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The Politics of Digital IndiaBetween Local Compulsions and Transnational Pressures$
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Pradip Ninan Thomas, Adrian Athique, Vibodh Parthasarathi, and S. V. Srinivas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199494620

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199494620.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

The Expansion of Politics as Control

The Expansion of Politics as Control

Surveillance in India

(p.33) 1 The Expansion of Politics as Control
The Politics of Digital India

Pradip Ninan Thomas

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an introduction to surveillance as both theory and practice, beginning in the era of the British Empire, followed by Foucauldian theory and the specific nature of digital surveillance in contemporary India. It explores the State’s many investments in the surveillance of its citizens against the reality of insufficient legal support for privacy. It highlights the complexities and compulsions of Aadhaar as well as the geopolitics of surveillance and India’s surveillance partnerships with the USA. It also explores the ambiguities of e-governance, the politics of transactional efficiencies against the creeping power of ‘code’, as well as the persistence of caste and other markers of identity that have made a comeback in the context of a resurgent nationalism in India.

Keywords:   Surveillance, Foucauld, e-governance, Aadhaar, the State

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