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The Nation Form

The Nation Form
Essays on Indian Nationalism

First Edition


July 2012 | 292 pages | SAGE India
Most writings on the theme of the nation confine themselves to discussions of ideology and thoughts on nationalism, leaving out the question of the form of the nation. This selection of writings by Ranabir Samaddar fills in that void and presents a whole range of dimensions, perspectives, and controversies of the last two decades on the question of the nation in India. It looks at the form of the Indian nation in terms of contests, contradictions, classes, and nationalist strategies of inclusion and exclusion, thereby addressing two significant issues in view of the nation form—its relation with democracy and the problem of governing the nation.

This selection not only comprises essays that stand on their own merit, but also, in totality, presents a historical summary of the nation’s experience through decades—before and after Independence.
Introduction: The Conflicts and Contradictions in the Nation Form
The Manifold Meaning of Territoriality in Nationalism

What Was Asia to the Asians?

The Birth of a Nation

Promises of Revolution

The Dynamics of Passive Revolution

The World of the Edges

Legality, Illegality, and Reasons of State

Cartographic Representations and Anxieties


The Ineluctable Logic of Geopolitics

The Autonomous Spaces within the Nation