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Title: Religious ideology in the Bangladesh war of 1971 : a discourse analysis of east Pakistan's anti-liberation newspapers
Author: Islam, Kajalie Shehreen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 2349
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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This dissertation addresses how media was used and functioned as a discursive tool in the legitimisation of violence in the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. It explores the role of the media as an ideological state apparatus used by the Pakistani government to frame religion-based ideology in order to construct nationalism and identities, and legitimise political and sexual violence. Using discourse analysis of two East Pakistani newspapers, the Dainik Sangram and Dainik Pakistan during the nine months of the war between March and December 1971 as well as a number of interviews with eye witnesses to the war, the study examines the media frames which served to construct divisive discourses of nationalism, identity and violence in conflict. The study shows how the media, acting as an ideological and discursive tool of the state, interpellates or addresses the audience and summons them to action. By representing the nation as sacred and defining identities, in this case, of the good Muslim Pakistani Self posited against the evil Hindu enemy Other, the media discourse justifies the use of violence against the Bangali enemy in the form of jihad represented as mandatory, sacrifice as necessary and martyrdom as desirable, while remaining silent on the issue of sexual violence against Bangali women, and, as such, indicating tacit acceptance of it. Rooted in archival research, the key themes and methodology of this thesis are highly relevant in an era characterised by increasing religiously-motivated violence in Bangladesh and around the world, and can be applied to the study of both traditional and digital media and their role in serving the purpose of both state and non-state actors in ideological conflicts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral