Bangalore, Bollywood have changed India's image globally

Last Updated 05 July 2010, 06:58 IST

"In the era of globalisation, countries are competing for software and trademark. The image of India has been positively impacted by the competitive computer software and the Bollywood trademark. Before Bollywood and the IT revolution, the Western media mentioned India only when the nation was rocked by a train accident or a similar catastrophe," Sorman told IANS in an interview here.

The economist was in the capital for the launch of his book, "Economics Does Not Lie", a study of the market economics of  developing nations of the post-meltdown scenario. In his book, Sorman describes India as a "market revolution" in the decades following 1991.
Sorman has authored 20 books on "creativity and modern capitalism," including "The Genius of India (2000)".

Why Bollywood and Bangalore? "Non-Indians are very creative and they identify easily with the hi-tech fields of Bollywood and software though the two are smaller in size than textiles that is a more important export item," Sorman said.
"One rarely talks about textiles," he analysed.

The mere economic size of these sections does not matter. "Bangalore and Bollywood are the cultural brands of India globally - the drivers of the modern economy," he said.
Other than economics, "Indian classical music and Bollywood" keep Sorman bound to India, when he is not discharging his duties as deputy mayor in charge of culture at Boulogne near Paris.

"The decisive moment in my love affair with India was my discovery of Indian classical music. I heard flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia play in 1985 during one of my visits to New Delhi. Subsequently, I was acquainted with Indian percussion at a tabla concert by maestro Zakir Hussain followed by sitar from Ravi Shankar ...and was captivated by the magic of Dhrupad music," the economist said.

Dhrupad was "not just a musical experience" for Sorman, "but a gateway to the Indian civilisation and culture," he said.

"I am still faithful to Indian classical music."
Last year, Sorman met Ravi Shankar in New York and "he told me that he was playing at his last concert", the economist recalled.

"I told him that I hoped he played his last concert every year," the economist said. For Sorman, "Dhrupad music is a great interpretation of Indian classical tradition."
The economist is fond of popular Bollywood cinema music.

"It is a good synthesis of the modern and traditional genres. Classical music is boring for the younger generation. They refuse to sit through recitals, some of which last as long as four hours. Bollywood is a great way to teach them traditional music. The infrastructure of Bollywood music and dance is classical," he said.

Sorman says "he was the first Indophile to organise a festival Bollywood cinema in France in 1995 when it was a completely unknown genre in the country."
People in the West look at India differently, Sorman said.

"This is a country where things happen without being planned. But the changes in the last 20 years since 1991 - when Manmohan Singh opened the economy as finance minister - have been for the better. The number of engines driving growth has risen, bringing new opportunities. The fear that if you are born poor, your children would also remain poor has diminished.

"India is no longer doomed to remain poor," the economist said.

(Published 05 July 2010, 06:55 IST)

Follow us on