The Atlantic

Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas, and the Two Internets

What the mystifying alliance between a Bollywood star and a former boy-band member reveals about a global inability to communicate
Source: Altaf Qadri / AP

India is commonly called the world’s largest democracy, a title that may confuse anyone raised to think of America’s claim to democracy as primary in every way. Similarly, India outranks the U.S. in terms of how many people in the country are on the internet: upward of 450 million, by various recent reports, in comparison with the U.S.’s more than 250 million documented users. (Only China has more internet users than either country, at around 800 million.)

This week, numbers once again seemed less critical than hegemonic power, especially for followers of one of the biggest Indo-American internet dramas perhaps ever: the marriage of the actor Priyanka Chopra to the former boy-band heartthrob Nick Jonas. An American perspective has dominated media coverage of the event, to the point that one of the biggest flurries in the Indian press around it had to do with an American article on the subject. A take on magazine’s went viral; the conclusion, which urged Jonas to escape on his horse, painted him as both the victim and hero of the story; Chopra was a devious villain.

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