ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Vinod PavaralaSubscribe to Vinod Pavarala

Expanding Discursive Spaces: Community Radio during COVID-19 and Beyond

Locating the ongoing migrant worker crisis in the politics of voice poverty and lack of access to spaces of representation, the article examines the role played by a grass-roots medium like community radio in India and elsewhere to provide discursive spaces for interest articulation for marginalised communities. Despite the lack of public funding and state support, community radio stations across India have risen to the occasion by broadcasting locally relevant information in local languages and helped mobilise communities to deal with the crisis. The article suggests that genuine democratisation of media may yet be possible with appropriate measures to address issues of information access and communicative equity.

Community Radio'Under Progress'

Community radio produced, controlled and owned by the people can empower the marginalised and address the "voice poverty" which afflicts South Asia. The article details the macro-level institutional environment required for a democratic and sustainable community radio sector and identifies the challenges involved in making the sector vibrant and dynamic in the South Asian region.

Social Constructions of Religiosity and Corruption

Religion coexists with what may be described as a liberalised, cosmopolitan and global outlook among Indians and remains an indispensable part of the cultural ethos and social fabric of Indian society. However, interpretations of both religion and corruption are extremely diverse. Notwithstanding the existence of deep-seated faith with strong moral values, religion is not seen as contributing to the moral or spiritual fabric of the nation in present times, while corruption is regarded as pervasive. Very few of the respondents canvassed in this study thought that we should count on religion to make a difference in people's general attitudes towards corruption. Respondents indicated that their confidence in the accountability of religious organisations is low, and it is therefore problematic to assume that religious organisations are likely to be either appropriate or effective vehicles for fighting corruption. In fact, religion is looked upon as a discredited entity by many, largely due to a sense of popular disillusionment with its "caretakers".

Breaking Free

Radio is an inexpensive medium in terms of production and management. It overcomes the limitations of literacy and is more appropriate for cultures dominated by orality. All over the third world radio has been a catalyst for social change. Although the state-owned public service broadcaster, All India Radio has turned 75, broadcasting in our country continues to be governed by archaic laws and uncompromising bureaucracy. Recent developments however may make for some loosening of the state's hold over radio, making room for alternatives in the form of popular, community-based media. This collection of five articles attempts to raise some critical questions related to broadcasting in India, with specific reference to community radio

Building Solidarities

Even as the government is dithering over legislation to facilitate the functioning of community radio in India, a few community-based organisations have initiated radio projects that seek to deploy communication technologies for development and community empowerment. This paper is based on a study examining the functioning of one such community radio initiative in India: 'Chala Ho Gaon Mein' that is broadcast once a week on an AIR station in the Palamau district of Jharkhand.
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