Leveraging Bollywood Power

New Delhi 10 July 2019

It’s about time India began using Bollywood’s popularity abroad more actively and effectively as part of its soft power outreach, particularly in India’s neighbourhood. Sample this—SNI recently met a bunch of Maldivian youth who were on an India visit on the invite of the ministry of external affairs and who said they were all Bollywood movie buffs. One among them recalled how he watched his first Hindi movie ‘Khoon Bhari Maang’ in the Maldives, even rattling off a dialogue from the blockbuster starring Rekha. He also said he was a huge Aamir Khan fan. Thanks to their avid viewing of Bollywood movies, most in the group spoke fluent Hindi. Given Bollywood’s popularity in the Maldives, perhaps India could do more to use it to its advantage. Who knows, it might even help check the growing Chinese imprint in this Indian Ocean archipelago.

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