This article critically examines indigenism in the field of International Relations (IR) in India. Indigenism involves a claim that a select corpus of resources from early India—‘indigenous historical knowledge'— is relevant for understanding contemporary India's politics and international relations. It is also projected as a basis for reimagining IR in India. Contesting these claims, the article outlines the ahistorical and politically problematic nature of indigenism. It also argues that the appeal of indigenism reveals a predicament of imaginative capacity that marks the scholarship concerned with reimagining IR in India: despite considerable interest in lessening the dependence on the architecture of IR of the West, there is less clarity about the shape and substance of new scholarly frameworks. The enthusiasm for reimagining IR is not, as yet, matched by very substantive pathways to doing it. This too, inadvertently, encourages indigenism. The article concludes by arguing that closely studying the political modernization of South Asia and its implications for international relations of India and the region can resolve this predicament.