Redefining the Indian Public Sphere: A Study of the LGBT Rights Movement in India
KIRAN VINOD BHATIA
MICA-The School of Ideas, Ahmedabad, India
New media networks have led to a personalization of the political sphere as affordances provided by the virtual space give precedence to the significance of the ‘self ’ over the ‘masses’. Through this paper an attempt has been made to understand how the LGBT community uses new media technologies to transcend the boundaries of the traditional public sphere in order to create a realm of self-identification in the virtual world. The study focuses on a group of Indian citizens who identify themselves as members of the LGBT community, who are digitally active and have participated in activities to mobilize public opinion in favor of the legalization of their sexual preferences. The study delineates how the LGBT community translates online discursive practices into offline civic engagement activities through the process of community formation, mobilization, setting up agenda for collective actions and creation of a realm for expression by the marginalized other.