Imagined Community of Radio

Rashid Ali


The research paper problematises the very idea of community Radio’ as ‘participatory communicative tool.’ It uses Michel Certeau’s concept of ‘Strategy’ to understand the very evolution of Community Media in India since the setting of communicative strategy by state body polity to ameliorate the socio-economic conditions of the society. This theoretical perspective posits ‘participatory communication’ as linear, hierarchic and sedentary which is self-aggregating and creates a community of spectacle. The paper focuses on the tripartite division of community in the mediatised realm. The first division exists in the relationship between ordinary life and a specialist (Mainly civil society and NGOs). The second division looks at community as a hoodwinked entity in the wake of proxy ownership (often by politicians, bureaucrats and Armed Forces) of CR stations.  The third division exists in the semantics of the programme production and its receptivity by the ‘community.’ Through different case studies Community Radio Stations, the paper argues that ‘strategy’ is self-referential and poses a serious threat to everyday practice of life. However, it recommends that strategy as a statist tool should be replaced with tactics (Opposition of Strategy) which is in contradistinction with the idea of strategy.


Hegemony; Political Economy; Tactics; Strategy

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Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
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