For example in the very first minute of the film, when Jamal is being interrogated, we can see one of the officers pressuring him into confessing by exhaling smoke in his face. When the officer sees that Jamal is not giving into the pressure, he continues abusing him by hitting him in the face and electrocuting him.
In the flashbacks we can see a constant abuse of power and authority from adults to the children. For instance, in the scene where a small group of men offer to supposedly help Jamal, his brother and the other orphans, we later find out that they wanted to exploit the children and use them for their own benefits. The men also torture the children by forcing them to sing and burning their eyes if they consider they are talented enough to earn money.
The abuse of power follows Jamal to when he is older and participates to the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, the TV host and the audience mock him just because he is a chai wallah and he is considered to be low on the social ladder.