© Media Watch 7 (3) 274-280, 2016
ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818
India, Nationalism and Sedition Debate: Media Trial of JNU Outrage
GAJENDRA SINGH CHAUHAN & TANU SHUKLA
Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India
The contemporary debate between patriotic nationalism and the freedom of expression has sparked off in the wake of JNU students’ union president arrest on the charges of sedition post the organization of a cultural program. The incident infuriated debate amongst the country’s highest intellectuals, parliamentarians, journalists and many others across the globe over phrases such as “Nationalism”, “Sedition” & “Freedom of expression” for such a vast and vibrant democracy. The present case study was done to emphasize comparable cases in the past and to help the public broaden their knowledge of the views of nationalism and the laws governing ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘sedition’ according to the Indian constitution. Through content analysis, various news articles were explored, with opposite standpoints, on the incident with related facts. The study aims to underline the difference between dissent against the ruling government and sedition that spells the fact that the existing colonial-era law needs to be amended. The medium that sustains the process of shaping and reshaping the consensus is largely media in its varied forms, but a medium like media shape one’s thoughts, passions, and aversions towards significant political and socio-cultural entities as important as nation or nationalism is the debate here. It is answered through the case study which also questions the role of a media reporting on the treatment of such sensitive issues like Nationalism.
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Dr. Gajendra Singh Chauhan is an associate professor and head in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Birla Institute of Technology & Science Pilani, India. He specializes in communication and media studies and research in the area of applied linguistics, advertising communication, and media writing with a focus on linguistics of advertising in India. He regularly conducts training programmes on professional communication and human resource (media topics) for faculty members and business executives across India.
Dr. Tanu Shukla is an assistant professor of psychology in Birla Institute of Technology & Science Pilani. She works in these areas of applied social psychology, research methods, higher education, policy studies, gender studies and organizational behaviour. She is currently pursuing research in the area of women in medical sciences and professional ethics in higher education.