Home Contact Us
Search :
   

Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#2734, 19 November 2008
 
Bollywood in Southeast Asia
Yogendra Singh
PhD Candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
e-mail: yogendrajnu@gmail.com
 

The Indian International Film Academy, the Indian equivalent of the Oscars organized its 2008 award ceremony in Bangkok in June 2008. It is the third gala event organized in the last six years in Southeast Asia by the Indian film industry in collaboration with business and media houses. The previous two events were convened in Malaysia (2002) and Singapore (2004). This event is not just a matter of distributing awards in a foreign location, but is a clear indication of Bollywood's growing interest in Southeast Asia both as a potential market and as a favorite shooting spot in the neighborhood. Though Indian cinema has always been popular in Southeast Asia especially in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, Bollywood is increasingly poised to give a strategic leverage to India's presence in Southeast Asia.

There exists a huge potential market for the Bollywood in Southeast Asia given the large Indian Diaspora and limited production capacity of local film industries. Moreover, Indian movies are also becoming popular among the indigenous and non-Indian origin population. The popularity of Indian movies are moving beyond the Little India in Singapore and three big names of Indian cinema, popularly known as the three Khans - Shahrukh Khan, Amir Khan and Salman Khan - have been very popular in the Malay world - Malaysia and Indonesia. Telecasts of Indian movies in Indonesia have become almost a daily affair and Indian movies are also being released with the regional language sub-titles in some Southeast Asian countries.

Geographical proximity, cost-effective shooting locales and hassle-free atmosphere make Southeast Asia an attractive destination for the Bollywood. So much so that some Indian producers even prefer shooting the entire movie in various locations in Southeast Asia. Movies like Zinda, Murder, Anthony Kaun Hai have been shot entirely in Thailand and Don in Malaysia. A full-fledged Indian television channel named Vasantham has been started in Singapore and Tamil, Hindi and other Indian regional movies will be shown on this channel. Adlabs Films Ltd, an Anil Ambani group's company has formed a joint venture with Malaysian company, Lotus Five Star Cinemas, to operate a 51-megaplex chain in Malaysia to take advantage of the existing huge market for Indian movies in Malaysia.

The Indian film industry's efforts to tap opportunities in Southeast Asia have received an overwhelming response from various Southeast Asian governments. Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has appreciated the Bollywood-led growing cultural engagement between India and Southeast Asia. Having acknowledged the importance of the Bollywood as a agent of promoting tourism, some Southeast Asian countries have taken several significant initiatives to attract the Indian film industry.

In Singapore, two agencies, the Media Development Authority (MDA) and the Singapore Tourism Board are actively involved in the promotion of Singapore's image as a global film market. The Singapore Tourism Board is also trying to promote the popularity of Singapore as a tourist spot by providing subsidy to the extent of 50 per cent to foreign film producers who plan to shoot their movies in Singapore. Indian movies too are taking advantage of these opportunities. The Hritik Roshan starrer, Krrish, is the first Indian movie, filmed in Singapore under this scheme. Singapore has since emerged as a cost-effective shooting destination for Bollywood.

Malaysia, meanwhile, is planning to build a separate film city for Bollywood to facilitate the shooting of entire movies. This project will be developed by PK Resources, a Malaysian investment company. A noteworthy point here, is that some big names of Bollywood are likely to be included in the management board of this project. The recently-held IIFA award ceremony in Bangkok was also facilitated by the tourism authority of Thailand and the federation of Thai industries.

Though the presence of Bollywood is being felt in the Southeast Asia, a major challenge in the form of pirated CDs exists in the way of tapping the Southeast Asian market in a profitable manner. Therefore, better coordination is needed at the governmental level so that the trade and distribution of pirated CDs can be prevented. Next, the Bollywood-led cultural engagement should be a two-way process. The growing influence of Bollywood and the limited capacity of indigenous movie production can generate discontent among locals and native artists and the issue could be politicized. The Malacca government's decision to confer the Datuk title to Indian film star Shah Rukh Khan was heavily criticized by indigenous Malaysian artists and the opposition parties.

India should, therefore, provide enough room for the cultural sentiments of Southeast Asian countries in its cultural diplomacy. It could opt for organizing combined and specific film festivals for Indian and Southeast Asian movies. Though Bollywood is gaining ground in the cultural arena of Southeast Asia, efforts need to be made to transform Bolllywood's soft power engagement into a well-crafted Indian policy of cultural diplomacy in Southeast Asia.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Pakistan: Crouching Democrats, Hidden Khakis
Mullah Fazlullah: Challenges to the ?Eliminate or Extradite? Approach
Taliban after Afghan Elections: Spring Offensive or the Last Stand?
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Of Inquilab and the Inquilabis
Pakistan: Of Messiahs and Marches
Zarb-e-Azb: The Decisive Strike

Dateline Kabul
Mariam Safi
Can Afghanistan Become a "Perfect Place?"
Afghanistan: Political Crises After the Presidential Run-off
Taliban?s Spring Offensive: Are the ANSF Prepared?
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
Abe?s Successful Visit to Dhaka: Two Political Challenges
Girl Summit Diplomacy and Bangladesh-UK Relations
India-Bangladesh: After Sushma Swaraj's Visit

Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
Changing Global Balance of Power: Obama?s Response
Obama Administration: Re-engaging India
US in South Asia: Declining Influence
East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
Modi's Visit to Japan: Gauging Inter-State Relations in Asia
North Korea: Seeking New Friends?
China-South Korea: Changing Dynamics of Regional Politics

Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
India-Nepal Hydroelectricity Deal: Making it Count
Federalism and Nepal: Internal Differences
Modi and Nepal-India Relations
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Maritime Silk Road: Can India Leverage It?
BRICS: The Oceanic Connections
India-EU: Exploring Maritime Convergences

Middle Kingdom
DS Rajan
China in the Indian Ocean: Competing Priorities
China-Japan Friction: How can India Respond?
Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Musings on the Bomb
The Second Nuclear Age in the Asia Pacific

Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Six Thousand Plus Killed: The Naxal Ideology of Violence
Anti-Naxal Operations: Seeking Refuge in Symbolism
A 'New' Counter-Naxal Action Plan
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Obama?s New Strategy towards the Islamic State: Implications for India
Modi?s Tryst with Abe
Thinking the Unthinkable: Promoting Nuclear Disarmament

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
The Islamic State: No Country for the Old World Order
India and the Conflict in Gaza
India in Iraq: Need for Better Focus
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
Uranium and Nuclear Power: Three Indian Stories
A Strategic Review for India
Indian Ratification of the Additional Protocol: Mischievous Reports Miss its Significance

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
The Islamic State Caliphate: A Mirage of Resurrection
A Covenant Sans Sword
Strife on the Global Commons
Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka and China: Towards Innovation Driven Economies
India-Sri Lanka: Strengthening Regional Cooperation
Sri Lanka: A New Melody for Nation-building
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
Pakistan: Why is Army against Nawaz Sharif?
Pakistan: Degraded Democracy
Domestic Politicking in Pakistan: It's Not Cricket, Stupid!
Voice from America
Amit Gupta
India and Australia: Beyond Curry, Cricket, and Commonwealth
And Then There is the Middle East: The Lack of an End-Game
US and the World Cup: Nationalism without Football?

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Burma and the Limits of International Influence

BIMSTEC: Need to Move Beyond the Linkage Syndrome

India-Malaysia CECA Negotiations: A Long Road Ahead

Malaysian General Elections 2008: A Move Towards Pluralistic Politics

Reopening of the Stilwell Road: At a Standstill

India-Singapore CECA Enters Second Phase

Malaysia's Ethnic Indians Demand

India's Energy Diplomacy Gets a Jolt in Myanmar

India ASEAN FTA: Problems and Prospects

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2014
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September
 2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006
 2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998
 1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.
Tel: 91-11-4100 1900, 4165 2556, 4165 2557, 4165 2558, 4165 2559 Fax: (91-11) 41652560
Email:
© Copyright 2014, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com