Proud Hindu: The Transformation of the Image of Rishi Sunak in Indian Media

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-12-82-92
I. Shchedrov,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 01.06.2023. Revised 09.07.2023. Accepted 27.09.2023.

Abstract. This article deals with the issue of the transformation of the image of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the largest Indian media. In order to determine the dynamics of the development of key narratives associated with his name, the author used discursive-historical approach based on a corpus of 2855 headlines since January till December 2022 collected in ten English and three Hindi language media-sources. The articles were chronologically divided by month of the publication and then were split into two categories: a) before the election b) after the election. Moreover, the publications were assigned to seven thematic groups. The transformation of the narratives within these groups was analyzed with special emphasis on the context and frequency of word use. The analysis of intertextual connections made it possible to identify key international political issues related to the Prime Minister, which are of interest to the Indian public. The topic of Prime-Minister’s Indian origin, much spoken about in October, has changed significantly and was mostly illuminated during several active political struggles for the post of Prime Minister. If at the beginning of the year he was perceived as one in the list of politicians with Indian roots, then in October he was called the “pride of the nation” and “a gift to the Indians on Diwali”. Notably, amid the increased role in Britain’s political game this topic was followed by the topic of his religious affiliation – the phrase “hindu PM” has become widely used since July. The Hindi-language media, characteristically, paid more attention to this issue than the English-language media. Apparently, the appeal to the Indian origin could cause inflated expectations regarding the strengthening of relations between India and the UK, however, the expert community takes a reserved position on this issue and acts as a source of counter-discursive narratives. Finally, the analysis showed that issues of British domestic politics get a lot of attention from Indian public at large. In this particular case, they triggered vigorous political debates about minority rights issues.

Keywords: India, Great Britain, Rishi Sunak, Media of India, discourse-analysis


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For citation:
Shchedrov I. Proud Hindu: The Transformation of the Image of Rishi Sunak in Indian Media. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 12, pp. 82-92. EDN: GBAKJL

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