‘Instigators,’ ‘Hooligans,’ ‘Sex Maniacs,’ ‘Drug Addicts’‚ ‘Alcoholics…’

The Image of Students’ Protest Mirrored in the Rhetoric of the State

  • Renata Czekalska Jagiellonian University in Kraków
Keywords: language and power, language as the tool of politics, media propaganda, verbal suppression, language as a weapon of state


In February 2016, the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi began to protest against the violation of basic democratic freedoms by Narendra Modi’s government. The protest was quickly supported by other Indian universities, and the campaigns organized by students happened in all the important academic centres in India. The purpose of this paper is to show selected examples of language expressions employed by the Indian authorities against the studentprotesters and used in the official Indian media, to describe the actions taken by protests’ participants, as well as to compare the language of the Indian authorities and media used against protesting students in the second decade of the 21st century with some official statements about student protests in Poland under the communist regime.

Author Biography

Renata Czekalska, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

PhD, is a Professor at the Institute of the Middle and Far East, Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She specializes in Cultural Studies, with a special focus on India and South Asia. Her research interests include the cultural heritage of India and South Asia, the contemporary socio-political problems of South Asia, the theory and practice of translation from and into South Asian languages, cultural contacts within Asia, and between Asia and Europe.


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How to Cite
Czekalska, Renata. 2019. “‘Instigators,’ ‘Hooligans,’ ‘Sex Maniacs,’ ‘Drug Addicts’‚ ‘Alcoholics…’: The Image of Students’ Protest Mirrored in the Rhetoric of the State”. Politeja 16 (2(59), 73-89. https://doi.org/10.12797/Politeja.16.2019.59.05.