• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Few would deny that the most significant weapon in India's cultural and artistic armory is its avowedly commercial cinema, now known as Bollywood. This anthology aims to portray the “soft” power of Bollywood, which makes it a unique and powerful disseminator of Indian culture and values abroad. The essays in the book examine Bollywood's popularity within and outside South Asia, focusing on its role in international relations and diplomacy.

In addition to contributions that directly engage with the notion of soft power, a number of essays in the volume testify to the attractiveness of Bollywood cinema for ethnically diverse groups across the world, probe the reasons for its appeal, and explore its audiences' identification with cinematic narratives.

Established and emerging scholars in literature, theater, film, dance, music, ...

Soft Power and Pakistani Viewers
Soft power and Pakistani viewers

Joseph Nye (2004) coined the concept “soft power” when he noted that such power was both an alternative to hard power as well as a complement to it. Nye went on to identify Indian films as the cutting edge of this power. Reflecting on the idea of such power, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his speech to Indian Foreign Service Probationers on June 12, 2008, notes:

The soft power of India in some ways can be a very important instrument of foreign policy. Cultural relations, India's film industry—Bollywood I find wherever I go in Middle East, in Africa—people talk about Indian films. So that is a new way of influencing of world about the growing importance ...

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