The 'historically adequate referent' for Indian nationhood exists in India in the shape of the history of the national movement itself. Similarly, Indian democracy has nothing to do with the 'heritage of imperialism'. By contrast, the most important – virtually the only worthwhile – political achievement of the modern Indian state is that it became a secular, democratic republic immediately after Independence. The Indian state now gives us that secular democracy more in the breach than the observance, but it is still worth recalling that nowhere in Europe or North America was adult franchise implemented with such low levels of literacy and material well-being as in India immediately after Independence. In Bhabha's writing, the postcolonial who has access to such monumental and global pleasures is remarkably free of gender, class, identifiable political location. In other words, this figure of the postcolonial intellectual has a taken-for-grantedness of a male.