Arundhati Roy and the Narmada Dams controversy : development journalism and the ‘new international public sphere’ ?

Chapman, Jane (2007) Arundhati Roy and the Narmada Dams controversy : development journalism and the ‘new international public sphere’ ? International Journal of Communication, 17 (2). pp. 21-39. ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

In my 2006 article for this journal (16 (2) Sept- Dec) on the subject of the 15 year long Narmada protest, I examined some activist mass communications that have made an impact internationally. Stressing the new, interdisciplinary nature of activist cultural communication, I analysed some of the essay writings of Arundhati Roy as well as two documentaries by Anand Patwardhan and Franny Armstrong. In this essay I return to her key anti big dam texts- in particular her seminal The Cost of Living (1999), the short essay Ahimsa published in The Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire (2004a), and her writings about the role of Enron in the construction of a gas plant at Dabhol (an allied development story), featured in Power Politics (2001). The purpose of this enquiry is to further define Roy’s internationally acknowledged contribution. In particular, I will discuss elements of continuity versus change: is she breaking new ground as a global ‘writer activist’ who is contributing to the growth of a ‘new international public sphere’? Or is her contribution better understood either within the context of Gandhi’s tradition of journalism, or alongside some of India’s more eminent contemporary development journalists? By examining Roy’s literary techniques and intentions, I hope to highlight some issues relating to the future more generally for activist journalism on development issues.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Roy, development journalism, international public sphere, literary journalism, activist journalism, Gandhi tradition of journalism, Arundhati Roy, jc2010, Narmada Dams controversy, Sardar Sarovar Dam
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V271 International History
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P990 Mass Communications and Documentation not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V243 South East Asian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V147 Modern History 1950-1999
L Social studies > L321 Women's Studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V200 History by area
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V320 Social History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V310 Economic History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R130 French Society and Culture
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V240 Asian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V242 Indian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V146 Modern History 1920-1949
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V140 Modern History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V221 French History
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R100 French studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P305 Paper-based Media studies
R European Languages, Literature and related subjects > R190 French studies not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P390 Media studies not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Journalism
ID Code:2609
Deposited By: Jane Chapman
Deposited On:08 Jun 2010 17:59
Last Modified:30 Aug 2013 14:10

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