The Secret Politics of Our Desires

The Secret Politics of Our Desires

Product ID: 11293

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Author: Ashis Nandy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 265
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0 19565806X


Now available in paper back edition, this collection of essays aims to create a sharper awareness of popular Indian films as a possible source for an alternative, non-formal frame of political and social analysis.

The emphasis is not on film theory or the aesthetics of popular cinema, but on the larger politics of culture as it is epitomized in popular films. It self-consciously disengages itself from conventional film theory and regular models of cultural studies to rethink cinema as a form of shared tacit political knowledge.

For Ashish Nandy, the metaphor for Indian popular cinema is the urban slum; he argues that popular cinema is the slum's point of view of Indian politics and society. Ziauddin Sardar's and Rajni Bakshi's essays are highly personalized narratives that they to capture the crises of Indian public life as reflected in the generational and stylistic changes in popular cinema.

The other essays focus on what films say about the means available for ordinary citizens to intervene in Indian politics and urban life: the way the receiver of audio-visual messages creatively reshapes them for his or her own purposes the distinctive relationship of Tamil films with politics; and the absence in Indian cinema of any genuine outsider, either in the form of an alienated hero or a villain.

This book is essential reading for social scientists and all those interested in the series study of films.


Despite its academic sophistication, this book is easy reading, principally because of the authors obvious enjoyment of the subject.


An insight into how local cinema can be subsurmed into global mass culture, a process that began with Sholay, where feudalism became an allly, communalism an undercurrent, and the objectification of women as passive creatures important element.

-The Indian Express

Nandy sets out his agenda by stating that Indian popular… cinema has everything from classical to folk, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and from the terribly modern to the incorrigibly traditional.

-The Hindustan Times



Indian Popular Cinema as a Slum's Eye View of politics

Dilip Kumar made me do it

Raj Kapoor:
From Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai to Ram Teri Ganga Maili

How angry is the Angry Young Man?
Rebellion in Conventional Hindi Films

Official Television and unofficial fabrications of the self: The Spectator as Subject

On Castes and Comedians: The language of power in recent Tamil Cinema

The impossibility of the outsider in the modern Hindi film