In this way, I further argue that race and caste are constitutive of the postcolonial Indian national identity through their absence from these national integration discourses.
My analysis shows the presence of rhetorical strategies such as erosion of contradictions and absence of caste and racial identities in nationalist discourses.
Caste is a religiously sanctioned system of classification that is based on unequal treatment, discrimination and subjugation of the lower caste by upper caste peoples.
Although caste discrimination is constitutionally banned in India, it is still prevalent in Indian society.
My study critically examined the symbolic meanings of “Indianness” in the Indian Government’s “official” national integration campaigns from the pre-liberalized era, and the Times of India’s (TOI) “Lead India” campaign (2007) from the post-liberalized era.
I sought to answer the following questions: How is the idea of an Indian people constituted in these campaigns?
In these ads, ascribed status of caste, ethnicity, and religion is irrelevant.
Rather, they emphasize how all Indians should employ both individual and collective actions for the progress of the nation.
The Doordarshan campaigns attempt to establish the ideal of “unity in diversity” across the categories of ethnicity, language and religion, as well as through national symbols, historical monuments, and geographical locations.
Further, to signify a national community, evoke pride in “Indianness,” and seek allegiance to the nation, the campaigns consistently use the Indian flag, the Indian map, and the national anthem.