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Bollywood: Indian Emissary

By: Arya Aiyappan
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
India, the land of movies and arts has held its flag high as the largest movie producing country in the world. The movie culture is ingrained in the cultural psyche of the people. None can ignore how cinema, especially bollywood cinema dictates the lives of ardent moviegoers. In India scores of movies are released throughout the length and breadth of the country and mostly bollywood industry churns out the largest chunk of movies to date.

One wonders how the bollywood phenomenon has crossed all barriers of region, religion, class, race and topographies to amass a huge popularity beyond the national boundaries in other countries across the world. It is an absolute breath taking success at the box office for Hindi at the international markets. Bollywood is a brand in its own terms. While Indian movies are reaping success at the international markets, what needs to be scrutinized is the secret formula minting success.

Indian movies are showcased in the US, Africa, Pakistan, Middle east, etc where the movies and the songs are enthroned in the hearts of the movie lovers be it Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham or for the matter any other good movie. The reasons are diverse. Bollywood films though branded as masalas gratify the growing diverse demands of every segment of the audience. Songs, dance numbers, spectacle, and inspiring dialogues with the strong backing of a well-knit storyline readily ensure success. Hindi films have a loyal clientele both within the country and abroad.

Hindi films are considered a cut above the rest for their unique concoction, the novel mix up of elements to project the Indian culture and values. Modernization has taken the country by a storm, yet at heart one remains a true Indian in spirit and thought, aptly reflected in the movies as well. The rituals and ceremonies of bygone eras are observed to this date with utmost austerity and sincerity. The customs and traditions rendered in the movies are an inevitable part of the Indian consciousness. The Diaspora spread across the world can relate to their motherland through Hindi movies. Hindi movies deal with a variety of themes - patriotism (Indian, Border, LOC Kargil), religion (Jai Santhoshi Maa), family values (Hum Saath Saath Hain), NRI culture (Pardes, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kal Ho Na Ho), women's issues and empowerment (Daman, Astitva, Godmother), friendship (Dil Chatha Hai), etc. The roles and character portrayals are enormous are much of the themes still need to be explored.

Indian cinema, which were earlier banned in Pakistan, are now running to packed houses with the ban being lifted. The bollywood heroes and heroines are much revered and held with esteem by one and all. The power and reach of Indian films is enormous. Hindi films are the new age moral custodians entrusted with the duty of spreading the message of harmony and peace amidst religious tensions, class and caste conflicts, gender discrepancies, etc. Bollywood films also bridge gaps be it age or emotional. The pluralistic and multicultural trends are interestingly specified to bring out the diverse specifications. In totality the Hindi films embody the aspirations and yearnings of the nation.

Bollywood films, family entertainers propagate a curiously strange culture, a concoction of religious and traditional values along with the changing fashion trends and style statements of today. These films have taken on the task of globalizing Indian culture. When the opportunities are galore, time is appropriate then it is most apt to strike the iron when it is hot. Indian films have to no longer confine themselves to the homeland but explore new vistas of experience abroad. With the bollywood films as the new age vehicles for socialization there are more potentialities to be tapped as we have only managed to touch the tip of the iceberg!

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