Sleaze, Slur... and the Search for a Sanitized Identity: Bhojpuri Media at a Crossroads

Madhusri Shrivastava


This article offers perspectives on those who control the Bhojpuri media industry in Mumbai, India, and delimit what is to be shown. Bhojpuri is a dialect of Hindi spoken in parts of the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The influx of migrants from these regions to different parts of India has led to a resurgence of interest in the Bhojpuri media, and has drawn fly-by-night operators to the industry. To cater to the migrants’ needs, ribald action romances are produced; but this very bawdiness hamstrings attempts to widen the audience base. The article examines the issues that plague the industry, and explores the ways in which the industry is struggling to carve a sanitized, yet distinctive identity.

Keywords: Bhojpuri; media industry; ribald; sanitized; migrants



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