Shabin B.N, a research scholar affiliated with the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at the School of Social Science, University of Hyderabad has recently published an article titled ‘ Fragmented Discourses: The Indian Digital Public Sphere in a Post-truth Era in Springer indexed journal Society. Chitra Karunakaran Prasanna from Central University of Tamil Nadu and Fathimath Mahitha. K. from Don Bosco College, University of Kerala are the co-authors.


Shabin B.N


The paper explores the fragmented discourses in the Indian digital public sphere in a post-truth world. The normative concept of the public sphere by Jürgen Habermas has been brought under critical scrutiny in the era of emotional communication online. The digital world opened democratic and inclusive spaces that are desirable for a picture-perfect public sphere as imagined by Habermas. The low entry barriers and inclusivity of the digital public sphere changed the patterns of political communication worldwide. However, such a change is not an isolated event and must be located within the historical context of a changing political environment. Contemporary society has entered the post-truth era where opinionated, emotional outbursts downplay objective reality. The paper explores explicitly the public comments recorded under an infotainment video on the YouTube platform of a private channel in Kerala, the southernmost state of India. A case study method was adopted to analyze the theme, subtext, and visible structure of the discourse in the digital public sphere, which is a subset of the larger public sphere. Disconcertingly, the findings revealed fragmented discourses in a public sphere, characterized by unidimensional historical narratives, fallacious arguments, political apathy, and emotional or romanticized appeals, all of which are classic symptoms of a post-truth era.


The article can be accessed at: