Bio: I am a sociocultural anthropologist. I specialise in the sociology and anthropology of caste, class, development, political cultures, agrarian change, youth and future. My research investigates how marginalized groups understand and engage with democratic politics and the state in contemporary India. I have conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork on these issues in eastern and western Uttar Pradesh. I have been writing biographies of criminal-entrepreneurs and finishing a piece on youth and neo-religiosity. Beyond my ethnographic research, I am also interested in combining social theory with history, literature and political-legal philosophy.
I taught at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. I have been awarded the British Academy Fellowship at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, UK. I have also been a Visiting Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi, University of California, Berkeley, Bielefeld University, Germany and Savitribai Phule Pune University. My recent publication is Rural transformation and emergence of new sociality (OUP, 2018). At present I am a Fellow at the IIAS,Shimla and preparing a monograph on Popular Democracy and Other Backward Classes in North India. I have presented many papers in national and international conferences and have lectured extensively in the country and abroad.
Besides these, I write short stories, compose poems and songs, and sketch. I love traveling to new places, exploring cultures and ideas, and reading new writers. I am involved with Hindi theater. I love meeting new people and thinking about world without borders and hierarchies.