Can the Other Speak? Mediated Counter-Narratives of Tatars and Mappilas

Abdullakkutty K.P.


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Tatars in Russia and Mappilas in India, two imagined communities of dif- ferent socio-cultural, ethno-national and geo-political identities, have more contrasts than commonalities. Their similarity lies in the constructed otherness of Tatars and Mappilas regarding the origin, spread, and survival of these two communities. Orientalist historiography, literary imageries, and ideological intrusions have constructed a common ‘other’ whose stereotyped media images and biased narratives are now part of everyday discursive practice. Rejecting these age-old intellectual narratives and media images, a new wave of intelligentsia among the Tatar and Mappila communities brings counter-narratives on the history, tradition, and everyday life of these communities. Media, especially cinema, have become a major tool for reinterpreting Tatar and Mappila identity and culture and challenging the distorted images of these subaltern communities.


Tatars; Mappilas; othering; subalternity; media representation


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