Monday, May 07, 2007


Subterranean Lives of New Media Malayalee

New media technologies are transforming our ways at various levels and in various ways. It has changed the way we live, experience, express and work. ICT-enabled expressions have redefined communication and entertainment in a big way. For instance, the coming of digital technology has radically changed the way movies are produced, processed, distributed and exhibited. Similarly, IPTV, which is in the offing, is also bound to change the conventional modes of television viewing and content creation.

Thus, even while creating new avenues and formats of expression and communication, the new media technologies have also changed traditional electronic media like radio, television, cinema and telephone apart from older media like music, literature, painting, and other arts. For instance, several websites and portals have come up as web extensions of literature and music. In Malayalam, there are many websites dedicated to literature like, that is solely dedicated to malayalam poetry,,, etc which covers all genres of literature including e-versions of several classics, and which carries several sections related to Kerala life and society. Some of the sites like harithakam also have streaming facilities and discussion forums which makes it more live and interactive. These sites feature some of the best writing in malayalam literature, both past and contemporary. Such web extensions in fact enable malayalam literature and writers to break out of the bonds of the print media and its limited market boundaries, and reach out to malayalam readers living all over the world. It wont be long before these web extensions also become commercial propositions so that the writer/creator is benefited in proportion to his popularity and reach.

Similarly, political and other discussions about various aspects of life and society are also becoming more and more vibrant in the web world. Various issues that do not get space in the 'mainstream' are active here. For instance very disturbing questions and issues realting to dalit life and struggles, sexual minorities, environmental and other new social movements etc are in fact more exhaustively debated and discussed in this sphere. There are mailing lists like Greenyouth mailinglist which is an activist-support mailinglist for Kerala run by Global Alternate Information Applications (GAIA), which discusses vital issues concerning Kerala life and society. Sites like, on the other hand is one of the most vibrant sites that provide comprehensive insight into anti-imperialist struggles and ideations from all over the world. Another site that provides detailed information about Kerala is that gives links to all the important news items relating to Kerala. Among the communist parties, it is the CPI (ML) that maintains a more active website ( http://www.cpimlker compared to the established ones. This once again proves the primacy of the marginal in the net sphere. At the other extreme are sites like that provides the Hindu fundamentalist view of our times. One interesting feature of this site is the section Media Watch which spells out its mission thus: " Most of the visual / print media in Bharat today are anti Hindu, both in intent and temperament. Haindava Keralam prepares to expose the hidden agenda of Pseudo secularist media / journalists in Kerala and other parts of the country. We seek support of all nationalist journalists across Bharat to join us for the success of this mission" .

Obviously there is a churning process in progress at a subterranean level of Kerala society that at the surface level seems to plunge its head into the loud and banal sand of mainstream media. The new media expressions are important not only because it voices the voiceless and the marginal, but also because it is predominantlay the domain of the youth. Unless our conventional media which feigns to be 'the mainstream', wakes up and listens to these voices, it wont be long before they actually 'realise' their obsoleteness, both in form and content.

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Blogger Jo said...

I would like to know your thoughts on this - - a Malayalam podcast run by myself.

1:50 AM  
Blogger sri said...

i totally agree with ur views on media expressions..u have thrown light on a much less discussed topics..recently i came across a site which can translate english to will be gud if u translate ur blogs usin tht it will have more reach..

10:14 PM  

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