Contents – Bollywood Nationalism (Issue 30)
Contents - Bollywood Nationalism (Issue 30)
Contents - Bollywood Nationalism (Issue 30)
Contributors - Bollywood Nationalism (Issue 30)
By Roshni Sengupta
This special issue of Café Dissensus acknowledges and engages with a number of issues around the broad theme ‘Bollywood Nationalism’ in the form of seventeen thoughtful and perceptive essays. Even though I personally detest the idea of categorising – thoughts or people – the essays have been divided into sections for the sake of discursive convenience. Needless to say, each of these insightful pieces could be read as articulations of great depth and discernment.
By Murtaza Ali Khan
Let’s not forget that there was a time when stalwarts like Chetan Anand and Bimal Roy competed head and shoulders with some of the world’s best filmmakers at the leading cinematic forums across the globe. What Hindi cinema needs today are brave filmmakers with novel and ingenious ideas. Perhaps, Hindi cinema can take the lead from Marathi cinema, which has really come of age during the last few years.
By Meher Ali
Can the sense of selfhood you held before an event like the Partition withstand such a total reconfiguration of nationhood? From a psychoanalytic point of view, the process by which we continuously construct identity only obfuscates, or defends against, the fundamentally divided nature of subjectivity. I would say, then, that what makes Garam Hawa so uniquely potent is how it imposes this split upon the senses in stark, often unsettling, ways.
By Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai
While it is not unusual to think of the landmark mother characters in popular Hindi cinema as signifying the larger community or nation, this essay is particularly interested in analyzing the tensions that arise out of the conflict between a mother’s desire to protect her son and to care for the community/nation at the same time.
By Sania Hashmi
One is reminded of Sahir’s fearless interrogation, “Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahan hain?” (Where are the patriots now?), which focuses on the state of the poor in general and the miserable conditions of life of prostitutes in particular. While he was an ardent believer in Nehru’s secular socialism, it did not stop Sahir from pointing out everything that was amiss, including the constant delay and deferral in Nehru’s deliverance of the promise, and his critique of the war.
By Hemaadri Singh Rana
While Fanaa portrays the love story of two Kashmiri Muslims, Jaal-The Trap revolves around the love story of two Kashmiri Pandits. In both the movies, one of the lovers is a terrorist while the other takes up the burden of bringing down the former for the ‘love of Motherland’. Both the stories prioritise the nationalist responsibility of a ‘good’ citizen towards her nation that comes before any sort of human emotion.
By Pritha Mahanti & Shreya Bhowmik
The fumbling awkwardness of the Gujaratis, the rigidness of the monolithic South Indians, the intellectual quirkiness of the Bengalis, the pensive grievances of the Kashmiris are a few of the worn-out tropes utilized in popular film narratives. The language and geography of the centre dictated by a North Indian culture, as and when it tries to incorporate regional elements does so in a half-baked manner that reeks of political, social, and cultural myopia.
By Riti Agarwala
When synchronically read, Hindi movies might seem clichéd. However, there are small pockets of resistance, which always ruffle the predominant trend. One is compelled to confront stereotypes in numerous ways. What is needed is an awareness of the stereotypes, only then they can be interrogated and understood.
By Elsa Mathews
Despite Kerala being home to two of the finest actors in India – Mohanlal and Mamootty – it is telling that Raja Krishna Menon, the director of Airlift chose an actor from Bollywood and put him in the mould of two Malayali bravehearts – Mathunny Mathews and Vedi – to create a fictitious Ranjit Katyal, a Punjabi, to continue propitiating the legend of the brave, patriotic Punjabi in popular imagination.
By Aasita Bali & Aditya Krishnan
Cricket comes with the nation-state’s hegemonic assumptions. And when the nation-state’s ideology is a contested one, cricket reflects these contestations (Chatterjee, 2016). This article analyzes two post-Lagaan films – Patiala House and Kai Po Che – where cricket is the center of the plot, in an attempt to show how various shades of nationalism have been depicted through cricket.
By Chandni Sengupta
The nationalist discourse in Hindi cinema also changed its course to widen the definition of nationalism to include development as the mainstay of national regeneration. In this, the film Swades can be taken as a case study to explain how a film portrayed the changing dimensions of the nationalist discourse in the new millennium.
By Supurna Dasgupta
'Agneepath' (2012) embodied a dialectic of remembering and forgetting, which is very different from its predecessor: the vision of the white-clad father walking away reciting the poem in the end of the 2012 version is hardly a reconciliation with non-violence; if anything, it showed up, in naked contrast, the violence of the preceding ‘justice’ and the impotence of the ‘poetic ideal’ of Gandhian pacifism.
By Archisman Chaudhuri
I am not a scholar trained to study and analyse films, but someone who, as a common viewer, has penned his observations on how Bollywood depicts nationalism (in this context, communal riots) on the silver screen. Bombay (1995) and Firaaq (2008) deal with two episodes of Hindu-Muslim violence in contemporary India and in a subliminal way give India, the nation, and its people, watertight identities.
By Julia Szivák
Even though Kashmir-themed films fashion themselves as political texts about the conflict, the characters of the films are not representative of the Kashmiri population, the political content is only secondary to the unfolding family drama and the conflict is represented as a fight between good and evil.
By Nadira Khatun
Indian Hindi cinema establishes certain behaviours and values associated with certain dominant groups as the norm, while marginalizing others. The films portraying terrorism in different contexts such as Kashmir infiltration and the scattered terrorist attacks across India suggest that the constant repetition of these stereotypical images in multiple films signifies Muslims as ‘the enemy within’.
By Payel Pal
If in Hamlet Gertrude’s representation is most compulsive in the closet scene, then Haider differs from it in enunciating a different polemic through Ghazala. Essentially, the film focuses on the liminality of Ghazala’s position. In her private meetings with her son, Ghazala desperately tries to ensconce him to understand her distressing predicament as a “half-widow”.