Constructing the Past


This essay examines the relationship between religion and the concept of nationhood in late colonial India. Religion was a crucial element in the formation of modern states in the early 20th century in South Asia. Different religious groups had different opinions about nation: Hindus and Muslims had different ideas of nationhood; even within the Hindu tradition, the Hindus themselves had very different views of nationhood and how to organize a new nation-state in relation to their religion. This essay explores the different points of view concerning the relationship between religion and nation in both Hindu and Muslim communities which led to the Partition of 1947.