Terror as cinematic desire: Discourses of citizenry and the challenge of the 'Non-Statist'

Ronie Parciack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This essay addresses a radical trope formulated in films produced as of the mid-1990s by the dominant Hindi film industry of Mumbai, India. In these films terrorists or suicide bombers who aim to harm the Indian population and national symbols are constituted as objects of desire. Given the assumption according to which mainstream media works to preserve social frameworks, what is the significance of such a trope? What is signified by a desire for an agent who calls for the dissolution of the national subject, and aims to destroy the nation from within? The reading I suggest focuses on the civil significance of this trope, the way it reverses dominant readings of the Hindu-Muslim balance of power in Hindi cinema, and the challenge it poses for the premises of contemporary cultural studies advancing the understanding of mainstream media as an agent promoting stabilizing ideologies within the social and national space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalSouth Asian Popular Culture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2013


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