Journalism and the rise of Hindu extremism

Reporting religion in a post-truth era

Authored by: Pradip Thomas

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Journalism

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138304963
eBook ISBN: 9780203731420
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the contexts of contemporary journalism in India that include threats to the very idea of secularism, the rise of majoritarian Hindu forces and the commodification of news. It deals with the silences and the impunity that characterizes contemporary attacks on journalists and journalism as a profession. It highlights the systematic nature of online sectarianism against the background of rising intolerance. Using the example of the murder of the journalist Gauri Lankesh, it highlights the systematic ways in which the Hindu Right has been able to manufacture both offline and online a manufactured majoritarian identity that is based on selective interpretations of history. This turn toward insularity is however not just found in the majority religion but also in minority religions such as Christianity. There is a rich vein of counter information via online publications like The Wire and offline publications such as the Caravan and the Economic & Political Weekly. These media outlets perform an invaluable role in exposing sectarian thinking and its consequences and putting forward democratic alternatives.

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