“Every Sunday in villages across India, groups of people—an assortment of turbaned men, sari-clad women, and gap-toothed children—gather around old television sets to watch their favorite Bollywood film stars sing and dance in song videos culled from movies. These song shows, a popular component of mainstream television programming, are often the only way rural populations can see the stars or access the latest films. Nine years ago, India’s national television network decided to introduce karaoke-style subtitles to these programs—not in a foreign language, but in Hindi, the language the stars were singing in.”
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