In This Review

Beyond Belief: India and the Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism

Beyond Belief: India and the Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism
By Srirupa Roy
264 pp, Duke University Press, 2007
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Most studies of postcolonial nationalism focus on independence movements and the final arrangements for new states. Roy addresses some overlooked dimensions: the differences between state building and nation building and the role of state institutions and structures in elaborating and consolidating the understanding and practices of nationhood. She shows that there is more to Indian national identity than the themes of the independence movement. A strong sense of identity was secured, for example, by the popular acceptance of the products of the Indian film industry, which culturally look both back into history and forward into India's future. Her analysis of the Republic Day parade will strike a chord of recognition with anyone who has ever been in New Delhi on January 26.