by Amanda Kloer
Even adorable child acress Rubina Ali, made famous for playing the young Latika in the 2009 Oscar-sweeper Slumdog Millionare, isn’t safe from the rampant child trafficking in India. Her father recently offered to sell her for about $300,000.
This story has more layers of irony than a vegan bacon parfait. First off, Ali’s character in the film was actually trafficked as a young girl, eerie foreshadowing for the fate that could have befallen the young actress. Secondly, the men her father offered to sell her to were actually undercover reporters from a British tabloid. Yes- a British tabloid actually did something helpful and ethical in their reporting! Go ahead and pick up your jaws.
The scheme to sell the little girl began with a legitimate inquiry from a wealthy Middle Eastern family who were interested in adopting her. But Rubina’s family saw this as an opportunity to make a profit. It soon became a search for the highest bidder. Womanist Musings points out that this is not an uncommon occurence in India and in many other parts of the world. In fact, parents all over the world see, adopt, marry off, and otherwise part with children for a number of reasons- everything from abject poverty to plain old avarice.
Who knows what Rubina’s fate would have been had she ended up with the Middle Eastern family. A loving home? Or slavery?