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A Passage to India: Images of India in U.K/U.S Feature Films from 1930-2000
Unformatted Document Text:  A Passage to India Page 13 of 29 Student Paper Modes of transportation. Indian scenes were significantly more likely (12.9%, N=78) than Western scenes (1.5%, N=6) to feature traditional modes of transportation, χ 2 (1, N = 1016) = 42.2, p < .001. Scenes were coded for the absence or presence of stereotypical modes of transportation such as hand-rickshaw, palanquins, elephants, bullock carts, camel carts, horses, horse-driven carts and overcrowded steam engine trains. The presence of cars, buses and motor vehicles are portrayed as atypical of India. Not surprisingly, in Rains Came, an English Lord comments to an Indian king as follows: “When I first visited India, I was amazed to find that you people had so many of the modern conveniences…these are the blessings of civilization.” Thus, motorized modes of transportation are depicted as symbols of modernity. Riches. Indian scenes (5%, N=30) were much more likely than Western scenes (1%, N=4) to show an abundance of wealth, χ 2 (1, N = 1016) = 12.0, p < .001. Riches were defined as luxurious treasures such as gold, diamonds, jewellery and ornaments, silk, brocades, chandeliers, minarets, palaces, enormous feasts, royal clothes and ornamented turbans and weapons. In line with the perception of India as a land of hidden treasures and royal living, a missionary nun in Black Narcissus describes the attire of a young Indian prince thus: “emeralds, sapphire…have you seen his clothes? He must have one for every day of the year………….. Damask, amethyst, turquoise, jade” Religion. Scenes set in India were much more likely (21.7%, N=131) to depict religious rituals, superstitious beliefs, magic and sorcery as compared to scenes in the West (4.4%, N=18), χ 2 (1, N = 1016) = 58.4, p < .001.The central theme of movies such as Gunga Din, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Deceivers revolves

Authors: Ramasubramanian, Srividya.
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A Passage to India
Page 13 of 29
Student Paper
Modes of transportation. Indian scenes were significantly more likely (12.9%,
N=78) than Western scenes (1.5%, N=6) to feature traditional modes of transportation,
χ
2
(1, N = 1016) = 42.2, p
< .001. Scenes were coded for the absence or presence of
stereotypical modes of transportation such as hand-rickshaw, palanquins, elephants,
bullock carts, camel carts, horses, horse-driven carts and overcrowded steam engine
trains. The presence of cars, buses and motor vehicles are portrayed as atypical of India.
Not surprisingly, in Rains Came, an English Lord comments to an Indian king as follows:
“When I first visited India, I was amazed to find that you people had so many of the
modern conveniences…these are the blessings of civilization.” Thus, motorized modes of
transportation are depicted as symbols of modernity.
Riches. Indian scenes (5%, N=30) were much more likely than Western scenes
(1%, N=4) to show an abundance of wealth,
χ
2
(1, N = 1016) = 12.0, p
< .001. Riches
were defined as luxurious treasures such as gold, diamonds, jewellery and ornaments,
silk, brocades, chandeliers, minarets, palaces, enormous feasts, royal clothes and
ornamented turbans and weapons. In line with the perception of India as a land of hidden
treasures and royal living, a missionary nun in Black Narcissus describes the attire of a
young Indian prince thus: “emeralds, sapphire…have you seen his clothes? He must have
one for every day of the year………….. Damask, amethyst, turquoise, jade”
Religion. Scenes set in India were much more likely (21.7%, N=131) to depict
religious rituals, superstitious beliefs, magic and sorcery as compared to scenes in the
West (4.4%, N=18),
χ
2
(1, N = 1016) = 58.4, p
< .001.The central theme of movies such
as Gunga Din, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Deceivers revolves


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