In this study I have attempted to explore the role of news media in shaping the political imagination of the Indian diaspora in relation to home country politics. This paper uses qualitative data obtained from seven in-depth interviews to answer how the recent political events in India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s regime, in particular the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) reported by the mainstream news media, shape the political imagination of the Indian diaspora in the Netherlands. This study uses a theoretical approach of Stuart Hall’s representation theory and Michel Foucault’s power relations to answer the research question. The research findings show that the contested images offered by the media reporting of anti-CAA protests create contesting ethnonationalist identities. The Indian diaspora in the Netherlands interpret the media images of political events as “rational” individuals who situate themselves in contrast to the “irrational” other who are manipulated by the media. The research also shows that pragmatic agendas like development, global Indian image appeal more than normative values like human rights, minority rights, etc. There is also a disenchantment with the Indian media, where the diaspora relies on the social networks such as family to create and sustain their imagination of the homeland. The implications of these are also discussed in the ways political engagement is enacted within the diaspora.

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Jayasundara-Smits, Shyamika
Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Usman, Nafeesa. (2020, December 18). Exploring political imaginations of Indian diaspora in Netherlands in the context of Indian media, CAA and Modi’s politics. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from