Militancy and media: A case study of indian punjab
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Militancy in Punjab has pushed the state to turmoil for more than one and a half decades. Though diverse aspects of this dark phase in the history of Punjab have been studied, the role and involvement of media has largely escaped academic scrutiny. The present study is an attempt to explore how the print media has been caught in conflicting discourses around militancy and thereby created a fractured public sphere. The Punjabi daily Rojana Ajit, the Hindi daily Punjab Kesri and The Tribune, an English daily, all popular in Punjab, has been selected for the purpose. The study also restricts itself to the period between May and July 1984, the time surrounding the infamous Operation Bluestar. The study looks at the communitarian leanings of the vernacular press in Punjab and how they construct categories according to the positions they subscribe to. It explore into the manner in which the murder of a prominent journalist has been representationally lost in its significance due to the media divergence. The study also argue that the set positions of the newspapers allowed them to report the news stories in their own way, and that the state and the nationalist rhetoric continue to wield considerable influence in deciding the character of the mediascape.