Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

"India's Streaming Auteurs" Karan Mahajan in the New York Review

July 13, 2021 Netflix: Sacred Games

An article by CCSA Faculty Fellow and Assitant Professor of Literary Arts, Karan Mahajan, "India's Streaming Auteurs," appeared in the July 2021 issue of the New York Review. Mahajan discusses how in recent years directors have been able to bypass decades of censorhip by moving to small screen platforms, like Netfilx. He begins, "My brief love affair with Bollywood—India’s mainstream Hindi-language cinema—began when I was ten, in 1994, with the release of a film called Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (What Am I to You?). A crowd-pleasing three-and-a-half-hour love story set during an endless and elaborate Hindu wedding, it became the highest-grossing Bollywood movie up to that time, earning $138 million. Its fourteen upbeat songs stormed the Indian music charts and its throwback wedding rituals popped up in actual weddings. Before HAHK, my cousins and I hadn’t known that the girl’s side in a wedding could ransom the shoes of the groom for a hefty sum; now we turned into ardent shoe-snatchers." Read the full article at the New York Review.