Four Ph.D. research scholars from the Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Ashmita Sharma, Ganeshwar, Pruthvi Sai, and Satyaki Barua, had the opportunity to participate and present their paper(s) at the Ireland India Institute’s 7th Annual South Asia Conference 2024 at Dublin City University, Ireland held from April 24 – 26, 2024.

Ashmita Sharma

Ashmita Sharma, working under Professor Manjari Katju, presented the paper titled, ‘Framing Rama-Rajya: A Multimodal Analysis of the Coverage of the Ayodhya Judgement’. Ashmita’s paper studied two evening presentations by two Hindi news channels to answer how a news program’s verbal track, textual crawls, and visual imagery combine to produce meaning in a “complex semiotic event” that is television news. The findings indicate that the Ayodhya verdict is celebrated as the harbinger of peace and development, where one of the three litigants- the Sunni Waqf Board- is framed as the only contentious side in opposition to said goals. Furthermore, her paper argues that the Waqf Board and Muslims at large are represented as the roadblocks to peace for their decades-long lack of acceptance of the demolition of the Barbri Masjid.


Ganeshwar, working under Professor Kham Khan Suan Hausing, presented a paper titled “How does a Caste Society ‘Enjoy’ Anti-Caste Cinema: Remembering, Repeating and Working Through Caste”. Ganeshwar’s paper, while explaining the success of the ‘new anti-caste cinema’, delves into the paradox of the caste-ridden Tamil society’s ‘enjoyment’ of anti-caste cinema. The paper looks at the wider cultural and ethical matrix that the new anti-caste cinema inherits about evil, justice, and remembering to understand what is unradical about this enjoyment. It invokes Freud’s insight about the structure of the unconscious and the thought and struggle of anti-caste thinkers E.V. Ramasamy Periyar and Ambedkar to understand and confront this enjoyment.

Pruthvi Sai

Pruthvi Sai, working under Professor Jyotirmaya Sharma, presented a paper titled: ‘Indigenising Socialism in India: Reconsidering Hinduism and Nationalism’. Pruthvi’s paper discussed the idea of socialism in India by locating it within the larger movement of the independence struggle. The paper focused on socialists like Ram Manohar Lohia, who attempted to “indigenise” socialism to fit Indian reality. In the process, the paper argues that socialists like Lohia had to grapple with the question of religion and Hinduism in particular, which, according to them, was the core of what they thought to be the “Indian” way of life. The paper also examined the compatibility between Hinduism and Socialism within Lohia’s political thought.

Satyaki Barua

Lastly, Satyaki Barua, working under Professor Manjari Katju, presented a paper titled ‘Analysing the Impact of Political Consultancies on Political Parties in India’. The paper focused on political consultancies as an independent variable and how they have impacted three pertinent areas: ticket distribution, traditional party workers on the ground, and internal party dynamics. Satyaki’s paper discussed the tenets of the relationship between consultancies and political parties in India by focusing on the case of Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the I-PAC in West Bengal, contributing to the work on consultancies beyond a descriptive analysis.

The scholars would like to thank the University of Hyderabad – IoE for the financial assistance.