Online Gods – A Podcast about Digital Cultures in India and Beyond

Episode 4: Rumours and the Agents of Ishq

This month we speak with Irfan Ahmad about rumour and Paromita Vohra about the Agents of Ishq.


Online Gods is part theoretical exploration into some of the key concepts in the anthropology of media, and part research into how increased online interaction is changing the public sphere. Taking India and the India diaspora as its focal point, the podcast continues in the great anthropological tradition of bringing the global and the specific into conversation with one another as it analyses what online discussions do to political participation, displays of faith and feelings of national belonging. We are also intrigued as to whether a podcast can produce ethnographic theory. We believe It is possible to be both sophisticated and yet comprehensible, and that the spoken form can bring forth an accessibility that is sometimes missing from the written form. We even wonder whether academic podcasting might herald a technologically-enabled return to the centrality of oral traditions in intellectual exploration – can podcasting weaken reading’s hegemonic hold on consumption of academic knowledge? Online Gods is a key initiative of the project ONLINERPOL and is cohosted with HAU Network for Ethnographic Theory. This podcast is hosted by Ian M. Cook and Sahana Udupa.

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Irfan Ahmad’s selected works


Islamism and Democracy in India (Princeton University Press, 2009)

Religion As Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace (2017) is published by University of North Carolina Press.

With Natalie Doyle, he co-edited (IL)liberal Europe: Islamophobia, Modernity and Radicalization (2017, Routledge).


Paromita Vohra’s selected film credits

Partners in Crime

Khamosh Pani

Morality TV and the Loving Jehad


Where’s Sandra?

Cosmopolis: Two Tales of a City

Unlimited Girls

Work in Progress

A Woman’s Place

Annapurna: Goddess of Food

A Short Film about Time


ForDigitalDignity Project ONLINERPOL
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
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Munich 80538

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