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Monday, February 11, 2008

Aishwarya Bachchan: Bollywood's Queen Has Hollywood on Her Feet

Bollywood star does not care about Hollywood

The New York Times printed on its Sunday edition an article called “Bollywood Princess, Hollywood Hopeful”.

This is an article on Aishwarya Bachchan who has been in the past years courted by Hollywood.

The N.Y.T. article kind of stresses “why isn’t this honky tonk Indian woman willing to take a ride in Hollywood’s roller-coaster?”

To the American culture dominated countries nobody understands why the Indian girl is refusing to ride in Porsche. The answer is simple. She is already riding in Porsche. She is but the Queen of Bollywood which produces one thousand movies a year and profits 3.6 billion dollars.

So, Hollywood’s proposal is not what it seems like. For the Western general public it would sound like Cinderella’s story, but in reality she is no Jane Doe and India’s cultural scenario is much stronger than one might believe.

Despite the fact that movies like Spiderman, Harry Potter, Titanic, Superman and alike being blockbusters in India, the earnings of such movies represent less than 8% of the total yearly gross of the Indian film industry. The locally made movies (Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Bhojpuri, and Bengali etc) gross more than 90% of the yearly returns.

Coca-Cola was first introduced in India in the 60’s and kicked out of the country years later. That was due to cultural and political background of the independent-minded Indians who did not accept American imperialist expansion. Instead, they teamed up with former Soviet Union in order to gain a broader national independency.

This is just to remind that India is one of the leaders of the non-aligned political movement. Thus being the country has systematically protected its cultural legacies and cultural marketing. And Bollywood is the icon of the resistance to the foreign cultural threat. Definitely this nationalism paid off for India does not rely on the American Market for its own spectacular growth. It suffices to say that the world’s biggest steel company belongs to India.

So, Mrs. Bachchan apparent reluctance to bow humbly to Hollywood seems to have a reason. For the common Indian man the cherished icons produced by Hollywood are completely unknown. That is to say, Hollywood is really small in India, like Coca-Cola.

Hollywood does not seem to be ready to accept the fact that India is a tough cookie to bite unlike Japan or Korea or even Europe, where movies made in Hollywood have literally crushed the local movie industry. In even worse places like Brazil kids are named after like Michael Jackson and spend hours in front of their TV sets eating American junk food while watching Hollywood’s cultural garbage such as High School Musical. This kind imperialistic process steals nations of their own heroes, culture and self esteem. In culturally dominated countries if any one wishes for success one must sing and dance like a Yankee, while their own cultural heritage is despised.

The example of India is to be followed, because one day we will have Hollywood as our sole cultural reference. Cultural diversity is a must as much as biological is a must in order for life to keep on flourishing.

We, from “Brief and to the Point” blog strongly disprove Mrs. Anupama Chopra’s line on her Hollywood-oriented article for the New York Times where among other naive statements she made on her article where she mocks her own culture when she writes a rotten pearl like: “Ultimately Ms. Bachchan chose to return to Mumbai and starve with a smile.” What “Brief and to the Point” blog does not understand is Mrs. Anupama Chopra’s refusal towards her own culture when she chooses to mock on Karva Chauth. One of sociology’s most important lessons on culture is that “Culture is supposed to be accessed” not mocked at. Either you access it within its scope or leave it alone.

Brief and to the Point:

Do “The New York Times” fees include Mrs. Chopra’s cultural hara-kiri?

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