Chapter

Allegories of Power/Information

Anustup Basu

in Bollywood in the Age of New Media

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748641024
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641024.003.0003
Allegories of Power/Information

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This chapter connects the theory of geo-televisual informatics and the concomitant question of a national being-in-the-world to a theme of sovereignty in contemporary India. It examines some cinematic moments that express a new metropolitan habit of thought by which state-of-the-art informatisation is immediately and inextricably tied to the desired arrival of a novel regime of power. How and for what reasons must we reconsider (in our new media age) the long talked-about nexus between axiomatic modern instruments of communication (printing press, telegraph, even the railroad) and the invention of the nation as an ‘imagined’ time-space continuum? How do pertinent questions of production, ideology and interest change in an era of aggravated informatics? This chapter explores some films in which ‘information’ itself appears as a narrative theme connected to a larger allegory of the nation. Two such films are Apoorva Lakhiya's Mumbai Se Aya Mera Dost (2003) and Shankar's Nayak: The Real Hero (2001). These films form a small batch within the annals of popular Hindi cinema that explicitly deal with an overall informatisation/capitalisation of ‘traditional’ contexts.

Keywords: India; sovereignty; power; geo-televisual; informatics; informatisation; Mumbai Se Aya Mera Dost; Nayak; Hindi cinema; allegory

Chapter.  14450 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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