Projecting Power and Territorial Disputes: The BJP and Indian News Coverage of Border Conflicts

This paper examines Indian media coverage of India’s unresolved border disputes with China and Pakistan.

The study proceeds with a historical overview of the border disputes between India and the two nations while exploring the influence of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the Indian media and its ownership of national security as an issue. The BJP’s focus on the promotion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a nationalistic strongman, as well as an evaluation of the media’s role in asymmetric conflicts will follow. This article will then compare and contrast the information and analysis conveyed by The Times of India, the most widely circulated English-language daily newspaper in the country, on India’s border disputes with Pakistan and China. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including framing research and critical discourse analysis of news text produced from May till July 2020, showcase the Indian media’s role in modulating power asymmetry, uncovering the mechanism by which it helps to consolidate PM Modi’s image of invincibility, resulting in electoral success. Implications for regional stability and international security will be discussed.

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