Overview for Brand India
Being precisely located, no nation escapes positioning in the global order. And, a nation inevitably sells itself before it sells it products. Brand India is about how India has marketed itself to the West/Rest. This begins with a process of self-definition, constructing accumulative narratives of images, origins and essences. Definitions are differential and they show that nations are 'matchless' on the globe. national definitions are also dynamic, incessant and each narrative is a chronoscopic freeze of the nation's current meaningfulness. If we were to thus ask the question "What is India?" of the many answers, one would be that India is Spiritual, a definition classically antique and stylishly modern. India is also Mother, recently transformed into Miss India is also the land of deva-bhasa, Sanskrit; banished by loka-bhasas, vernaculars; banished by Hindi/Hindustani; and lately by the world-conquering jag-bhasa, English. National definitions are constructed in communal history, philosophy, culture and literature and are thus initiations into post-colonial literary studies. One is not to suppose that such narratives are topics of impenetrable academics. For, when they shift from the textual to the actual, abstract to material, they redefine the country as a brand. Thus, Brand India has its TINA (There-is-no-alternative) factor imparting value to all its products. So, now, if we question why, India, after selling yoga for ages, is also selling cars; or is becoming the current investment destination; or why Indian-English is accentuated in call-centres, we find that another master narrative of India is being fabricated. It is a narrative of Materiality making India the global flavour of the season.
Sunanda Mongia (Author)
Sunanda Mongia teaches at the Department of English, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith University, Varansai. Brand India is her second critica book, the first being Discourse of Anxiety: The Drama of O'Neill, Miller, Williams (1996). She is a short story writer (Cryptozones, 1996), poet (Upon My Word, 2004), translator (Rahul Sanskrityayan's Kinnar Desh Me, in press) and reviewer of Indian English fiction and poetry.