The eternal return and overcoming ‘Cape Fear’: Science, sensation, Superman and Hindu nationalism in recent Hindi cinema

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This article provides a genealogical understanding of the tropes of ‘science’ and ‘technology’ as they currently operate within dominant melodramatic structures of ‘Bollywood’ cinema. In recent times, the entry of Hindi film in transnational markets has perhaps necessitated the upgrading or fresh minting of genres like the superhero film or the sci-fi film that were either low end or peripheral in Bombay cinema. These new films deal with inscriptions of science and technology in a manner remarkably different from both, a cautious and calibrated Nehruvian humanism of the ‘third way’ and a Gandhian anti-modern agrarianism. They develop a novel exhilarated syntax for the times – a new plane of language – by which signatures of an erstwhile alienating horizon of techno-scientific development can be advertised or informatized without obligation to contending grand narratives like that of tradition or modernity. In this auratic ecology of a new India-in-the-world, tradition can be seen to be bolstered with technology, while technology can be seen to be claimed by a unique Indian spirit and absolved of its otherwise profane status. This is how a turn of the millennium upper class, Brahminical nationalist elite seeks to present its life itself as artwork.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSouth Asian Transnationalisms
Subtitle of host publicationCultural Exchange in the Twentieth Century
EditorsBabli Sinha
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Pages101-115
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781135718329
ISBN (Print)9780415556187, 9780415754804
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Publication series

NameRoutledge South Asian History and Culture Series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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