The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition
Imagine the patriotic camaraderie of national day parades. How crucial is performance for the sustenance of the nation? The Performance of Nationalism considers the formation of the Indian and Pakistani nation, in the wake of the most violent chapter of its history: the partition of the subcontinent. In the process, Jisha Menon offers a fresh analysis of nationalism from the perspective of performance. Menon recuperates the manifold valences of "mimesis" as aesthetic representation, as the constitution of a community of witnesses, and as the mimetic relationality that underlies the encounter between India and Pakistan. The particular performances considered here range from Wagah border ceremonies, to the partition theatre of Asghar Wajahat, Kirti Jain, M. K. Raina, and the cinema of Ritwik Ghatak and M. S. Sathyu. By pointing to the tropes of twins, doubles, and doppelgangers that suffuse these performances, this study troubles the idea of two insular, autonomous nation-states of India and Pakistan. In the process, Menon recovers mimetic modes of thinking that unsettle the reified categories of identity politics.
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abducted women aesthetic Amina Anasuya argues audience Aur Kitne Tukde Badshah Badshah Pather Bengal Bhand Pather body border Butalia cinema colonial conﬂict constituted cultural Delhi depicts discourse dramatic East Bengal ethnic everyday evokes feminist ﬁction ﬁelds ﬁgure ﬁlm ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬂags Garm Hawa ghazal Hindu identiﬁcation Iinnah imagined India and Pakistan IPTA Islam Iswar Kashmir Kashmiriyat Kaur Kazmi kinship Kirtar Kirti Iain Komal Gandhar Lahore Lahore Resolution London Manto Meghe Dhaka Tara memory Menon mimesis mimetic doubleness minority Mirza modern mother narrations narrative Nasir Kazmi nation nation-states Neeta numbers offers Oxford University Press Partition of India play political Postcolonial practices Punjab Radcliffe Raﬁq Raina reﬂect refugees relationship religious identity Retreat ceremony rhetoric Ritwik Ghatak role Saadia scene secular Seeta signiﬁcant Sikh Singh social somatic story Subaltern Studies Subarnarekha Suﬁ music Suﬁsm Theatre tion trope two-nation theory Urdu Wagah Wajahat woman York Zaahida