Bollywood of India: Geopolitical Texts of Belonging and Difference and Narratives of Mistrust and Suspicion

Iqbal Shailo


A number of Bollywood films create meaning and geopolitical narratives through dialogue, raw images, settings, costumes and historical contexts. This study examines three contemporary Indian films —Earth (Deepa Mehta, 1998), Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker, 2001) and Sarfarosh (John Matthew Matthan, 1999) that explore sub-continental history with a particular focus on insecurity, mistrust and suspicion.  It discusses how socio-cultural and regional differences are (re)produced and how geopolitical meanings of ‘we’ and ‘they’ are narrated and constructed through Bollywood. These films construct an image of identity, belonging and difference, emphasizing that Hindus and Muslims are Indians however some legacies and suffering brought on during the partition of British India are still alive in memories when discrimination and exclusion are practiced in their ancestral homelands.


Bollywood Movies, the Other, Identity, Partition, Belonging, Difference, Mistrust

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