Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The Road to Rāmarājya: Analysing Shah Rukh Khan’s Parallel Text in Commercial Hindi Cinema

Sunny Singh


This paper attempts to trace the construction of Shah Rukh Khan’s parallel text with explicit references to the Hindu epic Rāmāyana through an analysis of key cinematic texts produced from 1995 to 2007. The analysis follows the development of Shah Rukh Khan’s star text as a growing narrative drawn from, and interacting with, the epic and its protagonist, Rāma, and his idealised reign, Rāmarājya, which is used in India to refer to an epoch of social stability. In addition, the paper explores how the star’s parallel text intersects the aspirations of a nation poised at the edge of monumental change, and the ways in which it challenges and subverts the popularly accepted notions of the growth of Hindu nationalist politics in the country in the late-1990s, finally leading to the assertion of a new, post-Hindutva, post-globalization identity as an Indian Muslim.

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