Name: Indrani Lahiri
Organisation: University of Stirling
Country: United Kingdom (UK)
There has been little work on the role played by India's mainstream news media during the different political and economic junctures. Furthermore, very few authors like Thussu (1998), Derne (1998), have written about its role as agents of ideological dissemination. There is practically no account on historical continuities and discontinuities in how local media provides -or not- justificatory narratives that legitimises colonial and post-colonial ideas of social order and economic planning. In this sense, this work aims to provide a unique and comprehensive understanding of how India has embraced modernity by means of its own media outlets and how these have framed the way Indians perceived these changes and policies. I have previous experience of working in Indian media as a journalist in several newspapers and satellite channels. I have also taught at undergraduate level in colleges under Calcutta University. I also have wide experience working with the different NGO’s and social organizations, having worked with Sabai, Samaj-Darpan. During my time as a journalist, academic and social activist, I have come across the series of questions like do the media play politically to earn revenue or does it have social responsibilities? Is the Indian media a copycat or another arm to serve capitalist agenda? There are fundamental questions to understand India today. I chose my topic because the Indian economy along with the period in which society changed dramatically; that of the 1990s. During this time, not only the economy but also the media changed vigorously. This had a tremendous impact on how Indians perceived themselves and the world around them; a change that in many ways allowed the introduction of fundamental changes in the type of policies and institutions that up to then had characterised India's politics. In terms of how my skills will facilitate my research, I can mention the fact that I speak several of the languages used by the media in India. My own experience as a reporter, provides a distinctive range of sources and ability to network with key media people. My academic background, will allow me to tap into pivotal sources and archive in India and my record as a third sector worker will provide unique access to key people across sections in India's society highly divided by class and cast systems. My plan is to publish different papers on vital angles of my research which I will find while my work is in progress. I also have the intention to turn my dissertation into a urgently needed book on India's media in contemporary times. I believe this will make a substantial contribution to the area; providing a comprehensive understanding on how the media has help constructed the idea of modernity and progress that prevails in India.