Vinod Kumar Singh, Anuj Kumar Singh
The article examines the relationship between Indian agricultural policies and media representations during the Cold War. Drawing on archival research, the authors argue that the Indian government’s agricultural policies were shaped by a complex interplay of domestic and international factors, including the country’s growing population, the need for self-sufficiency in food production, and Cold War geopolitics. The authors suggest that the media played a crucial role in shaping public perceptions of Indian agricultural policies during this period. They argue that the media, both in India and abroad, often portrayed Indian agriculture as backward and inefficient, and highlighted the country’s dependence on foreign aid to support its food production. At the same time, the authors note that there were also alternative voices in the media that challenged these dominant narratives and called for a more nuanced understanding of Indian agriculture. These alternative voices included journalists, scholars, and activists who argued that Indian agriculture was undergoing a transformation, and that the country had the potential to become a major food producer in the world. The authors suggest that these diverse media representations had important implications for Indian agricultural policies. On the one hand, negative media coverage reinforced the Indian government’s commitment to self-sufficiency in food production, and spurred it to pursue policies aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and modernising the sector. On the other hand, the authors argue that the media also had a more critical role to play in holding the government accountable for its policies, and in promoting a more nuanced understanding of Indian agriculture. They suggest that this critical function of the media was particularly important in the context of Cold War geopolitics, which often shaped the international aid and development programs that supported Indian agriculture.
Indian agricultural policies, media representations, Cold War, food production, modernization, development
VOL.15, ISSUE No.2, June 2023