This study on Bihar highlights the fact that nationalism was not a monolithic movement, but was constituted of diverse facets and streams which unleashed a variety of protests. Once people's desires and aspirations were linked to nationalism, the movement developed its own rhythm and dynamics, throwing up its own agenda. Popular Translations of Nationalism: Bihar 1920-1922 revisits the historiography on nationalism by moving beyond the binary of elite and subaltern nationalism and focuses on the complex nature of popular nationalism. It also underscores the protests of the subordinate police, an area which has so far remained unexplored. By foregrounding the police's interface with nationalism and its varied trends, the study problematizes both the accepted view of the state's subordinates as being effectively integrated with the colonial state, and their identity as agents of the state.
The study also reveals that nationalism was not merely an attempt to eject the British nor was it simply a political struggle for power. Rather, it was also a hegemonic contestation with colonialism, but one within which the counterhegemonic struggle of nationalism was also intertwined with the contest for hegemony within Indian society.