I am a Sociocultural Anthropologist with research interests in the anthropology of religion (especially Islam), borderlands, post-colonial politics, urban anthropology, environmental humanities, and critical theory.
My research examines the politics of belonging and place-making among Shi'a Muslims living along the contested India-Pakistan borderland in Kargil (Kashmir). It explores how borderland regimes and the politics of state security are negotiated on the ground in everyday life. Debates around enduring categories of ‘nation’, ‘culture’, and ‘religion’ in the local public sphere reveal underlying the anxieties of belonging on this borderland. I investigate the creative calibrations that are made between transnational religious ideas and ideologies from Iran and Iraq with nationalist ideologies and between Tibetan Buddhism and Islam in the discourses and practices of place-making in Kargil. These discourses are embedded and entwined with an ongoing process of Islamic reform that is influencing ideas of personhood, public space, and ordinary ethics.
My second project examines on the political economy of religious life in urban India. I have undertaken research on sacred space, philanthropy and religious media among Shi'a Muslims in Mumbai.
- DPhil Sociocultural Anthropology (2011), University of Oxford
- MSc Development Studies (2000), London School of Economics and Political Science
- MPhil and M.A Sociology (1999), Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics
- Research Fellow (2013-2017), Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Goettingen University, Germany
- Post-doctoral Research Fellow (2011-2013), Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germant
- Coordinator, Equity and Rights (2004-2007), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal