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Borderline nationalism: Blurring Indo-Pak Lines through Indian Border Security Force VCDs
August 28, 2017 - 14:15-16:00
Morgenstierne lecture with Ronie Parciack
Seven decades have elapsed since the traumatic partition in 1947. Since then the relationship between India and Pakistan has been studded with wars, nuclear arms race, border clashes and terror attacks. Indian news media routinely accuse Pakistan of supporting the perpetrators, thus projecting the neighbouring country as a fierce enemy and a constant threat.
This talk addresses a somewhat surprising set of representations of Indo-Pak relations formulated on the Indian side. The representations appear in video compact discs (VCDs) designed to be played on personal computers. They are never broadcast online, on television or in cinema theatres. To what extent do these VCDs suggest the existence of vernacular socio-religious ideolgies that challenge the hegemonic narrative of Indo-Pak animosity? Drawing on visual ethnography, textual analysis and participant observation, this talk documents a liminal ideology that even appears to be present in the Border Security Force.