June 14, 2024

Faculty Insights Podcast: India’s Democracy & Media’s Role Amid Backsliding

Puja Thapa and Prof. Rajagopal explore the current state of India’s democracy, focusing on the role of the ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in wielding and weaponizing the media. How does the BJP manipulate narratives to suit their objectives? What implications does this have for democracy? These crucial questions are thoroughly examined and discussed.

Image Credit: Mushba Said

Welcome to Faculty Insights Podcast! In this episode, we delve into the immense power of information and its transformative effects on society. As the saying goes, those who control information hold the reins of the world, and throughout history, we have witnessed the profound consequences of this truth.

In the 1400s, the printing press emerged as a game-changer, reshaping humanity by sparking religious wars, revolutions, and the democratization of knowledge. It dismantled the centralized power of the Church, forever altering the course of history. Fast forward to the present day, and the media has become the modern-day printing press, influencing our perceptions and molding the landscape of the 21st century.

Join Puja Thapa from the Journal of Political Inquiry (JPI) as she engages in an enlightening conversation with Arvind Rajagopal, Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt. Prof. Rajagopal is an acclaimed author whose works, including Politics After Television: Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India and The Indian Public Sphere: Structure and Transformation, have garnered prestigious awards and recognition.

Arvind Rajagopal is a Professor of Media Studies at New York University and is an affiliated faculty in the Department of Sociology and Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU. In 2010-11, he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His books include Politics After Television: Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India (Cambridge, 2001), which won the Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize from the Association of Asian Studies and the Daniel Griffiths Prize at NYU, both in 2003, and The Indian Public Sphere: Structure and Transformation (Oxford, 2009). In addition to his scholarly writing, he has also published in forums such as the SSRC’s Immanent Frame and opendemocracy.net, and in newspapers and periodicals.

Together, Puja Thapa and Prof. Rajagopal explore the current state of India’s democracy, focusing on the role of the ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in wielding and weaponizing the media. How does the BJP manipulate narratives to suit their objectives? What implications does this have for democracy? These crucial questions are thoroughly examined and discussed.

Prepare to be informed and engaged as we embark on a journey to uncover the intricate dynamics between media, politics, and democracy in India. Join us and discover the far-reaching impact of information in shaping the future of India.

This podcast episode is produced and edited by Roya Lotfi.

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