Research Interests

Ethnicity & Nationalism; Politics in India; Religion & Politics

Background & Qualification

MA in International Political Economy, King’s College London, (2015); MA in Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (2013); B.Sc (Economics), Symbiosis International University, Pune, India (2011). Research Assistant, King’s India Institute, King’s College London; Research Intern, Democratic Progress Institute, London

Doctoral Research

Ethnic Mobilisation and Identity: The Paradox of Kerala’s Hindu Nationalists

Research Overview

Ethnic and Religious nationalisms have been on the rise in different parts of the world for at-least the last three decades. In India, the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its affiliate organisations and their dominant ideology of ‘Hindu Nationalism’ have also gained increasing support during this time. The 2014 general elections saw the BJP win a clear mandate, forming the government in India. The south-western state of Kerala stands as an interesting deviant case in this rising trend of right wing nationalistic politics. The BJP has failed to make any electoral presence in the state, despite its attempts since early 20th century. Conventionally a conservative society, Kerala would seem to be an obvious most-likely case for right wing communal politics to thrive. But the failure of BJP in the state makes an interesting case. This study aims to explore this case from the theoretical perspective of Banal Nationalism, and answer the following questions: What explains religious mobilisation for political purposes? Can institutionalisation of religion explain the paradox of Hindu Nationalism in a conservative Kerala society?

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