Shiva Thorat

Social Media Research Workshop, August 12, 2016


As part of the third and final cycle of Sarai’s Social Media Research Fellowship, since March this year, short-term research fellows have been studying different aspects of digital and social media. On Friday, 12 August, 2016 we are organising a workshop for the fellows to present and discuss their research with a select group of discussants. Limited seats are available to take part in the workshop. To register, please fill up this…

Morality, Illegality and Crime in Download Culture.


This is the third and final research note from Shiva Thorat, one of the researchers who received the Social Media Research grant for 2016. A Khandeshi album producer, who is also a politician, complained against me to the police. They gave me strict warnings on why I should not do download work. One of the policemen told me, “People involved in the production of the song cannot get any money when the transfer process is free. The product should be making profit to pay everyone who is involved in the production. They have copyright over the song and it is illegal. If someone is not paying for their produced song it is the case of copyright infringement and transferring them is a crime, we might arrest you”.

Identity and Download Culture: Revolution or Farce?


Caste is a systematic, oppressive structure that operates in the whole of Indian society as well as in my own location in Khandesh. This oppression exists within the strict binaries of identity and prevents liberation. The free market economy, in the context of ‘download work’, holds out the promise of liberation. This post narrates my story along with Akshay and Ganesh related to our ‘download work’. All of us belong to the Dalit – Adivasi community, and currently Akshay and Ganesh are employed in download work to support themselves and their families. ‘Download work’ becomes an option for livelihood, but does this work help them develop themselves more eclectically?…

‘Culture of Downloading’ in Khandesh region and the Story of Transfer of Media – An Auto-Ethnographic Study


In this auto-ethnographic study, I am a data source, along with other ‘downloading workers’. I have already contacted a few of them. I will be looking at five places: Khandesh-Shirpur which is a tehsil in Dhule district, Dhule, the headquarter, Boradi – a village, Jalgaon town Jalgaon district, and Malegaon in Nashik district. Of these, Malegaon came into focus for various reasons including Malegaon Ka Chintu[6] (2010) a Television serial and Supermen of Malegaon[7] (2009), a documentary. I have selected these places because of the diversity they present vis-a-vis the ‘downloading culture’. All these places have a variety of communities, religions, castes and creed that have their own choices for ‘downloading or transferring the media’…

Short Term Research Projects in Social Media: Selected Proposals 2016


The Sarai Programme is committed to developing a public architecture for creating knowledge and creative communities. In keeping with this commitment, we seek to develop a community of scholars, writers and practitioners who are motivated to make the materials and outcome of research available for public access and circulation, with the understanding that an imaginative… Read More