The anxieties of "New" Indian modernity: Globalization, diaspora, and bollywood

Jigna Desai, Rani Neutill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Migration from India has been occurring for many centuries; however, the more recent diasporas of late capital have provoked profound changes in the social, political, and economic relations between India and its diasporas. One of the most important relays for this reformulation has been transnational media, and specifically Bollywood. The mediatization of diaspora within India tells us much about the nation-state's desires and anxieties about globalization and modernity as imagined and narrated within cinema. While diasporic migration has been a common trope of popular Hindi cinema since the 1960s, the genre of NRI (non-resident Indian) films emerges with liberalization in India in the 1980s. In the subsequent decades, the genre has become synonymous not only with the stardom of actor Shahrukh Khan, but also with the Bollywoodification of Hindi cinema, transnational sexual and gender politics, and the growing significance of late capital diasporas. This chapter interrogates how the genre of the NRI films, as well the gendered figure of the NRI him/herself, has been essential to the constitution, formation, and dominance of Bollywood, and, more importantly, critical to articulations of nation and modernity within global India itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism
EditorsAto Quayson, Girish Daswani
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781118320792
ISBN (Print)9781405188265
StatePublished - Jun 26 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Bollywood
  • Diaspora
  • Globalization
  • Sexuality
  • Transnational media


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