Oscar winning film she starred in?
However, Indian police are investigating the claims and counterclaims by the parents of Rubina.
By Shaimaa Shakeel, an Indian, residing in KSA; working towards a Bachelors degree in Commerce, and looks forward to contributing to a better understanding of some of the divisive issues that plague our world and writes because she loves to and likes to have her hands occupied.
Image by saravanan07 on flickr