Archive for the ‘Imagining national identity’ Category

As some of you know, I am currently working on converting my Master’s thesis “Imagining National Identity” into a book for Sage Publications. The book looks at the changing Indian mediascape, especially with regard to television and the Internet.

To complete the book, I need to do series of interviews that I will present as either quotes or interviews in the book.

If you are stopping by at this page, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well. It would just take about 10 minutes of your time (more if you find the subject interesting)… And would be of great help in my research.

If you a friend/friends who would have a perspective on this and would have the time to do this as well… Do ask them to stop by too.

Thanks in advance!

The Questions
1. Going back to the time when we had only on channel in India, how would you say that Doordarshan affected your concept of what it means to be Indian?
2. In the days, when Doordarshan was the only television broadcasting body in India, which are some of the programmes that stand out in your memory?
3. Did you perceive Doordarshan as attempting to create an ‘Indian’ identity? And if so, was this identity accurate?
4. Has your concept of being Indian changed since then, or does it remain the same?
5. Since the time that cable television has been introduced, what are some of the programmes that stand out on TV?
6. Do you think that cable television has in any way changed your concept of what it means to be Indian?
7. Moving on to the coming of the Internet, how do you use the Net?
8. Which are some of the sites that you most often frequent?
9. Has the Internet in any way affected your perception of yourself as Indian?
10. Does the Internet make you feel part of a larger global community, as against an Indian community?

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I guess it’s official now. Imagining national identity may not be my next published book. But, it’s definitely going to be my next project.

I met Sage’s Senior Commissioning Editor yesterday over a cup of tea at Koshy’s. By some strange twist of fate, we ended up sitting at the same where I signed my contract with Jamuna for Ginger Soda Lemon Pop. Like with Jamuna, I felt like I was meeting a friend and a guide, not a publisher.

As things stand, I need to work on my manuscript a little more. I’ll be raising the word count from 15,000 words to 50,000 words, and return the manuscript to her by August. After this, there’ll be a peer review. Based on the outcome of the peer review (both the comments and my response), they will decide on whether they will publish the book. If all goes well, my book should be published a year after I submit my manuscript.

I know that this can’t be called a beginning as of yet. Still, I am excited. I can’t wait to shape Imagining national identity into my next completed book.

Almost five years ago, around about July 2003, I was in a bit of a quandary. After close to over nine months in the UK to do my Master’s at the LSE, I’d returned to India, where I was to complete my dissertation and mail it back to the LSE.

But the year in the UK had been really hard on me and I’d exhausted all my finances. I was returning to India with no savings, no family to back me up and the prospect of having to start in the job market from scratch. In retrospect, it should have seemed like a daunting task. But, it did not occur to me then.

Needless to say, I applied myself to finding a job, rather than completing my dissertation. The job happened soon after, and I found myself traveling to Ahmedabad on a short-lived assignment. Here, between adjusting to a new job and city, my dissertation was brought into shape as I worked into the early hours of the morning on my roommates’ computer. And in this way, “Imagining National Identity” was dispatched to the LSE.

But, I still had a problem. Thanks to all the turmoil in my personal life, “Imagining National Identity” was posted almost a month after the submission date. LSE wrote back to enquire on the reasons for this.

After a bit of a battle within myself and a phone call to confer with Anamika in Bangalore, I decided to tell them the truth (as flimsy as an excuse as it made) rather than blame the Indian postal system, even if it cost me my Master’s and the struggle that went with it.

As it turned out, the LSE accepted my explanation and I was awarded a Master’s. Of course, at 69% my thesis was awarded a Merit. It had missed a Distinction by 1%.

But now, the story might no longer end there. Today, Sage Publications expressed interest in publishing my dissertation. I am also to meet their Senior Commissioning Editor over the next week to discuss this further. And this could just become my next published book after Ginger Soda Lemon Pop.

So, keep your fingers crossed for me. The darkest hours of my life might just turn full circle 🙂