Empowering Visions: The Politics of Representation in Hindu Nationalism

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Anthem Press, 2005 - History - 365 pages
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Illustrated throughout with over 80 full colour images, Empowering Visions explores the role of images and mass media in Hindutva, the cultural-nationalist movement that moved to the forefront of politics in India in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The author investigates when, why and in what way the moving image, and videos in particular, came to play a central role in the process of self-representation and self-constitution of Hindu nationalist groups and organizations in the overlapping domains of politics, religion and economics. The videos analysed here have been included in massive public political spectacles such as election rallies and patriotic pilgrimages. They have also been employed for in-house indoctrination and emotive mobilization of militant cadres for temporary, often violent, agitation. With the help of these media, different political and cultural-religious organizations, subsumed under the umbrella of Hindutva, have attempted to constitute notions of 'Indianness' as 'Hinduness', to challenge and provoke both the government in power and specific minority groups such as the Muslims in India. How this was done, who stood behind the making of the videos and how they were made up and distributed, are questions that lie at the heart of this study. At a time when public attention is focused on transnational, and mostly Islamicist movements, "Empowering Visions" argues that both transnationalism and nationalism have to be treated with equal attention, and to some extent ought to be seen as intertwined processes. This book is unique in its presentation and discussion of profound ethnographic data through interviews with a variety of spokesmen for the Hindutva movement. Italso offers an in-depth analysis of visual and audio-visual material that has so far bee
 

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Contents

The Brotherhood Footage of RSS drill performance
2
Introduction 1
3
Jain Studios on the Meandering Stairway to Success
15
Chapter 2
44
Z Translating Metaphors of NationBuilding
55
of a Chief Minister
59
Manifestation of the peoples will A demonstration
68
Ongoing battles for selfdefense and awakening Drawing
74
Hindutvas Media Phantasmagorias
95
place and displacement
131
The Truth shall not be touched
181
a passion play of martyrdom
279
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About the author (2005)

Christiane Brosius teaches at Karl Ruprechts University, Heidelberg. She gained her PhD from Europe University Viadrina, Frankfurt, and has written articles and books on audiovisual media, iconography and nationalism in India.

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