Phenomenon, Impact, Consequences

Edited by M Asaduddin


... The phenomenon of post-truth, as it has developed so far, essentially means production and consumption of emotion and perception through an elaborate and well-crafted ecosystem of lies, half-truth, fake news, doctored data/ reports, gut feeling, trolls and rumours, all of which together create an infosmog where it becomes impossible for the citizenry to distinguish between truth and falsehood. In fact, the ecosystem creates conditions whereby people are not even inclined to confirm or investigate the truth even if it were possible to do so, and instead surrender themselves to herd mentality and groupthink to spin narratives that are patently false and can, potentially, be racist, anti-minority, misogynist, homophobic and majoritarian, often leading to violent consequences ...

The volume deals with the phenomenon of post-truth and the menacing turn it has taken in the last couple of years. It discusses a fairly wide range of printed texts and films that explore various dimensions of post-truth as it increasingly impacts our daily lives and academic domains. Extremely topical, the volume will be helpful to academics and researchers in making sense of the communicative abundance of our time and how to use it circumspectly to gain clarity on the most urgent issues of the day amidst so much of fake news and doctored images.

M Asaduddin is an author, critic and a translator in several languages. He writes on literature, language politics and Translation Studies. Currently he is the Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Languages, Jamia Millia Islamia. He was a Fulbright Scholar-inResidence at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA, during 2008-2009. Earlier he was a Charles Wallace Trust Fellow, the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. He has lectured/led workshops at the universities of Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka, Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, East Anglia, Chicago, Rutgers, New York, St. Louis, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Among his books are: Complete Premchand Stories, (Penguin Random House, 4 volumes, 2017), Premchand in World Languages (Routledge, 2016), Filming Fiction: Tagore, Premchand and Ray (Oxford U Press, 2012), A Life in Words (Penguin, 2012), The Penguin Book of Classic Urdu Stories (2006), Lifting the Veil: Selected Writings of Ismat Chughtai (Penguin, 2001) For Freedom's Sake: Manto (Oxford U Press, 2002) and Image and Representation: Stories of Muslim Lives in India (Oxford U Press, 2000). He is the Chair, Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (IACLALS). His extensive translations from Urdu to English of authors like Premchand, Ismat Chughtai, Manto and Syed Muhammad Ashraf have been recognized by the following awards: Katha Award, Dr A.K.Ramanujan Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, Urdu Academy (Delhi) Award and Crossword Book Award.

Attitudes to truth have varied over the ages, from the ethical upanishadic affirmation Satymeva Jayate Nanritam (Truth alone triumphs and not untruth) to the mocking response of the Roman governor of the day ('What is truth?') to the claim of Jesus Christ that he had 'witnessed the truth.' In our postmodernist times, truth is often relativized and reduced to a 'truth claim', and 'competing versions' of any event or phenomenon preclude the very possibility of there being one undoubted truth. This volume of essays on Post-truth explores these challenging issues by deploying theory, analysing works of fiction and non-fiction originating from locales as varied as Japan, India and and Gaza, and looking at films including the newly popular form of the biopic. For numerous readers, this book will prove to be a lighthouse in the choppy waters of aporetic uncertainty.

Harish Trivedi

This is an important collection of essays on our brave new world. These essays probe the post-truth world in all its manifestations and establish that logic and rigorous analyses will always lead us through the motivated web of deceit and misdirection that is not so much a condition of the world as the strategy employed by those who want to create the environment for their survival and triumph. This is a book that will speak to all generations of scholars the world over.

GJV Prasad

ISBN 978-93-82178-41-5           2022        232 pages        Rs. 950 (hb)