ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Making the ‘Modi Effect’

Questions on the Technologies of Fascism

The phenomenal rise to power of Narendra Modi illustrates how his image—mediated by technology—was shaped and reshaped. Some facets of Modi’s fashioned persona are scrutinised in the article. The internet, particularly the social media, which was expected to revitalise the public sphere to bring about a new civic culture, has instead allowed for the selective return of the “written word” in support of fascist ideology. The cyberspace, along with the mass media, has enabled the coming together of many virtual “participants” to hurl masculinist abuse and silence their opponents.

Since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, political and social scientists, in general, have struggled to enumerate and explain the multiple factors that distinguish the present government led by Narendra Modi from any of the preceding ones. This article takes as its object of enquiry the primacy of technology and visuality in the maintenance of this regime of power. This involves undertaking a critical scrutiny of the construction of the iconic image of Narendra Modi, exploring its functional efficacy by means of setting it up in a mimetic relation with other images, analysing the role of oratory masculinity and the technological mediation behind the production of the cultic figure, and lastly, engaging with the role of social media in the production of an (enforced) consensus.

Technologies of Visuality

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