Research Articles

Redefining ‘Azadi’ in India: the prose of anti-sedition

amit shah

The political debate in India over Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and “anti-nationals” is part of a larger political narrative which seeks to substitute political Hindutva, which may not be accepted by all, with a simple nationalism, whose binaries few can say no to – while simultaneously shrinking the notion of what it means to be […..]

Watching, Streaming, and Other Things to Do with TV

22

In early- 2014, when India’s over 400 TV news channels were enmeshed in a bitter fight for ratings to cover the most significant election of their lifetimes – with then-challenger Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party taking on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in a presidential-style campaign – many experimented with political satire. […..]

Modi’s Media

1AMCover

“India is Modi. Modi is India” screamed the headline in India’s most popular pink paper, The Economic Times, the day after the new Prime Minister’s historic electoral victory, the greatest by the Indian Right and the first clear-cut majority mandate for a single party to rule India in thirty years. It was a smart inversion […..]

Revising history: how a new archive changes our understanding of the past and the present

Berlin 1936: An Indian athlete puts his turban with Italian athletes around him

Abstract This article outlines how fresh historical evidence recently made available in a new digital archive necessitates a nuanced rewriting of the complex linkages between colonial structures, early-Indian capitalism and the incipient nationalism that drove Indian sport and Olympism before independence. India became the first colony to take part in the Olympics, supremely dominating Olympics […..]

When Live News was Too Dangerous: The Early History of Satellite TV in India

23LACover

ABSTRACT Satellite TV has been the greatest social development of the past thirty years in India. With over 800 TV channels in 11 languages, the emergence of live TV news significantly changed politics, culture and society. How did this massive transformation unfold? The first part of this essay sketches the early histories of the first […..]

Ravana’s airforce: a report on the state of Indian television

Abstract With over 800 television channels, India is not only the world’s third largest television market but also its most varied. Indian television for the past decade has been defined by an upward trend of continuous growth – in viewership numbers, revenues and advertising – and equally with a severe crisis of content across genres. […..]

Contradictory trends in Indian television

In early 2008, India’s Zee News broadcast a ‘special investigation’. With a loud, red banner labelling the inquiry an ‘exclusive’, the program made two claims: first, it professed to have found definitive proof that Ravana, the mythical villain of the Ramayana, had maintained an air force. And second, the program revealed that it had found […..]