Vande Mataram!: Constructions of gender and music in Indian nationalism

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This article juxtaposes the iconic performances at the Wagah (Pakistani-Indian) border with a genealogical analysis of "'motherland'" symbolism in Indian cultural nationalism in order to illuminate the relationship between gender and national ideology. Drawing from archival research and ethnographic experience, I follow the development of India's national song, "Vande Mataram," exploring its evolution and impact through the independence movement into the modern-day Hindu golden age. Drawing from postcolonial theory, feminist perspectives, literary analysis, and critiques of nationalism, I examine the tensions between tradition and modernity in Indian culture, looking at the power structures that subordinate gender to nationalist ideologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-110
Number of pages21
JournalAsian Music
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


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