Modernity and cosmopolitanism often seem to circulate as free floating categories, insufficiently grounded in space and time. Historian Dilip Menon correctly states that

the term modernity comes to us masking both its origins within a distinct geographical space as well as an imagination almost entirely concerned with a description of change in Europe and America (what we refer to euphemistically as the West). It is precisely because the term modernity appears to be neither temporally nor geographically grounded that there is an increasing suspicion towards its relevance as a term for understanding historical change. 1