When watching Lagaan, it is very evident that there are two distinct types of nationalism. The first type of nationalism that appears in the film comes from the British. They believe that they are superior to the Indians and clearly view the Indians as lesser. I think that this sort of nationalism comes from a lack of understanding on their part. They see the different ways that the people in India live and instead of viewing it as just interesting cultural differences, they look down on it. They think that their culture and their ways of doing things are the best and want to use their imagined superiority to exploit the Indians who they view as inferior.
The other type of nationalism that we see in Lagaan comes from the Indians. Their sense of nationalism in the film is a product of the nationalism of the British. The poor treatment and exploitation at the hands of the British causes them to draw together as fellow Indians to fight the oppression they are facing. When people from all over came to watch the Cricket match, the individual villages and people were united for a common cause.
These differing types of nationalism reminded me of the discussion we had in class about the difference between a man and a woman wearing a shirt saying something about their gender. Most of us would probably be more uncomfortable with the man wearing a shirt like that. I think this is because a woman wearing a shirt like that is a product of the misogyny, where the man wearing it is enforcing established negative ideas. This is very similar to the nationalism displayed by both groups in the film. While there are plenty of good arguments against nationalism of any kind. It’s pretty clear which one is more problematic.


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