The discursive construction of legitimacy in the abrogation of Indian Constitution's Article 370

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Abstract

In August 2019, India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took the historic decision of abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which revoked Kashmir's special status. The contentious move resulted in the emergence of two key competing narratives, with political supporters hailing the abrogation as the liberation of the nation from decades of secessionism and terrorism; and opponents representing it as an assault on democracy and the Constitution. This paper will analyze political contrast in the narratives of political supporters and opponents and how each side discursively represented the abrogation to legitimatize their respective versions of reality. To conduct the analysis, I will draw on Author's (2015) theoretical framework of the Discourse of Illusion, with application to analysis of data occurring from three aspects: historicity (use of the past to justify the present or predict the future); linguistic and semiotic action (subjective conceptualizations of the world made apparent through significant metaphorical rhetoric); and the degree of social impact (the rise of delineating categories as a result of one's rhetoric).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-141
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume183
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Categorization
  • Discursive illusions
  • India-Article 370
  • Metaphor
  • Political contrast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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