South Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Junctures and Identities of the Prime Ministerial Discourse in Contemporary India: An Exploratory Textual Analysis (1947-2017)

Saturday, July 7
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Silveroak II, Ground Floor

For most research projects in contemporary history scholars do not have a fine-grained sense of what changes when. Academics focusing on archival material often rely on notions and findings drawn from a limited fraction of possible source material. Digital techniques applied to large corpuses of texts and discourses enable social scientists to track aggregate variations in language through time, offering a more empirically grounded sense of when lexical, political and policy shifts emerge.


Accordingly, this paper proposes to understand the junctures as well as the continuities in the discourses of Indian Prime Ministers after independence. Based on an exploratory statistical textual analysis of a large body of public speeches ranging from Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Modi, I aim at identifying whether lexical junctures match major turning points in contemporary Indian history (i.e. Emergency, liberalization, elections etc.). My aim is also to identify the potential components of a populist register in the Indian context through assessing linguistic divergences and counter-intuitive convergences between PMs such as Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi. This paper aims at discussing the linguistic attributes of prime ministerial political power in the Indian context, with particular attention to the 1950s.


To this end I use a reasoning method that seeks to identify strong patterns in the corpus at hands. Therefore, as the reasoning begins with observations of particular discursive instances, the paper does not adopt the hypothesis-testing model. Instead, it adopts a bottom-up framework in order to find evidence of the identity and the historic turning points of Indian PMs’ political narrative.

Send Email for Jean-Thomas Martelli


Assets

3 - Junctures and Identities of the Prime Ministerial Discourse in Contemporary India: An Exploratory Textual Analysis (1947-2017)



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Junctures and Identities of the Prime Ministerial Discourse in Contemporary India: An Exploratory Textual Analysis (1947-2017)