I’ve met dads who squander their blessings on a regular basis, but the father of “Slumdog Millionaire” child star Rubina Ali, takes the cake.
When it comes to epitomizing bad parenting, 36-year-old Rafiq Qureshi is in a league of his own.
Parents around the planet have been buzzing about the recent report detailed in Britain’s News of the World, which maintains that the poverty-stricken father planned to place his 9-year-old movie star daughter up for adoption for $300,000-400,000, so he could escape the squalor of Mumbai and find happiness elsewhere.
For the record Qureshi claims that the entire story is “a lie made up by foreign journalists playing games with me.” Unfortunately for the mad dad, evidence proves otherwise.
According to the newspaper, it sent reporters posing as a wealthy couple from Dubai requesting to adopt a child. The newspaper’s decoys reportedly met with Qureshi, Rubina, and Qureshi’s brother Moiuddin at a luxury Mumbai hotel. While there Rubina’s uncle reportedly took offense to the original adoption offer, which was said to be about $75,000. News of the World reported the uncle as saying: “The child is special now. This is not an ordinary child. This is an Oscar child!” Apparently referencing the fact that “Slumdog” won eight Oscars, including Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards show.
Fast-forward to Sunday when the paper published the story: Parents around the world are outraged and Mumbai police open an investigation into the entire incident.
Then, there’s the father at the heart of this entire bad parenting scenario—-Qureshi has spent the last couple of days doing major damage control, insisting he is not the money-grubbing monster that the paper portrays him as.
On Monday bad dad insisted that the entire adoption ruse was a “big misunderstanding,” which was further blown out of proportion due to a language barrier. Then, yesterday, Qureshi changed his story, saying that he had feigned interest out of politeness. Apparently he didn’t want to appear cold and unfriendly to rich folk who wanted to take his child away in exchange for cold hard cash.
Qureshi told reporters, “In India, you never say ‘no’ directly, least of all to guests. You try not to offend people by refusing to help. They said they were childless and desperately fond of Rubina after seeing her in the film. I felt sorry for them, but I was never going to give her up.”
That’s right; make it look as though you are the hero in this. How’s that working for you, Qureshi?
The answer: Not so good.
According to reports, in the days since the story broke Qureshi has been ostracized by his fellow slum neighbors and his second wife got into a catfight (complete with hair pulling, slapping, spitting and punching) with Rubina’s mother (Qureshi’s first wife), which by the way, was photographed and images published around the world.
Did I mention the entire slapfest went down in front of 9-year-old Rubina?
Rubina, remember her? The innocent child caught in the middle of this power struggle was forced to defend her father’s despicable actions to reporters, saying “I trust my father. He loves me. He has never said that he wants to give me up.”
The girl then revealed that her father wasn’t exactly honest about the newspaper’s decoys. According to Rubina, her dear daddy told her that the man and woman who wished to speak to her in the fancy Mumbai hotel were “an uncle and auntie.”
All things considered perhaps Rubina would have been better off with the decoys than with a man who is obviously desperate to cash in on his daughter’s success.
What do you think?