Performing artistes in India may rule hearts at home but they have failed to impress the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Disappointed over India’s performance at international film festivals and musical events, the ministry has recommended the creation of a council to promote the country’s entertainment industry.
In a proposal submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office on “Creating a global presence for strategic purposes” earlier this month, the ministry suggested that the council should identify events where India needs to project its image of growing power via entertainment.
“India needs to project its culture in national interest. India is yet to capitalise on the huge economic opportunity that is waiting to be exploited through the export of the entertainment sector,” the ministry said in the proposal to the PMO.
Even though Indian films and music are very popular among NRIs, the country's share in the global entertainment market is minimal. According to estimates, the world entertainment industry is a $1.5 trillion business and India’s share is just a measely $6 million. “India is the only culture to withstand American movies and music,” said a senior ministry official.
The president of the Film and Television Producers Guild, Amit Khanna, had a suggestion on how to bring better returns for the industry: The government should select a theme every year and the country should sponsor events surrounding the theme in different parts of the world.
According to officials, the council can help promote the entertainment industry by identifying events all over the world where Indian culture can be projected. “There is a plethora of genius works in India, which can be sold to people overseas. We have people like Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal and Bimal Roy whose works can be projected alongwith contemporary ones,” an official said.
The ministry is contemplating to take the help of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in this regard. The CII has India Brand Equity Fund, which can be utilised to identify events and concentrate on them to achieve the maximum impact.