Media, Communication, Digitalization
Co-Authors: Zsuzsa Arendas - Dr., CEU
Popular Hindi Cinema has historically played a very important role in different processes of nation-building and especially in the narratives of post-independence Indian Nation. One of the major tropes in the representations of “Indianness” and national identity has been the characterization and representations of the Indians residing out of the country. This category since iconized through the now ubiquitous term of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) has undergone a significant trajectory and transformation -- from a much-vilified figure to that of a symbol and agent of neo-liberal economic development models, modernity and the west in Bollywood in the last three decades, especially since the 1990s (Therwath, 2010). This paper will trace the changing contours and the dramatic and diametric shifts in the image of the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) in mainstream Hindi commercial cinema of the late 1990s and early 2000s and thereby relate it to the changing dynamics of south Asian Diasporic identities in Europe and the new discourses of Indian nationalism emerging since the 1990s. Recently, the figure of the NRI on screen redefines the notions of ‘India’ for the expatriate Indian leading to a transnational conceptions of national identity within the capitalist and consumerist practices of cultural production. Is the figure of the NRI a romanticized hero of longing and belonging? Or, are the NRIs represented as special ‘mediators’ or translators between two or more contexts, cultures, languages, societies?