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Saritā and the 1950s Hindi Middlebrow Reader
Published in Cambridge University Press
Volume: 53
Issue: 6
Pages: 1797 - 1815
The article discusses Saritā, one of the best-selling Hindi magazines of the 1950s, and the part it played in the establishment of the Hindi 'middlebrow' reader. While a rich and vibrant journal culture in Hindi had existed since the nineteenth century, what distinguishes the post-1947 Hindi popular magazine is the emergence of the middle class as a burgeoning consumer. Saritā defied prescriptions of Nehruvian state building, as well as the right-wing discourses of nationalism and national language prevalent in the post-Independence space. In addition, it reconfigured biases towards gendered reading and consumption processes, as well as encouraging increased reader participation. This article argues for Saritā's role in the creation of a middlebrow reading space in the period immediately following Independence, since it not only packaged what was deemed wholesome and educational for the family as a unit, but also, most significantly, promoted readership in segments, with a focus on each individual's reading desires. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019Â.
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