Isn't that cute? Bollywood wants to be like grown-ups

Bollywood's Leading Actor Goes Mainstream

This isn't a bad article on Bollywood movie star Aamir Khan, but what drew my attention was the headline.

Khan is making a high profile English-language movie in the hopes of breaking into international markets. Therefore he's going "mainstream".

The presumption here is that the American (British, Australian) market is central or normal, everything else is merely appealing to some niche audience. In this case a niche of 1 billion people.

The cultural arrogance is overwhelming, and it's exactly this sort of thinking that props up American and Western hegemony by casting the West as the lodestone around which the rest of the world rotates. The West works its will upon the rest of the world while everyone else waits with bated breath to see whether it will accept their importuning. Unfortunately, this is sometimes true - but the history and current practice of global inequality which lie at its root are rarely explored. And more often than not the people of other parts of the world are perfectly happy with their own cultural resources and don't see themselves as part of some marginal culture outside the "mainstream" of those (actually a rather small global minority) living in the rich countries.

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