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India’s growing profile on the global scene owes much to the vibrancy of its cultural and creative industries, media and telecommunications. This article analyses India’s media in terms of four ‘dividends’ (and their corresponding deposits): democractic, diasporic, digital and demographic. Although the deficits produce considerable challenges, the dividends are stronger and the author is optimistic about India’s capacity for development and ability to lead to globalisation with an Indian flavour. He reflects on India’s potential contribution to international media studies, especially in relation to liberal pluralism, representation of Islam and discourses about development.

India’s growing profile on the global scene owes much to the vibrancy of its cultural and creative industries, media and telecommunications. This article analyses India’s media in terms of four ‘dividends’ (and their corresponding deposits): democractic, diasporic, digital and demographic. Although the deficits produce considerable challenges, the dividends are stronger and the author is optimistic about India’s capacity for development and ability to lead to globalisation with an Indian flavour. He reflects on India’s potential contribution to international media studies, especially in relation to liberal pluralism, representation of Islam and discourses about development.