Imagined subjects: Law, gender and citizenship in Indian Cinema
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2010 Rini Bhattacharya Mehta and Rajeshwari V. Pandharipande editorial matter and selection. 'Integral to heteronormative commercial cinema's creation of desire women offer a heuristic means to comprehend a film's labored production of a secular, modern society in relation to its internal differences' '[T]he people embed their present in the past' I would like to offer some reflections on imagining a violent history of nation-making in India's cinematic 'present.' How do structures of feeling, belief and conflict affect graphing and 'remembering' history in Indian cinema? What is the status of the legal, civic or violent 'event' - such as the Indian partition of 1947 or the communal riots of increasing frequency since the eighties - in films? What is Indian cinema's imaginary relationship with historiography, and what does it mean to represent an 'event' within available 'structures' of historic narrative in this cinema frequently described as 'national'? In discussing the 'vexed problem of the relation between structure and event,' and in calling 'structure' - the symbolic relations of cultural order an historical object,' Marshall Sahlins invokes the essential structural backdrop of historical 'events,' wherein 'an event is not simply a phenomenal happening An event becomes such as it is interpreted. Only as it is appropriated in and through the cultural scheme does it acquire an historical significance The event is a relation between a happening and a structure (or structures).'