The imbrication of issues of nation, class, gender, and religion necessitates a critical revision of the so-called secular postcolonial modernity embraced by Indian nationalists, including musicologists. The life and struggle of Roshan Ara Begum — Pakistan’s first and, to date, arguably greatest singer of classical music — is an instructive example of the complex intertwining of agency, resistance, and resignation in Muslim-identified Pakistan and Hindu-identified India.

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