From Angry Young Man to Icon of Neo-liberal India: Extra-cinematic Strategies that Make Amitabh Bachchan India’s Lasting Super-Star

  • Aparna Sharma


Amitabh Bachchan is an Indian super-star who has commanded a presence on Indian screens for over four decades. Besides acting, Bachchan appears on television and has anchored the popular TV game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati (modeled on Who Wants to be a Millionaire). This chapter takes up the strategies working alongside Bachchan’s screen persona to examine the longevity of this super-star. It proposes a career arc for Bachchan that commences with his establishing a screen persona as the ‘angry young man’ in post-Emergency India (1970s–1990s) and goes on to a more recent phase in which, through films and other media, Bachchan aligns himself with India’s neo-liberal values. Bachchan’s persistence in India’s popular imaginary can thus be understood in terms of the star’s ability to align with dominant cultural and political sentiments.


Slum Dweller Star Image Game Show Performance Style Sanskrit Epic 
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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aparna Sharma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of World Arts and Cultures/DanceUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUK

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