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Representing Indian decolonization in the Parisian press 1923–54

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The diverse range of texts in the Parisian press on the decolonization of the Indian subcontinent, and the creation of India and Pakistan in 1947, has hitherto been overlooked. The present article will address this omission. Engaging with existing discourse analysis, in particular that of Said and Teltscher, the representation of 'India' by papers such as L'Humanité and Le Monde will be examined. It will demonstrate that, whilst certain aspects of existing colonial discourse analysis provide adequate theories explaining the construction of India by French journalists, an important neglected element in francophone Indian discourse is the relationship between Britain and France, and the latter's role as the subordinate colonizer on the subcontinent. Francophone representations of India are thus marked by their lack of homogeneity, politically and rhetorically: India is a 'contested space', open to simultaneous occupation by conflicting French ideologies. In this respect, the 'India' of the ostensibly 'fact-based' journalism is permanently dislocated from its geopolitical referent of the same name, and essentially functions as a trope augmenting a wider tradition of French language discourse on India.
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Keywords: BRITISH COLONIZATION; COLONIAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS; FRENCH COLONIZATION; FRENCH REPUBLICANISM; GANDHI AND 'GANDHISME'; INDIA; MARXISM; PARISIAN PRESS; PARTITION OF INDIA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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