The dramatic expansion of the media and communications sector since the 1990s has brought South Asia on the global scene as a major center for media production and consumption. This book is the first overview of media expansion and its political ramifications in South Asia during these years of economic reforms.

From the puzzling liberalization of media under military dictatorship in Pakistan to the brutal killings of journalists in Sri Lanka, and the growing influence of social media in riots and political protests in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, the chapters analyse some of the most important developments in the media fields of contemporary South Asia. Attentive to colonial histories as well as connections within and beyond South Asia in the age of globalization, the chapters combine theoretically grounded studies with original empirical research to unravel the dynamics of media as politics. The chapters are organized around the three frames of participation, control and friction. They bring to the fore the double edged nature of publicity and containment inherent in media, thereby advancing postcolonial perspectives on the massive media transformation underway in South Asia and the global South more broadly.

For the first time bringing together the cultural, regulatory and social aspects of media expansion in a single perspective, this interdisciplinary book fills the need for overview and analytical studies on South Asian media.

chapter 1|18 pages


Beyond the “public sphere”

part I|56 pages


chapter 2|15 pages

Small frame politics

Public performance in the digital age

chapter 3|23 pages

Envisioning Pakistan

Urban ‘awami’ space, travel and the media

chapter 5|14 pages

Pimps, paranoia and politics

Narratives of masculinities and femininities in the Nepali blogosphere

part II|66 pages


part III|74 pages


chapter 10|17 pages

Two faces of Sri Lankan media

Censorship and resistance

chapter 11|16 pages

Politics of clicking

Blogs and political participation in South Asia

chapter 13|16 pages

Viral video

Mobile media, riot and religious politics

chapter 14|9 pages

Closing comments

Media as politics and mediated politics