Introduction Bollywood and globalization: researching popular Hindi cinema through the lens of film flows
The power of popular Hindi cinema It has now become axiomatic that globalization is profoundly changing social life for billions of people around the globe. From the deserts of sub-Saharan Africa to twenty-first-century megalopolises such as Tokyo, New York, Mexico City, Delhi, and Bogota, there appears to be no aspect of everyday life that is not altered in some way by globalized networks of trade, transportation, and communication. Only a few years ago, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Toure (2008), pointed out that half of the world’s population had become connected to global communication networks, and that the goal of reaching all of the world’s population by 2015 was on track. Tharoor (2007) has noted that, for South Asians, such connectivity has created the potential to reverse previously unequal media flows related to Asian perspectives, culture, and values, which Thussu (2006: 180) calls the “contraflow” of media content from the Global South to the Global North.