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Dwyer, Rachel (2004) 'Representing the Muslim: the 'courtesan film' in Indian popular cinema.' In: Parfitt, Tudor and Egorova, Yulia, (eds.), Jews, Muslims and Mass Media Mediating the 'Other'. London: Routledge/Curzon, pp. 78-92. (Routledge Jewish Studies Series)

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I am often asked if I teach ‘Hindu’ cinema or speak ‘Hindu’ or ‘Indian’. It is easy to be scornful of the misuse of these terms, but it is more interesting to examine their historical connections. All these words are historically connected, being derived from Persian and later Greek and Roman names2 for the land beyond the river known as Sindhu (simply ‘river’) in Sanskrit and Indus in English, which names include the British India. Modern Indian languages use Persian variants with the Hind-stems: Hindu – a person from India; Hindi, the language of India; Hind or Hindustan, the country of India. This is not an essay on comparative philology but I wish to show here how the meaning of these words has been manipulated by forms of nationalism, in particular Hindutva, to conflate the idea of Hindu – a person following certain beliefs and practices – with Indian, meaning a citizen of the Republic of India, excluding non-Hindus from this citizenship.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ISBN: 9780415444477
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2007 13:28

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