Mobilizing   India

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Complicating the senses in which "India" and "Indian" are understood today is the main impetus behind the work. Seeing familiar histories of modernity in India through the lens of forgotten and delegitimised "Indians" who were taken as indentured labour to the Caribbean in colonial times might allow us to re-imagine contemporary cultural identities in India. My attempt is to render strange an all too familiar set of preoccupations - about nationalism, about Hindus and Muslims, caste and culture, femininity and the public sphere - by locating them in a geographically distant place where they have taken on altogether different significations even while they continue to call themselves "Indian".

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Musical culture of Trinidad 

The book discusses a range of key Trinidadian musical genres including calypso, soca and chutney-soca, which draw on French, Scottish, English and Spanish lyrical traditions, Hindi film music, and folk music from West Africa and Northern India.

Drupatee Ramgoonai 

Drupatee Ramgoonai was the first East Indian woman to appear on the calypso stage in Trinidad in the late 1980s.

Denise Belfon 

Denise Belfon rose to prominence in the 1990s as a soca performer. While she is known for her 2004 soca hit, "Lookin' for an Indian Man".
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Mobilizing India argues for the importance of comparative research across the global South. Colonialism, nation, modernity, citizenship, identity, and subjectivity - are often explicated in the bounded context, or with reference to Western European societies. Indeed, an important feature of twentieth century scholarship could well be the nation-centrism of the analyses of intellectual formations of the period.

The attempt is to change the frame of reference so that the "West" doesn't become the sole norm against which we measure each other. The intertwining of gender issues with the formation and assertion of different kinds of identities in Trinidad and India is explored.
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