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Title:"Mahabharat" on Doordarshan: The articulation of television and popular culture in India
Author(s):Mitra, Ananda
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hay, James
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Speech Communication
Mass Communications
Abstract:India's state owned television system, also called Doordarshan, began transmitting from its experimental facilities in the late 50s. From then till now, television in India has changed dramatically with the introduction of commercially sponsored serialized programs, to the introduction of powerful microwave links that now bring a majority of the country under the umbrella of the National Network broadcast from New Delhi. This project takes a critical look at some of the significant stages of this development, concentrating on the cultural, political, and ideological aspects of the television system in India. This is done by using the methods of critical cultural analysis concentrating on textual and genre analysis.
Among the various genres on Doordarshan serialized programs, often called "religious soap operas" are selected for an in-depth look. Specifically the serialization of the epic Mahabharat is examined for its textual and representational characteristics. This television program consisted of ninety three episodes, many of which are textually analyzed to find underlying ideological significance of the serial.
Following this analysis, a series of conclusions are drawn about the role that Doordarshan plays in re-defining and re-producing the national image of India around a Hindi speaking, Hindu male center. This is then connected with the ongoing tensions in India around questions of religion, region and language.
Finally, some of the other programs on Doordarshan are examined. These are the ones that contradict the hegemony of the Northern Hindi speaking Hindu leadership. In addition the role of television in the households of India is considered to understand what role the medium is playing in re-forming the popular cultural activities of the people who watch television.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Mitra, Ananda
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236543
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236543

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