The Third Volume in the series Communication Processes engages in understanding processes of communication in relation to cultural configurations and contending forces that permeate them. This volume is positioned at the interface of culture and communication—exploring ways in which interaction, negotiations, and even conflicts are voiced. It re-examines our conception of culture to show that communities cannot be divided into polarities such as ‘elite and popular’ or ‘dominant and subaltern’—establishing that such clear divisions cannot exist in society. Culture is therefore perceived as a field of contending forces: a milieu of exchange, encounter, confrontation, and possibly conflict.
Chapter 5: Memory and Social Protest
In this chapter I attempt to study an example of folk memory, the popular myth of Chuharmal of the Mokama and Bhojpur region of Bihar. The people's memory of Chuharmal carries among the Dusadh (a subordinate caste) a sense of victory over the Bhumihar (an elite and dominant caste) of Bihar. It creates a sense of defeat among the elite and feudal classes. Chuharmal is known as the hero of the lower castes in central Bihar where his memory is kept alive by the common people as a medium of social protest. As a result, feudal classes are trying to erase it with the barrel of guns. A case study of Ekauni Kand will illustrate this phenomenon. Such ...