Damn... it should have won the Best Picture Oscar.
The premise was that - all of one's previous experiences dictate one's future.
The protagonist had an effed up life - but when his time came to shine, it was the lessons learned from those experiences that enabled him to act and answer correctly.
Do I hate fat women? I don't think so.
Do I hate loud women? Not necessarily.
Do I hate forceful women? Not all
But do I hate fat, loud and forceful women? Yep. But it's based on the experiences from my childhood.
This can also be applied to racist people.
Racism is learned.
No one is born hating another person predicated on race.
One's previous experiences and that which he is taught by his prevailing culture will determine one's level of racist views.
If a little white kid was always beaten and robbed of his lunch by all the Black kids at his school - he will probably resent Black people.
If a little Mexican girl was raped by a white guy - she will probably hate white people.
If a little Black kid is made to feel inferior by his mostly Asian environment - he will probably grow up to resent Asians.
But the inverse is also true.
If one is treated well by another group - his resentment and fear will be less.
Fear is natural. So are hate, love, trust, envy and admiration.
These emotions (well... any emotions) don't have to be taught.
The only things that are taught are who to hate, fear, trust, admire and so on.
This is just a part of one's learned culture.
Racism, sexism, elitism, etc. are just learned responses - they are not inherent.
So why Slumdog?
Because the smart thing to do is to use even one's bad experiences and hardships as a learning ground to develop one's abilities.
Because even bad experiences can be used to one's advantage.