Abstract

Abstract:

This article is about how digitalization has fostered a networked media environment enabling metamorphoses in popular politics. With the recent passing of two leaders of the Tamil nationalist movement, a half century of politics dominated by film stars and script writers leading Dravidian parties appears to be coming to an end in Tamil Nadu, India. Two recent political formations are especially worth focusing on in the new context: 1) Emergent leaderless forms of mobilization are reclaiming and reconfiguring nationalist idioms of populism, and 2) violent, dominant caste-based, anti-Dalit politics appear to be fragmenting the hegemony of Dravidianist politics at the very same moment. Despite the appearance of a paradoxical coincidence or contradiction, both caste politics and the new protests recall pasts that have been built through film and Dravidianist party imagery. This article examines logics of popular sovereignty where changing media technologies of image production have played a central role in "shortcircuiting" older claims to representation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 57-88
Launched on MUSE
2020-09-06
Open Access
No
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