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Authors & Books

Dr. Salman Akhtar on Bollywood and Indian Unconsciousness

 
Psychiatrist/Poet/Writer

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Dr. Salman Akhtar talks about Bollywood and the Indian unconsciousness. What are the unconscious undercurrents of Indian society and culture that are reflected in Hindi cinema? Dr. Akhtar provides a framework of sorts to understand the history and evolution of Indian cinema. Recently Dr. Akhtar edited a book titled Freud on the Ganges, which has a chapter on Bollywood and the Indian unconsciousness.

Dr. Akhtar is the brother of Javed Akhtar.

 

In Part-I Dr. Akhtar talks about Bollywood and Indian consciousness. He questions how is that such a sophisticated civilization and a deeply cultured people love and enjoy the loud and kitschy Bollywood films? It is this contradiction that he explores in Part-I of our conversation.

Dr. Akhtar explains the history and evolution of Indian cinema by looking at the political and social underpinning and landscape of India. According to Dr. Akhtar Hindi films in many ways reflects Indian society at any given period and Hindi films depict and satisfy a cultural hunger and individual and psychological dilemmas at any given period of time.

Dr. Salman Akhtar comes from a family of poets and his father Jaan Nissar Akhtar, a well-known poet and lyricist who was a contemporary of Kaifi Azmi. His mother Safiya was a professor and the sister of Majaz, another well-known poet.

Dr. Akhtar grew up in Lucknow and later on migrated to the US where he currently lives and works.