Browsing by Author "Sreekumar, Rohini"
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ItemColonial rebels in Indian cinema: narratives, ideology and popular culture(2014) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, RohiniHistorical films are a widely discussed genre of visual narration as it poses the challenge of a reliable balance between history, myth and truth. Indian history and independence have been one of those themes that have been adapted into filmic narration, not only as a national oration, but from an international lens. Unlike any other historical moment, Indian Independence is the most celebrated and recurring themes of historical movies and still continuous to be a vibrant subject for Indian film makers. Dealing with the narration of a nation, often these films are looked at with a skeptical attitude, mostly because of its colonizer’s view of the colonized. This article addresses Bhabha’s (1994) interstitial perspective and mimicry of ambivalence positing that these films neither dominate nor propagate certain colonial ideologies, nor does it make the colonizer as a virtuous subject, but rather create an ambivalent identity, which is neither colonizer nor colonized, but a hybrid of it. Apart from some English productions on Indian colonial rule and independence, some Indian films are also taken as a case study to elucidate the concept of hybridity in cultural meaning. When the ‘object’ of history or the colonized reacts with their perception, it creates an ambivalence that is far different from the colonizer’s perception. ItemThe commercial misrepresentation of environmental issues: Comparing environmental media coverage in the first world and developing nations(2011) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, RohiniOver the past three decades the steady encroachment of business interests into the international media environments and the increasing monopolization of media ownership resulted in the escalation of commercial imperatives in media production which directly paved to a shifting representation of environmental issues. This article offers a critical appraisal of the contemporary global commercial media and its coverage of environmental issues. Influenced by the market values and the ongoing monopolization of media ownership, business interests played a key role, and resulted in a drastic change in the representation of environmental issues by the global media. Concomitant with these developments is a shift in emphasis within news and current affairs media which become distorted by the twin pressures of commercialization and market competition, giving way to an emphasis on entertainment values at the expense of reasoned and informed coverage. However, some third world media practitioners offer environmental news coverage that is informed by sustainable forms of developmentalism, while recognizing environmental issues as being both local and global phenomena. Nowadays environmental movements are purposely confined by the media as geographical and cultural identity. It miserably fails to correlate, equate, and investigate it beyond the boundaries of a nation state or personalized perspectives. This research paper analyses the practice of environmental communication by media, where news is highly influenced, and sometimes biased by policy decision, economic and financial causes, making it limited to a particular geographical and cultural realm. This essay addresses environmental communication first as a global practice transformed by commercialism, before examining more salient and creditable forms of environmental journalism utilized in developing nations that are informed by the 'glocal' nature of these issues. This research paper is based on qualitative textual analysis, interpretation and literature review on news published by the main stream media. ItemCovenant cog or functional fourth estate: a survey of Malaysian journalists’ attitudes towards their profession(2012) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, RohiniIn Malaysia, the idealistic notion of the news media as 'watchdog' is largely redundant due to the external and institutional realities associated with its functioning in a heavily regulated, monitored and controlled media system. There has been little analysis of Malaysian journalists' perceptions of their profession. Operating within an authoritarian mediascape, Malaysian journalists have to surrender their journalistic values and principles of practice thereby pervading a culture of self-censorship. This study draws from a survey of Malaysian journalists between January 2010 and January 2011 and reveals about a fourth estate struggling to assert itself within the complex and flawed processes of Malaysian democracy. The study addresses the professional aspirations, restrictions, attitudes, and motivations of Malaysian journalists and utilizes Bourdieu's theories of field and habitus to highlight the relative levels of independence, professionalism experienced by journalists within the structured social spaces of Malaysian newsrooms. ItemDissent and displacement of subalternity in Malayalam cinema: a cultural analysis of Papilio Buddha by Jayan K. Cherian(2016) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Gopinath, Swapna; Sreekumar, RohiniThe theme of subalternity with its inherent ramifications is yet to find favour among film makers in India. Progressive film makers of the 1960s attempted to address the theme of subaltern and dared to give the subaltern a voice, but they remained singular attempts. Through a case study on a Malayalam film (a regional film industry from the state of Kerala in India) Papilio Buddha this article tries to analyze the representation of Dalit community in Indian cinema. Though Malayalam film industry has tried to address the concern of Dalits, they have been stereotyped in many ways and reduced to being sidekicks to villains or unskilled labourers having no identity. They remained as instruments to idolize the hero, to act as a contrast to the elite protagonist or as the poor helpless victims who offer the protagonist an opportunity to display his heroism. Papilio Buddha grabbed media attention when it was denied clearance by the censor board as it explores the territory of Dalit consciousness by focusing the lens on the land strike by the Dalit communities and creating a counter narrative to the hitherto idealized images created by the state. ItemDynamics of ‘terror reporting’ Indian media and the changing perspective on terrorism(2014) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, RohiniToday, no country is left untouched by the bitter hands of terrorism, where media plays a very critical role as an informer, forecaster, and at the worst a mediator. India is one of those SAARC countries which are frequently being threatened with terrorist activities. Even though being one of the largest media scenes, Indian media never indulged in going deep into the issues of terrorism. In the competitive run for visual treat, media lose the opportunity to elucidate and investigate the terrorist attacks which is frequenting in the Indian soil. Media being the indispensable part of terrorist and anti-terrorist activities in India, this paper examines what need to be the role, responsibilities, and the nature of treating an issue like terrorist attacks. ItemNews as compromise: the Indian news media and the evolving trend of paid news(2014) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, Rohini; Kalorth, NithinIndia’s media market has emerged in recent years as one of the most competitive and profitable in the world global scenario. However despite the nation’s status as the world’s largest democracy, India’s news media have been criticized for their emphasis on entertainment values at the expense of critical, pro-social, and investigative forms of journalism. A related development has been the increasing influence of political parties in the news content development, a practice which is named ‘paid news’, an Indian version of ‘manufacturing of consent’. This controversy came to the fore during the (April-May, 2009) Indian parliamentary elections when numerous overtly favorable articles and news reports emerged in the Indian media that contained no disclosure of the monetary transactions that facilitated their publication/broadcast. This development poses serious threats to the continued advancement of a vibrant Indian mediated public sphere, and instead represents a deliberate attempt to manufacture popular consensus. This article details these unethical news practices in Indian news media and argues that this form of contemporary Indian journalism is a violation of the core values of the profession and their relation to the democratic process. This research paper is a qualitative work relying mainly on textual and content analysis, which include analysis of interviews, newspaper articles and paid news contents. ItemOn the margins of heterosexuality! Representation of queerness in Malayalam cinema(2018) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, Rohini; Gopinath, SwapnaThe conservative social milieu and the official censorship rules prevents any open or transparent form of creative discourses on the realities of queer population in Kerala, a State having the highest literacy rate in India. This article is an attempt to chronologically map the repressed demography of queer within the history of Malayalam cinema. Right from the early days, there were only meagre attempts in the Malayalam cinema to represent, portray and communicate the LGBTQ population that silently exist within the literate Kerala society. This article argues that the Malayalam cinema has a long traditional and discursive practice of normalising heterosexual practices through cinematic imageries. The article illustrates that Malayalam cinema carefully places the queer subtext in the margins of heterosexuality in line with the conservative social order and norms in the State. ItemSprings of silence: silence as a narrative and text in Rituparno Ghosh’s films(2017) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, Rohini; Kalorth, NithinRituparno Ghosh was one of the rare film makers in India who recognized the power of silence both as a text and a narrative. Gosh made conscious efforts to communicate the music of silence in many of his films. These sincere attempts knitted the complex human desires, passions and emotions in his film. This chapter investigates the power of silence in the films of Rituparno Gosh. Here silence is not only a filmic apparatus, but also a major emotional element in his films, particularly in the portrayal of human relationship. ItemTit for tat: avenging women and self-fashioning femininity in Malayalam cinema(2023) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, RohiniCrime film is one of the most popular and persuasive genres in the world. With various sub-genres like cop films, court dramas, investigative thrillers and heist films, it generally portrays a crime oriented plot where interactions between savior protagonists and criminal antagonists define the structural template of the film. Crime narratives usually revolve around the valiance of the traditional 'hero' who displays exhilarating masculine pride either through physical strength or intelligence. The construction of heroic masculinity varies with actors; for example, from Pierce Brosnan to Liam Neeson and Will Smith to Morgan Freeman, implications of masculinity - in terms of physical appearance and intellectual activity - construct multiple versions of masculine pride. In the context of Indian cinema, onscreen masculinity follows similar structures. From the 'Angry Young Man' image of Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s to the latest gangster films of Bollywood, Indian crime cinema strove to perpetuate the patriarchal ideology ingrained in the heroic image. In other words, when male heroes are given the agency to control the narrative of a crime film, female characters are often portrayed as victims who need saving or glamorous objects that act as distractions to heroic gallantry. However, there have been some meagre attempts to portray women in unconventional gangster roles where femininity is equated with vigor, fervor and muscularity as seen in films like Bandit Queen (1994) and Guiab Gang (2014). Item‘Tweeting’ the news: Twitter journalism as a new age crowd news disseminator in India(2014) Raj, Sony Jalarajan; Sreekumar, Rohini; Kalorth, NithinNot restraining itself as a social networking service, Twitter conquered the realm of ‘journalism’ with its tweet- news, brushing aside erstwhile news rulers. Within a short period since its inception in 2006, it created a tremendous hype proving it to be the best platform for citizen journalists. Its incomparable service during some breaking events like the Mumbai terrorist attack and Iran election is laudable which in fact helped in its popularity. But the biggest concern of this medium of short messaging service is its authenticity and fairness of reporting, which should be at the heart of a good Fourth Estate. The surveillance took upon by these social sites, the part and parcel of our routine, is creating a network of unauthenticated information. It is integrating with our daily activities the way cellphone and the Internet already have crept into. Hyper activism that these social sites show in disseminating news- from breaking events to celebrity gossips- creates indefinite threat to the fair flow of information. This paper tries to explore the ethical concern in twitter journalism when compared to traditional and other new media platforms. This article also tries to analyze the adaptability of the combination of Instant Messaging (IM) and mobile phone text messaging and try to explain the multi- faceted dimensions of risk as far as Internet Telephony in Twitter Journalism is concerned. The article mainly relies on text analysis and content analysis of scholarly articles.