Bollywood: The Voice of the Subaltern1?
The offerings of Bollywood have frog-leaped from the “low-brow”2 entertainment of yesteryear to become the cultural representatives of all things Indian in the current global economy. Popularity of these films is at an all-time high, reflecting their influence in food, fashion, music, dance, ritual, and worship to audiences around the globe.3 The patriotic fervor that runs through many of these films, both in terms of national identity and “Indian-ness” of culture, sends subliminal messages of what constitutes the national entity. To students of South Asia, viewing these films will provide a look into the Indian national psyche. The concepts of unity despite diversity, the sovereignty of territory, the sanctity of family, and sacrifice for the nation are reinforced in the popular genre of Hindi film.