Published Papers

Locating the “Internet Hindu”: Political Speech and Performance in Indian Cyberspace

Author: Sriram Mohan
Publication Date: 2015
Journal: Television & New Media
Volume: 16
Issue: 4
Pages: 339-345
Abstract: The article seeks to offer an understanding of the politics and presence of this increasingly visible, informal online political formation in India, whose members are referred to as the Internet Hindus. Used to describe young, often urban, middle-class/upper-middle-class followers of Hinduism residing in India (and abroad), the term has come to be associated almost entirely with those who aggressively voice their right-wing political views and support for Narendra Modi on social media platforms. The article explores the politics espoused by some of these “Internet Hindus” and frames them vis-à-vis the larger themes foregrounded by the electoral victory of the Hindu nationalist political outfit, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In doing so, the article attempts to locate “Internet Hindus” in a democracy, which has the third largest Internet user base in the world, and seeks to deconstruct their ethno-nationalistic online posturing, while reflecting on what this may mean for the online collective itself.
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 The Memories of a Spark: Reconstructing the 1965 riots in Madurai against the imposition of Hindi

Author: Sriram Mohan
Publication Date: 2014
Journal: SubVersions
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Pages: 131-151
Abstract: The paper aims to capture the synthesis and popular reconstruction of one of independent India’s earliest instances of large-scale violence over the emotive issue of language, i.e., the January 1965 Madurai riots that occurred on the day before the fifteenth anniversary of India becoming a republic, against the imposition of Hindi as the sole official language of the union of India. The seeds of the anti-Hindi protests in the state of Madras were sown in the 1930s and its revival in the 1960s had widespread social, cultural and political ramifications. This paper seeks to explore how culture, identity, ideology and power relations weighed in on the socio-ethnic unity of the nation state at that time, from the perspective of lived experience (oral histories) and through an analysis of the media representation of the riots and its outcomes.
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