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H Pop - Book Discussion
Tue Jan 30, 7:00 PM
Lamakaan & Danish Majid
Lamakaan invites you to an intriguing Book Discussion with the Author.

H-Pop: The Secretive World of Hindutva Pop Stars by Kunal Purohit.

Can a song trigger a murder?
Can a poem spark a riot?
Can a book divide people?

Away from the gaze of mainstream urban media, across India's dusty, sleepy towns, a brand of popular culture is quietly seizing the imagination of millions on the internet and off it. From catchy
songs with acerbic lyrics to poetry recited in kavi sammelans to social media influencers shaping opinions with their brand of ‘breaking news’ to books rescripting historical events, ‘Hindutva Pop’ or H-Pop is steadily creating societal acceptability for Hindutva’s core beliefs. By cleverly inserting Hindutva into popular culture, H-Pop normalizes Islamophobia, demonizes minorities, and vilifies its critics each day without ever making headlines.

What makes H-pop so popular? Who are its stars and its audience? Who is pouring in the money, the effort and the resources to produce and broadcast it? What is its impact on the BJP and Prime
Minister Modi’s popularity? And what kind of an India is it trying to create?

These are some questions that award-winning independent journalist Kunal Purohit explores in this riveting investigative book as he travels through India, profiling some of H-Pop’s most prolific
and popular creators—its stars and celebrities. He interrogates whether the creators are driven by ideology or commerce and what motivates the audience to consume their daily dose of bigotry. In
doing so, Purohit uncovers the frightening face of a New India that is united by hate and divided by art.

About the Author:

Kunal Purohit is an award-winning independent journalist, documentary filmmaker and podcast creator. Over the past two decades, Kunal has written on issues of development, politics, and inequality while focussing more recently on hate crimes and the rise of Hindu nationalism. He is the recipient of the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Civic Journalism (2012), the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting (2014) and the UNFPA-Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitive Reporting (2014 and 2019). Kunal has an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London as a Felix Scholar and a Bachelor’s in Mass Media from Mumbai University. His notable works include ‘Vanished: Inside India’s Bermuda Triangle’ (2022), an Audible Original nonfiction podcast, and ‘The Children of Nowhere’ (2023), a documentary film. He has written for Al Jazeera, ProPublica, The Times of India, Foreign Policy, Hindustan Times, South China Morning Post, Deutsche Welle and The Wire, among others.

About the Discussant:

Yunus Lasania is currently an independent journalist and podcast creator. Yunus started his career with The New Indian Express and The Hindu in Hyderabad. He became Telangana and Andhra Correspondent for the Hindustan Times-owned publication Mint. He also served as the City Editor of Siasat.com, the online English edition of the popular Urdu daily. Recently, he was associated with The News Minute as their Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Bureau Chief. Also one of the city’s foremost heritage connoisseurs and personalities, he showcases the city’s history and landmarks for locals and non-locals alike through heritage walks.