Amid the popular ferment that forged an Italian nation out of a congeries of principalities and statelets in the nineteenth century, the novelist Massimo Taparelli d'Azeglio memorably wrote, "We have created Italy. Now all we need to do is to create Italians." Oddly enough, when the British pulled down the Union Jack in 1947, no Indian nationalist succumbed to the temptation to express the same thought-"we have created India. Now all we need to do is to create Indians."
Such a sentiment would not have occurred to the preeminent voice of Indian nationalism, Jawaharlal Nehru. India's first prime minister would never have spoken of "creating" India or Indians, merely of being the agent for the reassertion of what had always existed but had been long suppressed. Nonetheless, the India that was born in 1947 was in a very real sense a new creation: a state that made fellow citizens of the