Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Who is the Muslim? Discursive Representations of the Muslims and Islam in Indian Prime Time News

Version 1 : Received: 31 July 2018 / Approved: 7 August 2018 / Online: 7 August 2018 (08:27:03 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Drabu, O. Who Is the Muslim? Discursive Representations of the Muslims and Islam in Indian Prime-Time News. Religions 2018, 9, 283. Drabu, O. Who Is the Muslim? Discursive Representations of the Muslims and Islam in Indian Prime-Time News. Religions 2018, 9, 283.

Journal reference: Religions 2018, 9, 283
DOI: 10.3390/rel9090283

Abstract

A cursory look at Indian prime time news tells us much about the tone and tenor of the people associated with it. Exaggerations, hyperbole, and tempers run wild and news anchors flail in theatrical rage. News channels and news editors display their ideological affiliations subliminally. These affiliations — a factor of personal political stance, funding bodies, and investors — lead to partisan bias in the framing of news and, in some cases, can easily translate into racial prejudice. In this paper, I examine news coverage related to Muslims in India. I study the coverage of two issues specifically– love jihad and triple talaq –in prime time English news of two channels – Times Now and Republic TV. My analysis of the content, tone, and tenor of their coverage shows that these channels propagate associations between Islam and backwardness, ignorance and violence through consistent employment of the following tropes – ‘Muslim women need to be saved from Muslim men’, ‘Hindu women need to be saved from Muslim men’, and ‘Muslims are not fully Indian – they are anti-national’. I place this study of news media within the current political climate in India and briefly touch on the conversations it guides and provokes. This is also a call for further analysis on this subject to examine and evaluate how discourse manipulates public conversations and policy decisions.

Subject Areas

politics of representation; media; Islam; media representation; Muslims; Islamophobia.; racism; anti-Muslim racism; love jihad; triple talaq; Muslims in India

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