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Imagining India: The nation as a brand

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Abstract:

This article critically analyses the phenomenon of nation branding as a technique of neocolonial governmentality. I focus on the ‘India Everywhere’ campaign that launched Brand India at the 2006 World Economic Forum to highlight postcolonial India’s attempt to imagine the nation and its people through the discourse of branding. I argue that India’s nation branding exercise hollows out the postcolonial imagination so that the nation can now only be imagined through a language and within a framework ‘always-already’ constituted for the postcolony. This article builds on Michel Foucault’s analysis of governmentality and utilizes a postcolonial framework to show that when the practice of nation branding is applied to a postcolonial nation it works to reinscribe the colonial legacy and reaffirm colonial power relations.

Keywords: Brand India; India Everywhere; Postcolonial imagination; World Economic Forum 2006; nation branding; neocolonial governmentality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/safm.4.1.7_1

Affiliations: Independent Researcher

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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  • Studies in South Asian Film and Media (SAFM) is the most promising new journal in the field. This peer-reviewed publication is committed to looking at the media and cinemas of the Indian subcontinent in their social, political, economic, historical, and increasingly globalized and diasporic contexts. The journal will evaluate these topics in relation to class, caste, gender, race, sexuality, and ideology.
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