Bollywood's Window Onto India

To understand Modi's new India, look at its movies.

In the 1990s, Khan's characters took on India's elite.

Source: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

More than 20 years ago I traveled across India for a book on the fresh energies unleashed in small towns by economic liberalization and Hindu nationalism. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, had promoted a national ethic of austerity and self-restraint. But by the 1990s, his project of collective welfare was in ruins and was rapidly being replaced by a culture of private wealth and consumption.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.