I have recently completed my MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge. Currently, I am working as a Research Assistant at Lokniti, CSDS in New Delhi. I hold a Bachelor’s in Journalism along with a minor degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi.
My research interests primarily focus on tracing Muslim Women of India in the Public Sphere from late colonial to post colonial India and the contemporary period in continuum through counter public spheres created by them.
My thesis titled, “Where are the Women?” Tracing Indian Muslim Women through Protest and Poetry, was an anthropological and ethnographic study and analysis of women’s protests focused on Muslim Women in Northern India and their presence in the public sphere.
For my future doctoral research, I strive to look at the spaces created by women in private spheres across Northern India that eventually have a considerable impact on their public presence. These spaces act as a counter public sphere due to the capturing of mainstream public spheres by dominant political and religious forces.
As Islam in South Asia and particularly India is heavily dominated by cultural factors, it’s traditions are rather distinct than other countries where the faith is practiced. Also, post partition the religion is tangled around political ideologies of allegiance and is constantly at an ongoing conflict with the rise of Hindutva. Thereby, women face the double marginalization due to their ascribed gender identity and allegiance to their faith.
I am well versed in both Hindi and Urdu, and can read both Sanskrit and Arabic. I am also learning Persian in order to read and understand the original genesis of religious and political doctrines. I seek to understand the relationship between Islam, gender, feminist and activist anthropology in India. The idea is to trace and document Muslim Women in an increasingly hostile environment across South Asia in a faith that is dominated by men in the private realm and the state and media in the public.
Areas of study:
Anthropology, Gender, Marginalization, Islam, South Asia
Twitter – @AaliyiaM