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By Arvind Rajagopal

In January 1987, the Indian state-run tv begun broadcasting a Hindu epic in serial shape, The Ramayana, to national audiences, violating a decades-old taboo on spiritual partisanship. What resulted used to be the biggest political crusade in post-independence occasions, round the image of Lord Ram, led via Hindu nationalists. The complexion of Indian politics used to be irrevocably replaced thereafter. during this publication, Arvind Rajagopal analyses this awesome sequence of occasions. whereas audiences could have proposal they have been paying homage to an epic golden age, Hindu nationalist leaders have been embracing the customers of neoliberalism and globalisation. tv used to be the gadget that hinged those routine jointly, symbolising the hot chances of politics, right away extra inclusive and authoritarian. at the same time, this learn examines how the bigger old context was once woven into and adjusted the nature of Hindu nationalism.

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Politics after Television: Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India

In January 1987, the Indian state-run tv all started broadcasting a Hindu epic in serial shape, The Ramayana, to national audiences, violating a decades-old taboo on non secular partisanship. What resulted used to be the biggest political crusade in post-independence occasions, round the image of Lord Ram, led via Hindu nationalists.

Extra resources for Politics after Television: Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India

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To be Hindu became a triumphant declaration of strength and vigor, and the symbol of an aggressive culture on the ascendant. Now it was those who had believed the term to signify anything else who were at fault – they were traitors to a great heritage who, by their unbelief, had paralyzed an incomparable civilization. ¹⁵ ‘‘The last ten years have transformed not only the society and the economy, but also the psyche of the country,’’ it proclaimed. ‘‘[R]evered terms of the past are now passe´: – socialism, controls, state interference .

Import liberalization led to a considerable increase in the import surpluses supporting industrialization.  percent between  and  alone.  years.  percent of GNP. ²⁴ Hindu nationalism and the cultural forms of Indian politics  By , India was seventh in the ranks of debtor nations. ²⁶ IMF-imposed structural adjustment commenced, with its conditionalities including currency devaluation, opening the economy to imports, effecting cuts in subsidies, and initiating privatization, among other things.

This led to what has been described as centrist politics, which meant in practice that compromises were made with erstwhile ruling classes in most regions of the country. From an independence movement, the Indian National Congress shifted to being a party of government, beginning with the compromise and consent of a range of class interests, and developing over time into little more than a mechanism for fighting elections. In the two decades following Independence, most power was handled by state-level bosses who ran traditional party machines based on patronage.

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