Siddharth Narrain: Acts of Media: Law and Media in Contemporary India

About the book

Acts of Media seeks to consolidate a field of multidisciplinary work around media technologies that intersects with legal scholarship. This volume brings together contributions from leading academics, lawyers, researchers and policy experts about contemporary India and Sri Lanka. The approaches to law and media taken in this volume challenge us to think outside of traditional disciplinary descriptions. Rather than approaching the law as being outside of, and constantly catching up with the media, the contributors of this book view law and media as being deeply intertwined. 

The chapters in this volume address the relationship between law and media through different entry points—disputes over media and information systems shaping law, theories of law that incorporate media forms, and law and media co-producing trials. The multidisciplinary nature of this book has facilitated a rich and productive conversation among legal scholars, researchers and lawyers from disciplines such as constitutional law, law and technology, media and cinema studies, legal anthropology and political science.


Table of contents


Introduction: The Entanglement of Law and Media in Contemporary India Siddharth Narrain

PART I: Law and Media Infrastructures

What Is Video? Video and the Moment of Legal Disruption Ishita Tiwary

Censored, Curated and Licensed: Item Numbers after Film Silpa Mukherjee 

Sexual Expression, Law and Media in Contemporary India Bishakha Datta

The Constitutional Basis for Internet Freedom Apar Gupta

Revisiting the 2012 North East Exodus: Virality, Incitement to Violence and the Law in India Siddharth Narrain

On WhatsApp, Rumours and Lynchings Chinmayi Arun

Hate Speech and Social Media in Sri Lanka Sanjana Hattotuwa and Roshini Wickremesinhe

PART II: Evidence, Forensics and Trials

True Lies and False Truths: The Case of Talwar Veena Hariharan

Narco Videos, Forensic Psychologists and the Truth Telling Apparatus: Tracing Evidence, Law and Media Trials Jinee Lokaneeta

The Talwars and Presumed Guilt Shohini Ghosh

Objects as Exhibits: Performances of the Forensic Pallavi Paul

Censorship Through Forensics: Video Evidence in Post-war Crises Rebecca Wexler 

About the Editor and Contributors


Siddharth Narrain is currently a Scientia PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law and Justice, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia. He has previously worked as an Assistant Lecturer (Visiting) at the School of Law, Governance and Citizenship (SLGC), Ambedkar University Delhi (2018-19); as a Research Associate with the Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi (2015-17); as a lawyer and legal researcher with the Alternative Law Forum (ALF), Bangalore (2006-13); as a Principal Correspondent with The Hindu newspaper’s Delhi Bureau (2005-6), and as a Reporter with Frontline Magazine (2003-4). He has a bachelor’s degree in law (BA LLB Hons) from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, a post-graduate diploma in print journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai, and a master’s degree in law (LLM) from Harvard Law School. He is a recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Scholarship in 2012. Siddharth has co-edited (with Mayur Suresh) The Shifting Scales of Justice: The Supreme Court in Neo-liberal India (Orient Blackswan, 2014). 


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