Social sciences (General)
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AbstractCommercial Hindi cinema plays a central role in the negotiation of national identity. For decades, the expatriate Indian served as a counter-example for acceptable behaviour, a living testimony of inappropriateness. In the mid-1990s, following the liberalization of the Indian economy, the rise of Hindu nationalism and the advent of a multiplex-going urban middle-class, the stereotype was turned around. The Non Resident Indian (NRI) became the epitome of Indianness and embodied at once capitalist and consumerist modernity and patriarchal, Northern and Hindu traditionalism. This change was meant to cater to a lucrative niche market and reflected an uneasy transition period. In addition, the on screen NRI role models were seen as an instrument of Western modernity in India and of India's recognition as an international power in the West.