Becoming a global audience: Music television in India
Satellite television, an often-cited example of globalization, has proliferated in India since 1991. Although primarily a transnational pan-Asian phenomenon, satellite television's growth in India was aided by the rise of local cable providers and the government's economic liberalization policies. Global media corporations however emphasized Indian film based programs over Western programs in a bid to enter the Indian market. This strategy, in conjunction with the music and film industries, has made music television a pervasive phenomenon which includes channels like MTV and Channel V and musk based programs in other channels like Star, Zee, Sun, and ETV. Music television mainly features Indian film songs and pop music, but follows certain global genres and conventions such as the top ten format and VJs. This study situates the social and cultural impact of music television in the experience of globalization in India through a reception study conducted in Hyderabad.
The main findings of this study are: (a) the discourses of music television and globalization are meaningful only to young middle class participants and not to older middle class and working class participants; (b) these participants decode music countdowns as enabling representation of the public to a greater extent than was possible under Doordarshan (state television) monopoly; (c) they decode the music video of “Made in India” in emotional/relational terms as a global recognition of India's national culture and perceive globalization as the rise of India to global prominence rather than the influx of global culture into India.
While emotional/relational experiences in watching music television are common to all participants, only young middle class participants assume authority as the public and the nation through the orientalistic representations of the same on music television by situating their emotional/relational experiences in discourses of liberalization and globalization. The modern worldview that arises through these discourses is hence characterized as a hegemonic globality which arises in the negotiation between the imperial globality of capitalist modernity and the familial globality of emotional/relational values. The fact, however, that the discourses of imperial globality do not permit recognition of the epistemic authority or globality of emotional/relational values is taken as evidence of cultural imperialism.