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Beyond Belief: India and the Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism

Price : $33.00
ISBN # : 9788178242118
Author : Srirupa Roy
pages: 248
Edition : Hardcover
Volumes : 1
Publisher : Orient Blackswan
Published : 2010

Beyond Belief boldly rethinks the formation and consolidation of nation-state ideologies. Analysing the first two decades following Indian Independence, Srirupa Roy explores how nationalists were turned into nationals, subjects into citizens, and the colonial state into a sovereign nation-state.

She argues that the postcolonial nation-state is consolidated not, as many have asserted, by imagining a shared cultural community, but rather by the production of a recognizable and authoritative identity for the state. This project—of making the state identifiable as the nation’s authoritative representative—emphasizes the natural cultural diversity of the nation and upholds the state as the sole unifier and manager of a ‘naturally’ fragmented nation.

Roy considers several ways by which identification with the Indian nation-state was produced and consolidated during the 1950s and 1960s. She looks at how the Films Division of India allowed audiences to ‘see the state’; how nationhood was reinforced via annual Republic Day celebrations; and how the government produced a policy discourse claiming that scientific development was the ultimate national need. She also analyses India’s industrial townships—built to house the workers of nationalized steel plants—which were upheld as exemplary national spaces in the new India.

By prioritizing the role of actual manifestations of and encounters with the state, Roy moves beyond existing theories of nationalism and state formation to present important new ideas on how a state functions to consolidate its authority. Her book will interest all students of Indian history and politics.

This book was added to South Asia bookstore on Thursday 20 March, 2008.
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