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The valley of desire: A study of Kashmir as portrayed through popular Indian cinema

Thesis type
(Extended Essay) M.A.
Date created
Indian-occupied Kashmir has been a conflicted territory since 1947. This paper studies the representation of Kashmir and its civilian population in popular Hindi films. As Bollywood has an immensely dedicated audience, both in India as well as globally, the sensitive issues surrounding Kashmir make for extremely sought-after and therefore potentially influential content in films. I argue that these films reflect a sharp bias and a myopic approach towards showcasing the area and its civilian population. This paper employs the use of film analysis and critical discourse analysis to examine seven films — Mission Kashmir (2000), Yahaan (2005),Fanaa (2006), I am (2010), Lamhaa (2010), Haider (2014) and Hamid (2018) — to support the argument. The results show that all the films except Haider and Hamid misrepresent or underrepresent the realities of Kashmir. The content is highly Islamophobic and hyper-nationalistic, undermining the role of the local population in the whole conflict scenario.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Druick, Zoe
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