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Class, Power and Consciousness in Indian Cinema and Television

Anirudh Deshpande (Author)

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, cinema has influenced social consciousness in India. Like printing and photography, which had exerted a formative influence on power, information and knowledge before it, cinema has influenced millions of people in a myriad ways.

It is a well known fact that cinema, and its cousin television, comprise a media which is central to the self-perception of contemporary Indians. Indeed, it would not be wrong to say that the visual representations of social realities in this media shape popular mentality in a country with an old, influential and thriving film industry. In sum, being Indian today is often expressed in the idiom popularized by Hindi cinema and television.

This book offers a historical understanding of the Indian Audio-Visual media. It asserts that the media is essential to the bourgeois domination of a system in which democracy normally does not work for the poor. This book narrates the history of Indian cinema while simultaneously examining the histories of the Indian nation portrayed in this cinema. It analyses how and why modern visual narratives became an instrument of bourgeois hegemony in colonial and post-colonial India. This tightly written volume examines and deconstructs the relationship between fact and fiction, history and imagination, nationalism and communalism, nation and gender, history and war, media and mentality and cinema and social identities.

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About the author

Anirudh Deshpande

Anirudh Deshpande is a former UGC and ICHR Fellow, and is presently Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML), researching visual history in modern India. He has co-edited with the late Professor Partha Sarathi Gupta The British Raj and its Indian Armed Forces, 1857-1939 (2002). He has published papers, commentaries, reviews and articles regularly since 1987 in various journals and newspapers. In the year 2000 he wrote a scientific paper on opium production in India and its regulation by the colonial and post-colonial Indian state as a national consultant historian for the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP). His recent publications include an NMML Monograph The Stigma of Defeat: Indian Military History in Comparative Perspective and a paper titled ‘Interpretative Possibilities of Historical Fiction: A Perspective on Kiran Nagarkar’s Cuckold’, in Yasmeen Lukmani (ed.), The Shifting Worlds of Kiran Nagarkar’s Fiction (2004).

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Bibliographic information

Title Class, Power and Consciousness in Indian Cinema and Television
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Primus Books
Language: English
isbn 9788190891820
length xviii+170p.,