ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Info-Age and Indian Intellectuals

Despite the pervasive reach of the information age, there is considerable reservation about according academic status to communication studies. But the importance and reach of information today is such that it calls for the evolution of an organic worldview and academic commitment in developing an epistemological-methodological perspective.

This essay is based on the contention that there is a ‘knowledge knot’ as far as the communication studies in the Indian mainstream academia is concerned. The immediate ‘spark’ was provided when a faculty member of a prestigious university in India expressed doubt whether the communication studies come under the rubric of academics proper. This piece with theoretical import in a more specific vein seeks to reflect upon the ambivalent negotiation of the Indian intelligentsia with ‘information age’ and is also a form of response arising out of the writer’s direct experience in teaching and research academic establishment.1 The university teacher with serious reservations in according academic status to communications studies, further substantiated her argument by saying that few well-established scholars of social science in the Indian academic establishment were involved in theorising media and communication. This apparently shocking and inherently myopic conclusion provides much food for thought, especially in an age in which astonishing acceleration, breadth and diversity of communications makes info-power an inescapable phenomenon in everyday life.

Even if the emerging presence of the information age provides academics, especially social scientists, to explore the complexities of politics of communication more rigorously and in an urgent manner, the mainstream Indian academics are yet to show much interest in it. We shall refer to this strange phenomenon in the following discussion but before that let us explain why the information age is so significant for social analysts.

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