Which Bollywood actor has a great build?

209 Between Giant Neighbors and the US Culture Industry Media Development and Cultural Change in the Asian Age1 With Jörg Becker Asia today is in economic, technological and cultural turmoil and in a media awakening. The Asian media landscape remained essentially stable in the midst of the economic crisis, and in many cases the media today set the tone and speed of modernization and mechanization. “Bollywood goes global” was the headline of Newsweek Asia on February 28, 2000. "America is not the only country that knows how to spin and export phantasies." Indeed, India's pop culture conquered the hearts and markets of entire continents. On the same day, Time Asia headlined: "Struggle.com - Can China’s Bureaucrats hold back the Internet Revolution?" The Internet is not only penetrating the Middle Kingdom, in many countries it is already the fastest and most reliable medium. But what does “new technology” mean? Internet and television were born simultaneously in the state of Bhutan, on the 25th anniversary of the king's throne on June 2, 1999. 1 The Asian media age If one tries to describe the Asian TV and media landscape in its entirety, the following characteristics can be identified : 1. An increasing Americanization of the Asian media market can be observed. There is a growing predominance of American (and British, Anglophone) titles, broadcasters, and news outlets. This applies to AP, CNN, Week, Time, Time Asia, Asiaweek, Fortune (all part of Time), Far Eastern Economic Review and Wall Street Journal (both are listed in the Dow Jones Index), International Herald 1 The article supports essentially relies on the introduction by the two authors to Becker / Luger 2002. Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 210 Tribune, Business Week and USA Today. Compared to the English-language media influence, that from other European countries in Asia is so small that it can hardly be measured (cf. Becker / Salamanca 1998). However, two other key players in the Asian media and television landscape are often overlooked: Japan and Australia. The cultural industries of these two countries are intensively represented in many sub-markets, in some cases they are already stronger than the competing US actors (cf. Schiller 1992). 2. The trend towards Americanization is part of a comprehensive process of globalization, especially of the Asian media landscape. One example of this is the expansion of a music television channel such as MTV in Asia, albeit in an attractive form there, as a cross-over "Asianized". On the other hand, this trend is characterized by the success of Rupert Murdoch's pan-Asian satellite channel STAR TV, which has been running since 1991. STAR TV states that its reach is now more than 60 million households spread over the whole of Asia and the Middle East, even though these are viewed with skepticism by many market researchers. STAR TV is also in financial trouble. However, this is not an Asian phenomenon, but a sign of aggressive competition and struggle for licenses among the major media conglomerates around the world. 3. Another trend in the Asian television landscape is pronounced commercialization. This trend is most evident in the growth of the TV advertising markets in Asia. As a result of the structural crisis that broke out in 1997, inflation, exchange rate fluctuations, loss of purchasing power and falling prices, the Asian market went into a tailspin. Asia currently ranks third behind Europe (28.8 percent) and North America (39.8 percent) with 24.7 percent of total advertising volume. The advertising volumes of these three wholesale markets differ from one another. The Asian advertising volume has increased steadily since 1987, while it has steadily decreased in Europe and North America during this period. In 1987 Asia accounted for 18.8 percent of the world's advertising volume, in North America it was 48.3 percent and in Europe 29.3 percent. North America lost around 10 percent of its advertising volume, while Asia is only four percent behind Europe. Of the $ 43.885 billion invested in advertising in Asia in 1994, about a third was for TV advertising. 4. One trend is particularly striking: some Asian actors are able to pursue global strategies. This applies in particular to the areas of telecommunications, information and communication technologies and in some cases even to the area of ​​mass media: Singapore Telecom owns parts of the TV cable system in Stockholm, and the Thai television broadcaster Thai TV 5 has been broadcasting digital and uncoded programs to Western Europe via the TV satellite Hot Bird 1 since the beginning of 1998. The company Medias from Thailand produces TV programs for a TV station in California. The Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing holds the majority in the German mobile communications company ABC Telekom GmbH and the Sichuan Changhong company, China's largest TV set manufacturer, is planning a production facility in the USA. 5. The Asian continent is currently exposed to at least 36 direct-to-air broadcast satellites, which offer a total of over 800 television programs around the clock. The TV satellite boom across Asia is less of a trend towards internationalization; the opposite seems just as true. Because the TV satellite boom, especially with the planned digital direct-to-home television (DTH), can largely be traced back to Asian actors (cf. Page / Crawley 2001). 6. Globalization and internationalization of information and communication produce an external pressure on the national Asian media. Processes such as regionalization, dynamization of local and indigenous cultures and the innovation-defensive reflection on one's own are elements inherent in this external pressure. Perhaps the most important characteristic of the current Asian television landscape is that domestic TV programs are always preferred to third-party programs - if they find their way to the market. For this reason, the attempt by the TV channel “YATV”, which was founded a few years ago, is of interest. From its headquarters in Sri Lanka, this channel sends to India, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Lebanon and the PRC. In the majority ownership of the Worldview International Foundation (WIF), YATV wants to present the best information about Asia from a purely Asian perspective (cf. McPhail 2002). 7. Much of Asian media policy is closely tied to the power, finances, reputation and history of a few cross-border Asian families. In the Philippines, one such family is the Lopez clan with the Benpres Holding Corp. in Manila. Eugenio Lopez, school friend of the former dictator Marcos, owns the largest private TV broadcaster ABS-CBN, which siphons off 40 percent of all Philippine advertising sales. The largest private cable TV network SkyCable belongs to this family, as does ICC, the largest private telecommunications group in the country. The Koo family from Taiwan is not inferior to this family in terms of influence and power. A former personal friend of Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 212 General Tschiang Kai-schek is the head of the family Jeffrey Koo, not only the most important banker in Taiwan (China Trust Commercial Bank), who counts many US Congress members among his friends, but also Owner of the largest Taiwanese cable TV operator United Communications Group (UCG). In India, this family is comparable to that of the company's founder K.K. Birla, once a friend of Mahatma Gandhi. The Birla empire includes the Hindustan Times, India's largest English-language newspaper. Birla is entering the Hindi satellite television market with an investment of 30 million US dollars. The Chearavanonts family in Thailand, one of the richest families in the world, is structured in a similar way. Critical Thai voices assume that 60 percent of all Thai workers only work for companies in this family empire. In the media sector, the family holding Charoen Pokphand (CP), APT Satellite Co. (with the Apstar satellites) and the most important cable TV network in Bangkok (UTV) belong. But these Asian family clans may still be overshadowed by the Li family from Hong Kong (cf. Chan 1996). With a personal fortune of well over four billion US dollars, Father Li Ka-shing is one of the richest men on earth. His media empire includes, among other things, shares in the Asia-Sat broadcasting satellite. His son Richard Li became known in 1990 through the million dollar loan to Rupert Murdoch and his pan-Asian TV satellite network STAR TV. Also spectacular was Murdoch's 1993 repurchase of STAR TV shares, which brought Li a net profit of US $ 400 million. The media, economic and political power of the corporate empire of the Li-Ka-shing family can be seen in their stake in AsiaSat, which they hold through the company Hutchison Whampoa Limited in Hong Kong. Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Limited operates the AsiaSat broadcasting satellites. The Hong Kong-based company, whose shares are traded on the New York and Hong Kong stock exchanges, owns four other satellites: AsiaSat 1, AsiaSat 2, AsiaSat G and AsiaSat 3S. The majority shareholders are the British telecommunications company Cable & Wireless (C&W), the companies China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) from the People's Republic of China and the aforementioned Hutchison Whampoa Limited. Founded in 1866, C&W is based in London. As a provider of telecommunications services, networks and telecommunications systems, it is present in over 50 countries. CITIC is a company controlled by the Chinese government.2 Asian media groups of the type described are not subject to the patterns of Western rationality. That is their weakness and strength at the same time. Family tradition, common language, culture and ethnicity, friendships, obligation, responsibility and honor dominate, so it gives the impression that the dimensions of business administration, management and also employee loyalty dominate. Regardless of the question of the weakness and strength of such corporations, one principle is clear: the companies are not transparent, controllable and purchasable from the outside - especially not for non-Asians. Overall, the “Asian age” has led to a new cultural self-image: Americanization of the media and criticism of American hegemony go hand in hand in Asia. Nevertheless, traditional forms of mass entertainment are asserting themselves, the legends and epics of the continent are conquering the new formats of media technology, just like the cinema and television world of that time. Modernity and cosmological forms of existence run into one another, urban hustle and bustle and the rhythm of life based on the agricultural cycle in the peripheral zones overlap or coexist. The confusion of a continent, which is developing at very different speeds and directions, amazes, also sets relatively narrow limits to understanding others, and in any case cannot be reduced to a single formula. The global dynamics such as the internal logics of the countries, the cultures, the “formal programs of the societies” (Georg Simmel) are too diverse. 2 Giant Neighbor India India's “communication revolution” was recently impressively described by Arvind Singhal and Everett Rogers (2001). Since independence from Great Britain in 1947, the country has become the most populous state, with a population of 350 million to over a million. Leonhard / Harrison 1998; Weidenbaum 1997). Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 214 arde increased. It also became a leading player on the continent in many ways, but especially in communications technology development. Nevertheless, it is far from an “information society” that there is too much gap between urban and peripheral regions, the lifestyles of the rich and the poor. Around a third of the population, especially the farmers in the 400,000 or so villages, live on or below the poverty line. Its size, its cultural and sociological diversity, the enormous social and ethnic tensions within the country but also with neighboring Pakistan, as well as the secularization of life that accompanied the waves of modernization have promoted a strong Hindu nationalism (cf. Six 2003). India rightly sees itself as a superpower in its hemisphere and this is also expressed in the self-confidence of its cultural industry. A representative example of this is the rise of the media empire of Subhash Chandra, the Indian television czar (cf. Dhume 2000; Ratnesar 2000; Singh 2000). As a self-made businessman, he started his impressive soaring in 1982 with a company that no longer made tubes for toothpaste, cosmetics and other pharmaceutical products from aluminum, but from plastic. He internationalized his company to Germany and the USA, among others, and became number two in this market there. The epochal turn of the group came in 1992: The TV station Zee Television, newly founded by Subhash Chandra, broadcast its first program from Mumbai (Bombay). Meanwhile, the Indian entertainment holding Zee Network des Subhash Chandra knows many superlatives. Hundreds of Zee Network companies broadcast TV programs in more than seven channels, primarily in Hindi, but also in Bengali, Marathi and Punjabi. Zee Telefilm is targeting the growing Indian middle class with great success, with low-brow entertainment, with talk shows and music videos, with soap operas and with melodramatic feature films. The trigger for the rapid rise of television in India was a "soap opera for social change" with the title "Hum log" (We people) in the mid-1980s. The rather dreary Indian state television Doordarshan landed a huge success with 156 parts, achieved ratings of 90 percent and 60 million viewers (cf. Singhal / Rogers 2001, 90f). Exemplary for this Indian variant of development communication were the early evening series on Mexican television Televisa, which used an "entertainment-education approach" to bring important social issues such as family planning or gender equality to the people in an entertaining way, with the Zwischen Giant Neighbors and US culture industry 215 intent to achieve social change with it (cf. Noel Nariman 1993). Other ingredients: celebrity film actors, old Hindu epics, dance, music and melodrama, commercials and broadcasting in Hindi, which actually made it possible to reach the poorer population groups who do not speak English. Doordarshan was able to multiply its advertising income in these years, which in turn encouraged politicians to liberalize the economy and to abolish the so-called “License Raj”, which had so far minimized foreign influence. At the end of the 1980s, the Indian economy stagnated and India's old isolationist policy, which had not allowed IBM or Coca Cola to enter the country, could no longer be maintained. Liberal businessmen around the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, many of them in the computer industry, seized the helm and opened India's economy to the world market. The opening of the world market to the outside corresponded to a policy of internal deregulation and privatization - the actual birth of private television in India. With the arrival of private capital and large investors from abroad, the Indian media and information industry expanded and achieved a turnaround in just a few years, from a manufacturer of potato chips to a manufacturer of computer chips, as an Indian minister put it (see Thussu 2000 ). Zee TV has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of this development. Zee Telefilm systematized the success of Doordarshan's soap operas. And today's hits at Zee are: Amanat (Das Erbe), a soap about a single father with seven beautiful daughters; Aap ki Adalat (The Court), a talk show where viewers can corner leading politicians, government officials and actors with cheeky questions; Antakshri, a very popular show in which participants try to excel at singing. Thousands of Indians regularly wait in long lines in front of the studio rooms where Antakshri is being recorded, hoping to be able to sing along to the next broadcast. Zee Network is India's largest private media group with a focus on the production and purchase of TV programs, distribution and distribution of TV programs via satellite or cable and the production of entertainment and education for the new medium Internet. Zee Telefilm is traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange as the fourth most important Indian company - ahead of the industrial giant TATA. With annual sales of 53 millionUS dollars, Zee Telefilm made a profit of 19 million US dollars in 1999. (see zeetelevision). Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 216 The Indian media call him “Zee-Zar”, “India's Murdoch” or simply “media mogul”. Subhash Chandra sees himself as a successful doer. With large parts of the Indian youth, his philosophy of “just do it now” has taken on pronounced cult traits. “Do it now”: Since practically every Indian cable operator feeds in Zee, Zee TV is seen by around 30 million Indian households that can receive satellite TV. Zee expects another 15 million TV households in Europe, Africa and the USA. With his companies Asia TV in England, Asia TV in South Africa, Asia TV in the USA, with planned companies in Australia and in the Caribbean, with Buddha Films, Asia Today and Expand Fast, with Zee Multimedia Worldwide and Siticable, Zee has made a name for itself worldwide 225 million TV viewers and the reception of its radio programs in 80 countries. Chandra confidently announced his goal in an interview: Zee TV and Zee Internet should be available to everyone at any time, anywhere. Subhash Chandras Zee TV even managed to oust Asia’s dominant satellite provider STAR TV from the Indian market. Rupert Murdoch's pan-Asian TV broadcaster may have a large technical reach in Asia, but so far it has not been able to successfully penetrate the large mass markets of India and China. In 1992 Star TV and Zee TV agreed a joint venture with a 50:50 stake. Chandra paid Star TV $ 5 million to become a partner in Star TV's India program. Despite all the externally reported success numbers, Star TV was not particularly successful in India. On the one hand, the Star TV operators (before Rupert Murdoch, especially the Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li Ka-shing) had completely overestimated the capacity of an English-speaking market in India, and on the other hand, influential politicians in New Delhi resisted the Indian TV market abroad Open to operators completely. When Star TV got ready to switch its programs from English to Hindi, Chandra saw it as a breach of contract and filed a lawsuit in London against Rupert Murdoch: they finally reached an out of court settlement in September 1999. Murdoch had to give up his shares in Star TV India. Subhash Chandra paid Murdoch $ 297 million for this. In March 2000 both partners ended all cooperation. Chandra is a conscious Hindu and Indian nationalist, someone who is extremely knowledgeable about ancient Indian history. He sees himself as a modern Indian manager who attaches great importance to tradition, practices yoga and likes to wear silk dhotikurta instead of the gray business suit, who likes to smoke an Indian bidi instead of a cigarette. Chan- Between Giant Neighbors and the US cultural industry 217 dra wants to prevent western TV influence in India, out of self-interest but also out of national awareness. Chandra is a senior member of the Vipassana Global Religious Foundation. His credo: “We must be guided neither by success nor by failure; we just have to follow our karma. ”For Indian communication scholar Ananda Mitra, Subhash Chandra's success at Zee TV represents a change in political culture in secular India. For him, Zee TV is the outward expression of the increasing visibility of a deeper, new Hindu fundamentalism (cf. Mitra 1993). The Indian culture industry has also seen the convergence, the merging of different media systems, as an economic opportunity and challenge. The Zee Group is preparing to enter the Agrani satellite telephone project (www.agrani.com). The Sanskrit word agrani (in front) denotes the strategy and vision of the Zee Group. Subhash Chandra was and is at the forefront in India with the first amusement park, the first private TV broadcaster, the first TV cable distributor, the first pay TV operator for Hindi films and the first operator of a chain of 40 multiplex cinemas. In 1999 he called the Internet portal E-Connect India Ltd. (ECIL) into life. Zee Interactive Learning Systems Ltd. is to tackle an integration of television, multimedia, Internet and print media in order to turn India's educational system upside down. The research institute TALEEM Research Foundation in Ahmedabad of the industrial holding Essel, with its director, the world-famous anthropologist Binod Agrawal, is one of the most capable Indian communication scientists. And now Subhash Chandra wants to implement his Agrani project with a budget of almost 800 million US dollars; his son will take over the management.3 The development of the last twenty years has made Indian television an economically flourishing entertainment machine, with high audiences and a multiplication of advertising revenues are 3 Subhash Chandra's business world is split in two. 1. Zee Network, the television and media half, is divided into four business areas, namely program production, broadcasting, global companies and distribution. 2. The second half comprises the Essel Group with companies in the packaging industry, but also amusement parks, satellite companies, real estate and water management. The number of Chandra companies and their mutual interdependence can hardly be overlooked (cf. esselpropack n.d., n.p.) (www.esselpropack.com) Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 218 the indicators for this. Development goals in the format of development communication, on the other hand, have been neglected more and more. Several decades ago, India was a world leader in experimenting with television technology for spurring national and local development. However, [...] India failed to capitalize on the lessons learned form these early television experiments, frittering away a golden opportunity. (Singhal / Rogers 2001, 93) The national television became a largely commercial broadcasting corporation, which so far has been able to successfully maintain its position in relation to private channels and continues to achieve wide reach. This is an amazing feat given the market penetration of up to 40 private, commercial television stations. The penetration of the consumer sector with international brands and products, which occurred in the course of the spread of Western lifestyles and advertising, is in full swing in the growing and increasingly affluent Indian middle class. Sports and advertising are the catalysts of expansion for private television, which is all about entertainment. At the same time, a nationalization of Western providers, a tailoring of foreign formats to Indian tastes, becomes clear. MTV India, for example, uses the Indian national colors for its logo and has developed new crossover music formats. Overall, the extent of patriotic content in news, entertainment and advertising, especially in the context of the India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir, has increased massively (cf. Singhal / Rogers 2001, 102ff). 3 The Hinduization of Southeast Asia and Other Attempts at Conquest Thomas McPhail describes electronic colonialism in his book “Global Communication” (2002) as a relationship between developing countries and the West, which makes the former dependent on the import of hardware and software produced abroad . This goes hand in hand with the importation of technicians, technical formats and logics, which ultimately establish a set of foreign norms, values ​​and expectations and, to varying degrees, dominate or determine the local culture, forms of behavior, values ​​and socialization processes. "Whereas mercantile colonialism sought cheap labor, electronic colonialism seeks minds." (McPhail 2002, 14) From comic books to satellites, from computers to fax machines, from CDs to the Internet - the possibilities of information technology have become so great that it is easy to send and receive messages. Between Giant Neighbors and the US Culture Industry 219 Developing countries fear this dominance, even though they try to overcome the information and technology gap and gain access to modernity and markets (cf. Luger 2003). The relationship between industrialized countries and developing societies can undoubtedly be interpreted in some respects as blatant dependence or colonialism, and such a social-scientific analysis goes beyond an interpretation that focuses only on cultural phenomena such as hybridity (cf. Becker 2002). A colonialist relationship can be theoretically justified and empirically proven, but the theoretical explanations by far exceed the extent of the empirically flawless evidence. This is due to the difficulty of providing evidence, which is therefore sometimes based on assumptions. Dominance or exploitation relationships in economic colonialism are easier to quantify than cultural domination can be clearly traced back to certain triggering influences. The discussion today has to be more differentiated than at the time of the McBride Report and the major UNESCO initiatives, when it was believed that global "anti-imperialist" media policy could intervene in global economic and social development (cf. Frederick 1993). . Phenomena of cultural globalization are nowadays visible to a far greater extent, a “countermeasure” seems more topical than ever (cf. Boyd-Barrett 1999; Tomlinson 1999). But the global media and culture industry has changed massively, the geopolitical situation is different and new stakeholders such as non-governmental organizations have been added. The scholar and writer Eduardo Galeano speaks of a “huge machine, as big as the planet”, but in reality the global cultural industry does not consist of a monolithic block, but of an almost unmanageable network of simultaneous and opposing actors and messages. It is therefore not enough to put Hollywood or the US media groups under suspicion of imperialism, because all large conglomerates are now global merger companies, and the small states on every continent are contaminated by “next door giants” and their “footprints” (cf. McPhail 2002 , 250). Satellite TV is at the cutting edge of the development of new South Asian markets. It is creating awareness of new products and lifestyles, even if the goods are not available locally. The lure of the Indian market has persuaded international media entrepreneurs like Rupert Murdoch to hindigenize ’their programs and thereby their appeal. Indian companies like Zee TV and SunTV have used the same new opportunities with even greater commercial success. Powerful new media instruments have been created which not only serve commercial interests but Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 220 also play a very important role in the wider projection of Indian culture. The influence of satellite TV is not just about new markets; it is about culture and cultural influences and about the role of the market and the state in defining them. In South Asia, satellite TV has cut across the well established boundaries of the nation state and has raised fears for the future of ‘national’ cultures. It has also raised widely debated questions about the homogenization of Indian culture itself in an age of globalization. (Page / Crawley 2001, 135) A detailed picture of the situation in the region of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, the largest mountain system in the world, shows differences from country to country but also similarities. The national territories of Nepal and Bhutan are entirely in the mountains. South of the main chain are India and Pakistan, whose northern provinces largely consist of hills and mountains. To the north of the mountain range, which extends over 3000 km, are the Chinese provinces of Xinjiang and the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), which extend far into the Central Asian highlands. In this entire region, the influence of the western cultural industry has so far been limited to striking surface phenomena. Western amusement fashions and trivial art, old films and TV productions are recycled here, but there is little evidence that the public identifies with these products. This lacks the prerequisite for the replacement of popular local forms. There is licensed Coca Cola for the Nepal tourists and McDonalds in New Delhi, but the burgers contain goat or sheep meat, come over the counter in a local adaptation and thus become “culturally compatible”. What significance does it have for the subsistence farmer or the seamstress in the rice fields around Kathmandu when they learn via cable from Australian television that damp fields of fog are obstructing traffic in the suburbs of Sydney? Such and other information ricochets off, but in order not to despair of their own reality and to be able to endure poverty, people will still stick their heads in the TV and they will probably end up in a private Indian entertainment channel, with the legends and audio-visual modern melodramas, compositions of kitsch and violence, triviality and music (cf. Luger 2003a). Political Hindu nationalism is not only aggressive and audiovisual with an imperialist roar. Economically and culturally, he has his neighbors firmly under control or has already subjected their societies to a modernization course, which leaves ethnic minorities such as the Tibetans in Ladakh (state of Jammu and Kashmir) hardly any leeway for the development of their indigenous Buddhist culture. (see Norberg-Hodge 1992). The Nepalese government is already opening its umbrella in Kathmandu when it rains in Delhi and bowing to the economic and cultural power of its big neighbor. The Nepalese state television NTV has no chance against competition from Indian commercial channels, dozens of which are flooding the part of the country served by satellite dishes and cable companies. Only the main evening news - although it mostly consists of government handouts - and some Nepalese TV dramas manage to hold their own against the competition. There is no evidence of cultural resistance to TV Hinduization. In the capital Kathmandu and in the densely populated regions in the south of the country, which connects a green border with India, young people and the school-educated middle class are just as enthusiastic about Hindi folk and film music, Indian film stars and cricket idols as they are in the north Indian metropolitan areas. The fact that this Hindi pop culture, which also includes a certain way of speaking, fashion and behavior, seems to prevail so easily, is also due to the fact that the Nepalese media have nothing to counter it (cf. Luger 2002). The media Hinduization is only the most visible and strongly persuasive form of the ideological "Indianization" of the small Himalayan state. The kingdom with its 23 million inhabitants has Hinduism as the state religion in its constitution, the king is even revered as the incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu. The 80 ethnic minorities, who speak over 100 different languages ​​or dialects more or less openly, protest against this appropriation, the political instrumentalization of religion. They are Buddhists or followers of natural religions, at least non-Hindus, or they only worship a few Hindu deities. But only upper-class Hindus or members of the uppermost castes, Brahmins and Kshyatrias get good jobs. Although the caste system was officially abolished years ago, it still defines the political and cultural order. The current political conflict with the Maoist underground movement, which at times degenerated into civil war and led the country into an ongoing crisis, has its roots in the disadvantage and ignoring of the right to development of the rural poor. The Maoists accuse the country's leaders of corruption and illegal political rule based on Hinduism and its large neighbor India (cf. Pandey 2002). Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 222 India's film and television industry is the largest in the world (cf. Kunsthalle Wien 2002; Schneider 2002) and even in the hostile neighboring country of Pakistan, Bollywood film stars conquer the hearts of moviegoers. Like the Nepalese, the Urdu-speaking Pakistani understand Hindi without any problems, i.e. India's film and television industry has the advantage of a huge regional market for related languages ​​that basically spans all of Southeast Asia. While about three quarters of the population of Nepal are Hindus4, Pakistan is an Islamic country and its inhabitants are almost entirely Muslim. They feel threatened not only by the influence of the West, but also by the Indian footprints in their culture. It concerns v. a. the religious and sexual aspects of the culture that are violated by the commercial satellite programs. As in Nepal, the national Pakistani television PTV, but also the national film industry, which is under strict censorship, has a difficult position against the brilliantly staged world of images from across the border. This has led to a heated debate within Pakistan about the central values ​​of Islamic culture (cf. Page / Crawley 2001, 230ff). Also in Bangladesh - a largely Islamic society - the Indian satellite programs via cable inspire the masses. "Indian influences were also seen at work in fashion, music and a wider knowledge of Indian politics and culture. Boutique owners in Dhaka admitted to the following Mumbai TV fashions, though their own offerings were tailored to less adventurous local tastes. ”(Page / Crawley 2001, 225) Bangladesh Television has lost a large part of its audience to the cable channels because its entertainment program was deemed unattractive and his news broadcasts are classified as untrustworthy (cf. Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan 2002). Only a small influence of the satellite programs can be observed in the south of the continent, in Sri Lanka. Page / Crawley attribute this mainly to the fact that television viewers in this country were not on a "diet of state-controlled television", but that there was already considerable competition from private and public providers in terrestrial television. There are also US, 4 The official census data and the estimates and measurements made by anthropologists differ considerably. The proportion of the Hindu population is likely to be significantly lower (cf. Dixit / Ramachandaran 2002). Between Giant Neighbors and the US cultural industry 223 Australian, British and Japanese programs for years and Hindi programs have met with little response from Tamils ​​and Sinhalese (cf. Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan 2002, 247ff). For completely different reasons, satellite footprints in Tibet are relatively insignificant: the Chinese authorities keep a keen eye on unlicensed satellite antennas and prevent any reception of foreign signals. The Chinese state television CCTV and commercial provincial stations provide viewers on the roof of the world - there are already more Han Chinese than Tibetans living in the cities - with around a dozen Chinese television programs that support the audiovisual policy of sinization of the central government in Beijing. State television also uses selected recordings from CNN or other western stations and takes into account the Chinese people's enthusiasm for football with cuts from games in the European leagues. A separate Tibetan television program, which is also strictly controlled, consists largely of folklore and Murdoch's Star TV, the most popular satellite program in Asia, broadcasts regular entertainment programs (cf. Xiaoge 2002; Thomas 2000). Only in the few Tibetan cities is television part of everyday life for the population. The age of the global entertainment industry has not yet begun on the high plateau, where the farmers and nomads do not even have electricity away from the main roads and the children in many villages have to get by without school. “Television corrupted the Himalayan kingdom of Shangri-la,” report Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy from Bhutan. The Buddhist kingdom with its around. 650,000 inhabitants have close ties to Delhi and are also under its political “protection”. Its state sovereignty, it is often feared, could suffer from being too close and the “land of the thunder kite” - like the kingdom of Sikkim at the time - could become another Indian state. In 1999, Bhutan's King Jigme Singye Wangchuck allowed his subjects to watch television. Until the soccer World Cup in France the year before, television was a clandestine pastime. During the Games, the embassies and international organizations, all of which had satellite reception systems, were allowed to invite local guests to live broadcasts. The big Indian road construction company "Indian Border Roads" invited monks and farmers to its labor camps, where they could watch the World Cup. The rush was substantial and made it clear that Bhutan's television isolation could not survive the millennium. It had long since had its effect, because in the capital and in the larger settlements in the area the roofs were full of satellite dishes, you could buy or rent video cassettes and wealthy citizens had long since had the necessary Equipment through which they brought Bollywood into their homes (cf. Luger 2002, 40). "We determine the pace at which we develop," said the Queen in her inaugural speech. Experience shows that even the power of an absolute monarchy has limits. A study by Bhutanese scientists, referenced by Scott-Clark and Levy, links dramatic changes to television - to commercial satellite television. The national terrestrial television BBS, whose reception range does not extend beyond the capital Thimpu, has to watch helplessly as everything comes into the households via the satellite dishes, which for many years it has been defended against for good reasons. One third of girls now want to look more American (whiter skin, blonde hair). A similar proportion has new approaches to relationships (boyfriends not husbands, sex not marriage). More than 35% of parents say they prefer to watch TV than talk to their children. Almost 50% of children watch for up to 12 hours a day. (Clark / Levy 2003, 41) Even though these statements and results cannot be checked, they seem to prove a phenomenon: the television images, reality and fiction of the world outside one's own horizon, astonish us without limits during the introductory phase of the medium , old and young gather for many hours in front of the screen. Branded items advertised on television are suddenly attractive, everyone knows David Beckham, kids are talking about Eminem and Linkin Park and not about the television documentary about the great Buddhist festival, which is why hundreds of tourists went on their high-priced trip to Bhutan. In one village, a newspaper reports, farmers spent so much time in front of the television that they even missed the harvest. As at the time in China, when after the introduction of television reception a time compression was observed, a “speeding up” during the day in order to have enough time for media consumption (cf. Huang / Green 2000), the Bhutanese scientists also made considerable changes in the Everyday executions firmly. The excited, culture-critical tones will probably subside when the new medium has been integrated into the leisure time habits and the time devoted to it sinks to a tolerable level. As numerous studies have shown, the influence of the television industry is far overestimated in the peripheral regions and in the villages (cf. Johnson 2000). But there is also no doubt that the media, above all television, provoke changes in mindsets as well as ways of life and consumption or intensify tendencies towards urbanization. However, where purchasing power or consumer supply is low, as in many development companies, the extent of the changes is smaller. In any case, the developing countries represent an enormous hope and future market for transnational media and advertising companies as well as for the culture and branded goods industry (cf. Mohammadi 1999, 78). 4 media as development agencies? Media influence is never linear or predictable, cannot be viewed positively or negatively in principle and does not always change the program of forms in developing societies. Cultural effects, the results of the game between resistance and seduction, often only become apparent after a long period of time and are often not clearly verifiable. High expectations were placed in large media-based awareness campaigns, some of which were successful, but many remained ineffective because, for example, there was a lack of emotional appeal, access to people was not found, they were overwhelmed by innovation or the system prevented changes . Development communication made a valuable contribution through popular television and radio series in many developing countries and also in the Hindu Kush Himalayas to promote the necessary social changes. The containment of population growth in a number of countries is attributed to the entertainment education method, which brings information to women and men in the form of entertainment. The media use is supplemented by idols from the world of film and sports and by in-depth educational measures, which ultimately aim to achieve behavioral modifications in the audience. Empirically verified soap operas (popular television series) have helped to lower birth rates, to have safe sex, or to raise the status of women (cf. Sherry 1997). The World Bank has also recognized the centrality of communication and the associated cultural consequences for the development process in poor countries. The mission statement and strategic presence changed in the 1990s in the direction of sustainable development. Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 226 has since defined itself as a “knowledge bank” and has moved away from measuring progress and development based solely on economic indices. Since 1998 the bank has been a trendsetter for the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in developing countries in order to narrow the knowledge gap between rich and poor countries. In the Human Development Report 2001 - Making New Technologies Work for Human Development - the bank presents the successes to date and estimates the potential of the new technologies for social and cultural development. It makes itself the “change agent” of a social and cultural modernization, which is primarily based on technical innovation. In many developing societies where a mythical understanding of time still prevails and the past is always part of the present, there is less willingness to adopt innovations quickly (cf. Tetzlaff 2000, 44). Both the World Bank and the governments of developing countries hope that the new information and communication technologies will provide substantial boosts to modernization and help in closing the prosperity gap between North and South (cf. Mansell / Wehn ​​1998). With the support of ICTs, the Himalayan countries are also trying to achieve certain development goals that should justify the risk of technological and cultural change (cf. Akthar / Gregson 2001). The effects on lifestyle and culture emanating from the ICTs cause a surge in modernization that initially only affects the urban population and there primarily the better educated (cf. Dixit 1998). Since a number of developing countries, such as India and, to a limited extent, also Nepal, have not only a considerable "connectivity" and an astonishingly large number of highly qualified experts in demand around the world5, the suspicion is that ICTs are also a new variant of the cultural Imperialism, so far not as explicitly in space as the one-way audio-visual communication that led to the political demand for a new world information and communication order (cf. World Economic Forum 2003). The critical point of view is found in developing countries 5 A study by the International Telecommunication Union was published on the situation in Nepal in November 2000: The Internet from the Top of the World: Nepal Case Study. Online: www.itu / int / ti / casestudies Between Giant Neighbors and the US Culture Industry 227 BC a. supporters in grassroots movements in civil society and in oppositional groups. Roberto Verzola, chairman of the Philippine Greens, sees the ITCs as “the third wave of colonialism” (Verzola 1999). The big players, looking for markets all over the world, bring unrest but also dynamism in societies and cultures. In particular, they contribute to the delimitation of national borders in order to re-intertwine across borders. Its influence in the centers of the Third World is great, and some consequences do not reach its periphery or only indirectly. This is not only due to globalization effects, but also to elites programmed for self-interest, incompetent bureaucrats and corrupt politicians. The new communication technologies, technical developments in rationalization-based Western economic logic and industrialized cultures are not expected to effectively counter the threat to cosmogenic and more traditional cultures. Their holistic relationship between man and nature, their mythology, which opposes purposeful thinking, has long been overlaid by the European concept and in the course of time has been irretrievably destroyed in parts. Disorientation has taken the place of the old, security-giving order (cf. Scherrer 1988). Wars and political oppression have also led to processes of cultural impoverishment and oppression. Language bans in Kurdistan, the destruction of divine images in Afghanistan and Tibet and the suppression of religious practice are testimonies to the cultural exodus in Asia (cf. Laaser 2000). Derivatives of disappearing cultures and individual finds are registered in the West with interest and undisguised admiration, parts broken out of the overall context such as Feng Shui or Tai Chi flow into the everyday practice of postmodern industrial societies in a market-oriented form as esoterica. The world culture market also benefits from the diversity of living non-Western art and culture, from the sounds, rhythms, costumes, color compositions and form ideas, the inexhaustible larder of exotic-looking artefacts that are commercially exploited in fashion, music, sport, sex and tourism . The North-South conflict should not be glossed over into an intercultural dialogue between equal partners, but the development companies have potential, an immensely rich and deeply rooted cultural fund, on which many external influences rebound. The core values, the central values ​​of a culture, are not so helplessly at the mercy of the footprints, as is often argued. The opposite Kurt Luger / Jörg Becker 228 seems at least to be the case. The age of globalization leads to a rediscovery of certain traditions, to reconsideration, to the reflection or adaptation of modernizations in the way of life and also to the protection of the backstage against attacks (cf. Held 2000). Theoretically, one should take note of the fact that all societies are dynamic and transcultural structures and integrate elements of foreign origin that are not necessarily conveyed via television or radio signals, albeit with very different weightings. The vision of a “balanced flow of information” between rich and poor countries or between the north and the south must also be reformulated, because the prosperity gap within the individual societies is very pronounced. The information gap, or the digital divide between rich and poor, tended to increase. (see Becker 1986; www.worldbank.org / data / wdi2002 / pdfs / table% 205-10.pdf). In this respect, a political demand that strives for a balance only at the national level has had its day when it fails to recognize reality or ignores internal social structures. It seems that the audiovisual media, whether organized by the state or commercially, are less interested than ever in development policy content. In this way, television evades responsibility and leaves radio in particular an important political task that this medium has already fulfilled in many regions of the world (cf. Nord-Süd-Netz 2002). First and foremost, however, hopes are placed in the new information and communication technologies. Using them for development purposes at least, turning them into “tools for the poor”, is one of the political demands on the way to a “fair globalization”. Within the framework of the European Union, the member states have committed themselves to a technology initiative in order to achieve the Millennium Development Cooperation Goals. In the position paper "Information and Communication Technologies in Development" adopted by the Development Council in May 2002, the EU is committed to the use of ICTs as a means of reducing poverty, sees them as a prerequisite for sustainable development and proposes a broad and integrated policy in various areas. Telecommunications, e-commerce, health, training, governance are mentioned. The inclusion of ICTs in all EU partnership agreements is seen as mandatory. (http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/printversion/en/lvb/ r12515.htm.) Between Giant Neighbors and the US Culture Industry 229 For communication science, this means, as media, not only the technical apparatus for the authoritarian distribution of news or understand conversation.When the focus is no longer on the major economic transactions and spectacular mergers, other perspectives come into focus. 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