Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on How Bollywood Cures Islamist Extremism


Rupert Murdoch's new iPad newspaper, The Daily, debuted yesterday featuring Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia's meditation on why the kitschy, cheesy film industry of Bollywood, India might prove to be a more effective antidote to Islamist extremism than America's "war" on terrorism. There is a growing realization that the Beatles and rock n' roll did more to win the Cold War than American hard power, Dalmia notes. Likewise, Bollywood, which is wildly popular in Pakistan and parts of the Middle East, might do more to undermine Osama bin Laden and his ilk than American drones and tanks. As Dalmia writes:

The West won the Cold War less because it pointed nuclear missiles at the Soviet people, and more because it won their hearts and minds. And in this it was aided by its music and pop culture, which gave it unrivaled soft power. It made young people feel that while they were huddled behind the Iron Curtain in a world of drab conformity, next door one helluva of a party was going on.

Read all about it here.