Indian television in the era of globalization

Topics: Television network, Television, India Pages: 22 (6458 words) Published: October 19, 2013
India and the world
Juliette Delain
May 2013

Indian television in the era of globalization

1

OUTLINE

I. On the path to globalization: Indian television as the reflection of a changing

society
A. From television monopoly to the explosion of the satellite television industry 1. The Indian government on display (1959-1991)
2. The renewal of Indian television (1991-present)
B. Indian television in the face of globalization : an audience between tradition and modernity
1. A rejection of the new television practices in the name of national identity and morality
2. The rise of the urban middle-class: a more and more westernized programming offer

II. The specificities of Indian television in a globalized context A. Indian television at the time of transnationality
1. Large media companies versus local television
2. Crossing India’s borders: diaspora television
B. Indian television and the process of “glocalization”
1. The “indianization” of television
2. The “hybridization” of television

2

INTRODUCTION

Since its birth in 1959, it seems that Indian television has developed in a way that is similar to most of the world’s broadcasting sectors. Conquered by technological progress, particularly by the major advance that the introduction of satellite transmissions represents, the Indian television sector broke with its old practices to enter the era of globalization to which the opening to foreign players, the competition regime and the respect of commercial requirements are essential components. The successive evolutions that Indian television underwent seem to confirm Marshall McLuhan’s theory of a “global village”, which describes how the world has been contracted into a homogenized space by the media revolution.

However, this simplistic vision denies the specificities of India as a culture and as a country, which became the specificities of Indian television. With 22 official languages, an enormous and heterogeneous population, one of the world’s largest territories and a tendency to continuously swing between tradition and modernity, India admittedly adapted its television sector to the globalized context but also imposed its restrictions and particularities. How did Indian television become integrated to the globalized media system while protecting its identity and imposing its requirements?

3

ON THE PATH TO GLOBALIZATION: INDIAN TELEVISION
AS THE REFLECTION OF A CHANGING SOCIETY

A. From television monopoly to the explosion of the satellite television industry 1. The Indian government on display (1959-1991)
Indian television started as a modest affair on September 15, 1959 within the framework of an experimental educational project led by the UNESCO which gave the Indian government 180 Philips TV sets and 20,000 dollars to develop its media sector 1 . The experimental service was limited in scope and had a specific goal of creating television programming of educational value to both urban and rural communities. As a result of this experiment, 66 “Tele-Clubs” were organized in adult education centers in and around Delhi to receive adult education programs, handled by the society All India Radio and its part devoted to television Doordarshan, that were broadcast for one hour twice a week 2 . Not very promising at first, the programs of Indian television got fixed and better-broadcast in the middle of the 1960s. In 1965, general television services were launched with daily, one-hour transmissions from Delhi. Although entertainment and information started to play a quite important role in the Indian television sector, the proclaimed goal of broadcasting was still considered educational and the programs emphasized issues such as adult literacy in order to raise the awareness of a population still largely illiterate. From its very beginnings, we can see that television has been used by the Indian government as a performing tool of political propaganda. Developed under the direct...

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