Diaspora in Bollywood Cinema

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin Pages: 3 (1134 words) Published: October 14, 2013
The film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge portrays the second wave of the Indian diaspora that migrated in the mid-late twentieth century, looking for better economic opportunities. These immigrants are the first generation followed by their children that are born and brought up abroad that are the second generation. This diaspora, in Vijay Misra’s article called ‘The Diasporic Imaginery’ has been labeled as the ‘diaspora of borders’ wherein, the community has transplanted Indian icons of spirituality to the new land and has kept in touch with India through family networks and marriage. This understanding about India and being Indian is problematic in this case. As per Zizek, we identify with an image that we find likeable, in the same way; these diasporic individuals have an imaginary identification with their home nation and the idea of one’s homeland becomes a fantasy and also perceives their nation and its people to be a homogenous structure. The second generation that is observed in the film, despite growing of growing up in the absence of these cultures and tradition are portrayed to be extremely aware of the same. Through this essay, I look to compare the male and female gender roles of the first and second generation of the Indian diasporic community in the aforementioned film. I will be keenly focusing on characters of Shah Rukh Khan(Raj), Amrish Puri(Baldev Singh), Kajol(Simran) and Farida Jalal(Lajjo). I shall begin with the male gender roles. During their first interaction in the departmental store, one sees the difference within Baldev and Raj; in their understanding of what is it to be ‘Indian’ in a foreign setting. While Baldev obliges Raj’s request because he is Indian, Raj plays the Indian card because he predicts Baldev’s sense of obligation towards him and takes advantage of it. In the consequent scene, while relating the misfortune events that had occurred, one can deem from Baldev’s comments to his wife that he blames the “western influence” on...

Bibliography: Patricia Oberoi. The Diaspora comes home: Disciplining desire in DDLJ. Contributions to Indian Sociology 1998 32: 305
Vijay Misra. “The diasporic Imaginary: Theorizing the Indian Diaspora” in Textual Practice. 421-447. Bell and Bain Ltd, 1996.
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