1st Edition

Media as Politics in South Asia

Edited By Sahana Udupa, Stephen McDowell Copyright 2017
    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The dramatic expansion of the media and communications sector since the 1990s has brought South Asia on the global scene as a major center for media production and consumption. This book is the first overview of media expansion and its political ramifications in South Asia during these years of economic reforms.

    From the puzzling liberalization of media under military dictatorship in Pakistan to the brutal killings of journalists in Sri Lanka, and the growing influence of social media in riots and political protests in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, the chapters analyse some of the most important developments in the media fields of contemporary South Asia. Attentive to colonial histories as well as connections within and beyond South Asia in the age of globalization, the chapters combine theoretically grounded studies with original empirical research to unravel the dynamics of media as politics. The chapters are organized around the three frames of participation, control and friction. They bring to the fore the double edged nature of publicity and containment inherent in media, thereby advancing postcolonial perspectives on the massive media transformation underway in South Asia and the global South more broadly.

    For the first time bringing together the cultural, regulatory and social aspects of media expansion in a single perspective, this interdisciplinary book fills the need for overview and analytical studies on South Asian media.

    1. Introduction, Sahana Udupa and Stephen McDowell

    Part I: Participation

    2. Small Frame Politics: The Circulations of Public Performance in a Digital Age, Gabriel Dattatreyan

    3. Envisioning Pakistan: Traversing Space and the Media, Chloe Gill-Khan

    4. Media and Minority Ethnic Political Identity in Nepal, Natalie Greenland and Michael Wilmore

    5. Pimps, Paranoia and Politics: Narratives of Masculinities and Femininities in Nepali Blogosphere, Sanjeev Uprety

    Part II: Control

    6. Why did a Military Dictator Liberalize the Electronic Media in Pakistan?, Kiran Hassan

    7. Re-inventing Normality in Sri Lanka’s Media Systems, William Crawley and David Page

    8. The Politico-Commercial Nexus and the Broadcast Policy Reform in Bangladesh, Anis Rahman, S M Shameem Reza and Fahmidul Haq

    9. Biometric Identities, Governance and Bodies in India, Ursula Rao

    Part III: Friction

    10. Two Faces of Sri Lankan Media: Censorship and Resistance, Gehan Gunatillake

    11. Clicking and Politicking: Notions of Mediated Politics in South Asia, Dev Pathak and Ratan Kumar Roy

    12. Mediating Claims to Buddha’s Birthplace and Nepali National Identity, Dannah Dennis

    13. Viral Video: Mobile Media, Riot and Religious Politics, Sahana Udupa

    14. Concluding Comments, Stephen McDowell and Sahana Udupa


    Sahana Udupa is Professor of Media Anthropology, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, and Senior Research Partner at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany. She researches and teaches journalism cultures, digital media politics, global urbanization and media policy. She is the author of Making News in Global India: Media, Publics, Politics.

    Stephen D. McDowell is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Communication and Information and is John H. Phipps Professor in the School of Communication at Florida State University, USA. His research and teaching interests address news content, new communication technologies, and communication policies in South Asia and North America. His first book is on India’s communication policies, ‘Globalization, Liberalization and Policy Change: A Political Economy of India's Communications Sector’.