Alyssa Ayres' fascinating study examines Pakistan's troubled history by exploring the importance of culture to political legitimacy. Early leaders selected Urdu as the natural symbol of the nation's great cultural past, but due to its limited base great efforts would be required to make it truly national. This paradox underscores the importance of cultural policies for national identity formation. By comparing Pakistan's experience with those of India and Indonesia, the author analyzes how their national language policies led to very different outcomes. The lessons of these large multiethnic states offer insights for the understanding of culture, identity, and nationalism throughout the world. The book is aimed at scholars in the fields of history, political theory and South Asian studies, as well as those interested in the history of culture and nationalism in one of the world's most complex, and challenging, countries.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.47(d)|
About the Author
Alyssa Ayres is Director for India and South Asia at McLarty Associates, Washington, DC. A cultural historian of modern South Asia, Alyssa Ayres has carried out research in India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. She has co-edited three books, including one forthcoming on power realignments between China, India, and the United States, as well as two volumes in Asia Society's India Briefing series.
Table of ContentsList of illustrations; List of tables; Acknowledgments; Note on transliteration; Introduction; 1. Articulating a new nation; 2. Urdu and the nation; 3. The nation and its margins; 4. The case of Punjab, part I: elite efforts; 5. The case of Punjab, part II: popular culture; 6. History and local absence; 7. Bringing back the local past; 8. Speaking like a state: language planning; 9. Religion, nation, language; 10. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.