Bollywood and Globalization
Indian Popular Cinema, Nation, and Diaspora
About This Book
‘As the [book suggests], “global Bollywood” has become an important site for assessing (and projecting notions of) complex changes taking place in Indian society since the early 1990s. And like the phenomenon itself, the perspectives on offer are as often perplexing as illuminating. The signifiers of globalization—the corporatization of culture, the ubiquity of consumption, the mediatization of everyday life, the technologization of the economy—have found in Bollywood their prime symbolic real estate, and herein lies both its relevance and its attraction for the foreseeable future.’ —Sumita S. Chakravarty in ‘TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies’
'In this book, global India has moved on from postcolonial India and through economic liberalization, and new forms of cultural nationalism stand poised to leave its borders. Recommended.' —A. Hirsh, emeritus, Central Connecticut State University, ‘Choice’
'An informative discourse on the impact of globalization on Bollywood cinema and its implications. Scholars of film and cultural studies will find it useful for the range of topics it encompasses.' —‘South Asian Diaspora’
Commercial cinema has always been one of the biggest indigenous industries in India, and remains so in the post-globalization era, when Indian economy has entered a new phase of global participation, liberalization and expansion. Issues of community, gender, society, social and economic justice, bourgeois-liberal individualism, secular nationhood and ethnic identity are nowhere more explored in the Indian cultural mainstream than in commercial cinema. As Indian economy and policy have gone through a sea-change after the end of the Cold War and the commencement of the Global Capital, the largest cultural industry has followed suit. For example, the global Indian community (known in Indian official terms as the Non-Resident Indian or the NRI) has become an integral part of the cultural representation of India.
The politics and ideology of Indian commercial cinema have become extremely complex, offering a fascinating case-study to scholars of Global Culture. Of particular interest is the re-positioning of individual identity vis-à-vis nation, religion, class, and gender. On one hand, the definition of 'nationhood' and/or community has become much more fluid, keeping in tune with the sweeping universal claims of globalization; the films have consequently revised the scope of their narratives to match India’s emerging global business ambitions. On the other hand, the political realities of India's long-standig enmity with Pakistan and the international rise of 'Hindutva' has also contributed to a new strain of jingoism in Indian cinema. ‘Bollywood and Globalization’ is a significant scholarly contribution to the current debate on Indian cinema, nationhood and Global Culture. The articles represent a variety of theoretical and pedagogical approaches, and the collection will be appreciated by students and scholars alike.
Rini Bhattacharya Mehta is Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has published articles on the politics of religion in nineteenth and early twentieth century Bengal and is currently working on an anthology of South Asian literature; a manuscript on nineteenth century Indian nationalism’s revisiting of the Indian past; and a co-edited volume on Partition.
Rajeshwari V. Pandharipande is Professor of Linguistics, Religion, and Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has written several books, including a collection of her original Hindi poems and more than sixty research articles and chapters.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Notes on Contributors; Bollywood, Nation, Diaspora: An Incomplete Introduction to Indian Cinema in the Era of Globalization; Sentimental Symptoms; Is Everybody Saying ‘Shava Shava’ To Bollywood Bhangra?; Bollywood Babes; Globalization and the Cultural Imaginary; Rang de Basanti; Between Yaars; Imagining the Past in the Present; ‘It's All About Loving Your Parents’; Select Bibliography