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Subalterns, Cricket and the 'Nation': The Silences of 'Lagaan'

Nissim Mannathukkaren
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 36, No. 49 (Dec. 8-14, 2001), pp. 4580-4588
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4411449
Page Count: 9
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Subalterns, Cricket and the 'Nation': The Silences of 'Lagaan'
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Abstract

Lagaan has been valorised both in the popular and academic discourse as having subverted the dominant order. This paper argues that such 'innocent' reading not only masks the film's hegemonic appropriation of the subaltern to the elite imaginary, but also participates in it. The contention here is that Lagaan is another symbolic attempt at 'nationalising' the past, an attempt that distorts history beyond recognition. And, more importantly, the 'nation' that is 'imagined' has no place for the subaltern in it.

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