779 Newspaper Articles Show How the Ruling and Opposition Parties Used the Narrative of the “Common Man” during Demonetisation

The policy of demonetisation announced by the Government of India on 8 November 2016 led to intense debates and discussions among many sections of society in India and abroad. In these discussions, the “common man” emerged as the central character used by the ruling and opposition parties as well as the print media to defend or oppose the policy. Drawing upon narrative policy analysis, the article attempts to deconstruct the characteristics of the common man as revealed in the assertions of the ruling and opposition parties, and analyses the related narrative strategies employed to justify their respective position. Content analysis of a sample of 779 newspaper articles published by four leading English newspapers in India informs the analysis presented in this article.

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