Accepted paper:

Akbarbhai's extreme speech, Mesh Ups and Minority Resentment in India

Authors:

Max Kramer (LMU Munich)

Paper short abstract:

The so-called hate speeches of Akbaruddin Owaisi circulate as highly charged digital objects in the Indian moral economy. By analyzing the contexts of circulation, I argue that they should not be considered 'hate speech' but need to be considered within digital environments of Muslim assertion.

Paper long abstract:

The so-called hate speeches of Akbaruddin Owaisi circulate as highly charged digital objects in the Indian moral economy. They are appropriated in various ways to engender morality in circulation amongst both, those seeing him as a communalist hot head and also among often young Muslims who protest the Hindu-nationalist hegemony of recent years. Even if they may not have much traction on the institutional level of patronage politics outside Hyderabad - the digital circulation of snippets of his speech and the mash-up culture appropriations thereof require some explanation at the intersections of political rhetorics, minority resentment, and comical enjoyments. None of these can be adequately captured by applying the term "hate speech" as is often done in journalistic contexts. Instead by using Sahana Udupa's concept of "extreme speech" I m arguing that what makes these appropriations so popular today needs to be seen by their newly acquired nation-wide circulation (thus beyond the popular politics of Hyderbad), the AIMIM's historical investment in leaders rhetorics and a deep-seated sense of resentment towards minority status and the demise of Muslim political power in India.

panel P160
Resisting Populism: Memes, Extreme Speech, and the Aesthetics of Affect and Defiance