Tradition-modernity, Hindu Right and Religious revivalism, Globalisation and agriculture, Development ethics.
My research interest has ranged widely in the field of development studies, and is grounded in both development theory as well as development practice. My PhD work is on Implanting of an Ideology: Television, Politics and Making of the Hindu Right in Contemporary India. The central concern of my research is to understand why and how people's consciousness emerges at different moments of crisis in history as a revivification of a cultural past and how regimes re-appropriate this imaginary to gain legitimacy. My research examines how the rapid process of liberalisation in India facilitated the rise of a proto-fascist Hindu nationalist movement, and how this movement gained dominance both through its linkage with national and international capital, and through the techno-innovative repackaging of the Hindu epic, Ramayan. It demonstrates that the televised version of the epic re-interpreted histories, re-arranged popular symbols, rituals and folk tales of non-conformist subaltern groups, and portrayed Indian history as a history of a Hindu nation thus endowing 'Hindu' identity with clearer outlines and greater substance. My research places the rise of the Hindu Right into a wider comparative historical context, questioning the presumed positive relationship between economic growth and the spread of democracy, spearheaded by a rising new middle class.
I have also broadened my research interests to globalisation, agriculture, transnational corporations and indigenous knowledge systems through my participation in a collaborative research between Queen's University and Indian Institute on Technology, Chennai, India. This joint project examined the linkages between local community knowledge of plant genetic resources in communities in India and the ways in which these knowledge systems are integrated into an international political economic legal system. My research explored the linkages between the major transnational corporations and research & development in the area of Plant Genetic Resources. It identified the reasons and processes by which transnational corporations are able to incorporate local knowledge systems.
DEVS Placement Coordinator
Paritosh Kumar, 'Voting Against Neoliberalism: 2004 Election in India,' Marxism, No. 3, 2005, pp. 20-27