U.S.: The Trouble with Bollywood

December 1, 2015

by NARAYAN SUNDARARAJAN, Harvard Political Review

The song opens to a jostling crowd of men, all holding beers, asking—no, demanding—that a woman named Jumma come out to give them a kiss. When she comes out, she is doused in water, and sensuously dances to the beat while everyone feverishly watches. Though she repeatedly says “no” when the men ask her for a kiss, she eventually gives in. It sounds nightmarish, yet this scene from the 1991 song “Jumma Chumma De De” in the movie Hum is one of the most revered in Indian cinema, having been emulated in countless Bollywood movies thereafter.

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