Abstract

Abstract:

The activist journalism and social media practice of Meena Kandasamy mediate the leading voice of the Dalit social movement, the current uprising of India's lowest "untouchable" caste, who constitute 230 million citizens. Prompting comparisons to the Arab Spring, the movement's evolution toward a "Dalit Spring" has gained traction through a combination of mainstream and independent journalism amplified on social media. Building on Gowrinathan's (2016) work on Kandasamy's spirited contribution to the movement, along with Poell and Rajagopalan's (2015) findings on the vital connections between activist journalism and social media in India, this case study examines the extensive range and dialectical richness of her anticaste critique. The aim of situating socially and culturally Kandasamy's journalistic contribution to the Dalit movement is served through critical analysis of her activity on Twitter from 2011 through 2018 and journalism from 2002 through 2018 in publications such as Outlook India, the Hindu, India Today, Newsweek Middle East, the Hoot, and Communalism Combat. Employing purposive sampling led to the most politically representative of Kandasamy's journalistic activism as distinctive examples of Dalit protest suitable for qualitative analysis. Findings reveal a fusion of discursive categories traditionally separating impassioned personal testimony from dispassionate political philosophy, rendering a potent form of anticaste advocacy journalism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2576-7895
Print ISSN
2576-7887
Pages
pp. 82-106
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-24
Open Access
No
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