Public space, Modernity, religion and secularism, public sphere
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
“Deliberating Differences: Religion and Politics in Public Sphere”
This research is an attempt to explore how ‘public spaces’ – both formal and informal ones – played a role in sustaining political secularism and contain communal violence in Kerala. Using discourse analysis and interviews as tools, it analyses the role of spaces like public schools, reading rooms and tea-shops of 20th century Kerala, and the broader public sphere including literary and cultural works and media as having shaped, sustained and reproduced secular public consciousness. It argues that by maintaining a public realm that encourages debates, deliberations and disagreement, the public sphere acts as a deterrent to the use of religion for socio-political violence in Kerala. Finally it reflects on political implications of changes in public sphere in 21st century Kerala, pointing to the absorption (or not) of the conventional roles of secular public spaces into new and social media.