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5th Hasan Memorial Lecture 2018
Wed Aug 15, 7:00 PM
A New Round of Jumlebaazi?: Examining Hindutva's Media Strategy.
by Siddharth Varadrajan

As India shapes up for a brutal electoral battle in 2019, there is little doubt that this upcoming
parliamentary election could well be the most important election in India’s short 70-year history as
an independent nation. An outright BJP victory will mean the firm consolidation and control over the
state by the forces of the Hindu right. In the 4 years since 2014, we have already experienced in
significant ways the impacts of a fascist takeover of State and media institutions. The unexpected
sweep of 2014 by the RSS/BJP was fashioned and crafted by a brilliant bringing together of tested RSS
strategy and a new array of tools, technologies and personnel from across the world.
The 2018 Hasan Memorial lecture is dedicated to the question of the right wing’s media strategy.
1. What are the key elements of contemporary Hindutva's media strategy?
2. What are the elements that have been borrowed from a broader rise of fascism across the world in the building of Hindutva’s media strategy?
3. Did the right’s media strategy successfully outflank the progressive’s narrative and how should we assess the shift in the mood since 2017?
4. And finally, if we do have an understanding of the Right’s media strategy, what would be the elements of a successful counter-media strategy for 2019?

Siddharth Varadarajan is the founding editor of The Wire – the most important liberal/left news portal
in India today. Prior to starting The Wire, Vardarajan was the editor of The Hindu and served as a
senior journalist at The Times of India. Vardarajan has also taught at NYU, UC Berkley and Shiv Nadar