Thesis ID: CBB001561458

Mediated Visions: Technology and Nationalism in India from the Colonial Era to the Internet Age (2006)


Chopra, Rohit (Author)

Emory University
Patton, Cynthia
Tullos, Allen

Publication Date: 2006
Edition Details: Advisor: Patton, Cynthia; Allen Tullos
Physical Details: 369 pp.
Language: English

This dissertation explores the relationship between technology and nationalism in India from 1750 till the present, with a focus on the use of the Internet by global Indian communities for the promotion of Hindu nationalist ideologies, a phenomenon that I term "technocultural Hindu nationalism." Since the introduction of Western science and technology under colonial rule in the eighteenth century, science and technology have been used as instruments of mapping, controlling, and transforming Indian society. Equally, scientific and technological expertise have been authorized as attributes of modern Indian selfhood; as markers, at once, of a universality and an essential Indianness. State and society have granted the holders of technological qualifications economic opportunities, educational advantages, and social status. Even as the relationship between technology and nationalism has been marked by continuities and discontinuities over the passage of time, it has endured as fundamentally constitutive of Indian modernity. This interdisciplinary project combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies in tracking the long historical negotiation between varied, even oppositional, discourses of technology and nationalism from the colonial era till the Internet age. Chapter 1 introduces the phenomenon of technocultural Hindu nationalism and situates it historically. Chapter 2 explicates the theoretical and methodological framework employed in the dissertation. Covering 1750 to 1905, Chapter 3 assesses the relationship between technology and anticolonial nationalism. Spanning 1905 to 1991, Chapter 4 offers a comparative assessment of understandings of the nation-state and technology proposed by Gandhi, Nehru, and Savarkar. The chapter also examines the role of technology in independent India. Chapter 5 follows the relationship between technology and nationalism since 1991, with reference to the liberalization of the Indian economy in 1991 and the resurgence of Hindu nationalism in the 1990s. The chapter also includes an analysis of the complexities of technocultural Hindu nationalism. Chapter 6 presents a comparative statistical mapping of the distribution of key themes, such as scientificity, globality, and universality, across Hindu, Sikh, and Kashmiri nationalist websites. In the final chapter of the dissertation, I reflect on the possibilities offered by the Internet for reimagining Indian identities in light of the historical associations between nationalism and technology.


Description Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 67/09 (2007). UMI pub. no. 3234008.

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Authors & Contributors
William Dalrymple
Olivia Fraser
Sinha, Nitin
Kerr, Ian J.
Sivaramakrishman, Kavita
Sharma, Madhuri
Social History of Medicine
Science and Education
Journal of Southern African Studies
Journal of Asian Studies
International Journal of Middle East Studies
Indian Journal of History of Science
Emory University
University of Chicago Press
Princeton University Press
Liverpool University Press
Foundation Books
India, civilization and culture
Great Britain, colonies
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Technology and politics
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
20th century, early
17th century
Great Britain
South Asia
Velha Goa (India)
East India Company (English)
British East India Company

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