chapter  33
10 Pages

Bollywood'S Empire

Indian cinema and the diaspora
WithRachel Dwyer

Today Indian cinema almost needs no introduction in the West, where ‘Bollywood’ is now widely used as a synonym of Indian cinema. The term, much debated by academics, most recently by Vasudevan 2011, is disliked by members of the industry who feel that it belittles what they prefer to call the ‘Hindi mainstream’ film industry. Although many histories of the word have been suggested, it seems to have been used mostly in the British South Asian diaspora and then to have spread back to India where it is now the usual term for referring to the Bombay (Mumbai) film industry and its associated media, so Bollywood music, Bollywood news, etc. This chapter uses ‘Bollywood’ to refer approximately to the mainstream Hindi cinema made in Bombay (Mumbai), mostly since 1991. It examines the role it plays in the South Asian diaspora, the depictions of this diaspora and the impact of the diaspora on the film industry itself.