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Gaurav Lulia asked: How can Bollywood and other regional film industry help increase India's soft power?

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  • Shruti Pandalai replies: India's soft power potential is rooted in its ancient culture, history and the expansive influence of Indian art, traditional wisdom and spirituality globally. In fact, one of the fundamental pillars of India's Indo-Pacific vision is the revival of cultural and civilisational linkages that India has shared with many countries in the region for centuries. Bollywood is indeed one of India's best known global brands enjoying immense popularity, in Africa, West Asia, Eastern Europe, South and Southeast Asia – especially Indian cinema of the yesteryears. In recent times, we have seen the global success of films like '3 idiots' where its social content appealed to audiences universally. However, Industry experts have pointed out that cultural diffusion overseas, especially related to Bollywood, has been private sector driven without any involvement of the government in the past. It has been noted that the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) participates in only a few international film festivals, with India’s presence still small and insignificant. With the new wave in Indian regional cinema and increasing popularity of indie films especially on over-the-top (OTT) platforms and big screens alike, the government and film industry should leverage this potential globally given the success that countries like South Korea and Iran, for example, have had finding acceptance among audiences worldwide.

    Posted on April 30, 2021

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or the Government of India.