Programming Bollywood

Media and the Indian-American diaspora, 1965–2010

Authored by: Aswin Punathambekar

Routledge Handbook of the Indian Diaspora

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138942899
eBook ISBN: 9781315672571
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315672571.ch10

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Abstract

In a widely circulated article entitled “Bollystan: The Global India,” Khanna (2004) explains how globalization has reframed relationships between India and the vast Indian diaspora. He writes: “increasingly linked by culture and technology, they form a Global India, which I call Bollystan. ‘Bolly’ connotes culture (e.g. Bollywood) and ‘Stan’ (Farsi for ‘land’) represents the transcendence of borders and sovereignty.” Khanna’s neologism first appeared in the autumn 2004 issue of Another Generation, a magazine targeted at “young, upwardly mobile South Asians.” Featuring Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai on the cover, the magazine declared: “Bollystan is a state without borders, defined by a shared culture and common values.” Using the term Bollystan to refer to a vast space of transnational cultural production that includes everything from henna tattoos and remix music to literature and films, Khanna and other writers sought to map how rapid flows of people, culture, and capital across borders have rendered difficult any easy separation between nation and diaspora. Khanna proceeded to argue that Bollystan is “cosmopolitanism’s inversion: instead of one person being at home anywhere, it is re-rooting Desis everywhere in a real and imagined shared cultural space.”

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