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The role of digital media in creating a parallel culture: an enquiry based on the current cultural and socio-political scenario in Kerala, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1IIMA English and Comparative Literature, Pondicherry University, Puducherry-605014, India
  • 2IIMA English and Comparative Literature, Pondicherry University, Puducherry-605014, India

Res. J. Language and Literature Sci., Volume 6, Issue (2), Pages 31-35, May,19 (2019)

Abstract

Digital technology has advanced to the extent that it has almost become impossible to lead a life sans digital literacy. It provides voice to the voiceless and promotes the marginalised from periphery to the centre of power politics. In the present scenario people are born into the world of digital media, breathe social networks and die in some channel debates. World is now at a point where the media shape reality and not vice-versa. India as a democracy is passing through a tough phase politically, socially, religiously and financially. Media plays a central role in turning the spotlight on current problems, thereby subjecting them to legal jurisdiction. Honour killings have become common, “Gomatha” is the unacknowledged goddess of India, an internal colonization is getting naturalized where Dalits and women are victimised. Recent reports from Kerala suggest that despite the high literacy rate, different political ideologies and developmental initiatives, “God’s own country” is also vulnerable to such issues. Within the past one year a number of Dalits got killed in various parts of Kerala, a recent one being Kevin from Idukki who was kidnapped and later, murdered by the relatives of his wife. This along with the child abuse that took place in a theatre in Malapuram revealed the corruption in the police department who backed the criminals. These instances grabbed more attention as a result of the popularity and responses they had garnered in the digital media. This paper tries to illuminate how “hash tags” provide a platform to the religious minorities and other underprivileged to voice their grievances and to fight for their rights. A study based on the recent attacks against lower caste people in Kerala is carried out to analyse the role of digital media in subverting the concept of caste and in creating a new parallel culture. How gender roles get merged in this situation is examined in order to evaluate the opportunities given by media to women and thereby media’s role in liberating women. Along with the appreciative efforts of media, a glance at media’s quest for the sensational, which often forget human values, is also studied to point out the intrusion of digital world into the private world.

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