I can never understand why the media from so-called developed countries is intent on protraying India as a land of slums, illiterate people and poverty. Every so often someone will land in India,head straight to the nearest slum,take videos of the "poor father struggling to make ends meet on his wage which is less than 2 dollars". (sob,sob). "What can he get to feed his family for 2 dollars" the presenter asks in a mournful voice. And the audience back home in the US or UK or Australia laps it up thinking back to what THEY could buy for 2 dollars (which is mostly nothing !) and exptrapolates it into the story concluding that they are blessed indeed because they have more dollars to buy things. What they forget is that the "poor man" in the picture does not have to pay in dollars and most things may not cost the same as in their country.In the last 4 years I have watched atleast 2programmes on Australian TV which dealt with the poor side of India,slums and poverty and disease -inevitably leading the viewer to the conclusion that they should be counting their blessings because they have "everything" they need (albeit very very far away in case of some places in Australia, but that is another story !). None have attempted to show how India is advancing in various fields or even how the prosperous middle class has access to and enjoys many more things that the average middle class citizen of the "developed country" can only dream of (not withstanding the fact that many are not actually aware of many things ,so "dream" is probably not the right word- you cant dream about something if you are blissfully unaware of its existance,can you?).I dont know why we allow these people into the country to bad mouth us to the world. I wish Asianet or some other channel would go into slums in the US or UK and make such a programme. I would even gladly contribute to the cost (a small amount- after all I am a poor Indian as well ). For some reason we are very happy and relaxed and dont mind if someone takes very unflattering pictures about us. I dont think any other country would allow us to do that,journalistic freedom be damned.I wish once in a while someone would show how good our hospitals and other infrastructure is in spite of the fact that there are some bad ones.Of course we have slums and poverty. So does EVERY other country in the world.Why is our poverty such a newsworthy item? Is it because they can make the Indian whinge and cringe in front of the camera to better effect (maybe with the promise of some monetary benefit for efficient acting?). I dont know. But what i do know (what i have seen first hand) is that these kinds of programmes make the viewer atleast momentarily thank the Almightly because they are in such a "better place" ! They sort of compare themselves to that poor struggling indian and come out on top because,let us face it, they are "better off" arent they ? It makes them forget that for the amount of dollars they earn,they are struggling to make ends meet.It makes them forget the fact they are waiting longer to see a doctor (most of the time in a better looking hospital, I suppose). It makes them forget that they have been on the waiting list for surgery for 12 months because there are not enough hospitals / facilites/Doctors.So in a way these programmes are useful to keep the local population from becoming dissatisfied with the way the coutry is being managed because "atleast we dont have to struggle THAT much ". After watching Slum dog millionaire, every one was commenting on the slums dwellers and ignored the affluence shown by Anil kapoor because "that cant be true.we know indians are poor,dont we ? " Today an anesthetist was talking about when my father was unwell a couple of weeks ago (he is better now). He said "it must be pretty difficult when someone is ill in India. you dont really have much in the way of facilities,do you". I said "no,that is true the hospital he was initially in did not have facilities for embolisation so we had to move him to another" . He said "did he have to travel very far ?" and i said "no, about 5 km.I am glad he was not in Australia.Imagine how difficult it would have been to have to transfer him to canberra or Sydney ! " That was the end of our conversation !