Researcher, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, India

Political science

Octobre 2018 à juin 2019 et octobre 2019 à juin 2020


Hilal Ahmed works on political Islam, Muslim modernities/representation, and politics of symbols in South Asia. His book Muslim Political Discourse in Postcolonial India: Monuments, Memory, Contestation (Routledge 2014), looks at these thematic concerns to make sense of the nature of contemporary Muslim political discourse. Ahmed is currently working on a book project on the politics of Muslim political representation in postcolonial India. He is also editing a Hindi Reader of Sudipta Kaviraj’s writings. Ahmed is the Associate Editor, South Asian Studies, journal of the British Association of South Asian Studies. He was a Visiting Associate Professor at Ashoka University, India, Visiting Fellow at Victoria University Wellington (2013-14), Visiting Asia Fellow at University of Dhaka (2011) and Visiting Professor at University of Pune (2011). He has designed and conducted courses on Research as Practice (2017), Politics of Political Representation (2016), Research Methods and Identities: Issues and Debates in Postcolonial India (2015), History, Memory and Identity (2009) for the CSDS Teaching Programme, Researching the Contemporary. He also taught a course Political Sociology at the Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. Ahmed has worked as a lecturer of political science at University of Delhi. Ahmed writes for academic journals, newspapers, and websites in English and Hindi. He has produced two documentaries, Encountering the Political Jama Masjid (English, 2006) and Qutub ek Adhura Afsana (Qutub: an unfinished story, Hindi with English subtitles, 2016). Ahmed did his PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (2007). He was awarded the Rajya Sabha Fellowship (2015-2016), the Asia Fellow Award (2008/2010), the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies Fellowship (2009), the Ford Foundation-IFP Fellowship (2002), the ATRI-Charities Aid Foundation Fellowship (2001), and UGC Senior Research Fellowship (1999) and the UGC Junior Research Fellowship (1997). A film Beacons of Hope (English, 2008) documents Ahmed’s life story and his achievements.

Search project

"The State of Official Memory: Politics of sites and rituals in postcolonial India"

The proposed book project explores those interpretative strategies by which the public presence of architectural objects-a vital attribute of built forms-is transformed into monuments, memorials, Samadhis and other such possible entities in postcolonial India. The conceptual differences that draw attention to the specificities of these sites of memories in the official terms are taken as a point of reference to understand the making of collective official public memory. Revisiting the emerging area of memory studies, the book engages with Pierre Nora’s notion of lieu de mémoire or sites of memories in order to underline the distinctiveness of postcolonial Indian memory discourse. This exploration could also illustrate the symbolic functions of the postcolonial state.


AHMED, Hilal. Monuments, Memory and Contestation: Muslim Political Discourse in Postcolonial India, Delhi/Oxon, Routledge, 2014.

AHMED, Hilal. “Siyasi Muslims”: A story of Political Islam in India Penguin-Random House, Delhi, 2019.

AHMED, Hilal, DE SOUZA, Peter, and ALAM, Sanjeer. Democratic Accommodations: Minorities in contemporary India, (forthcoming).

AHMED, Hilal, AHMAD, Irfan and KANUNGO, Prala. "Communal Violence, Electoral Mobilization, and Muslim Representation: Muzaffarnagar 2013-14", in The Algebra of Warfare-Welfare: Along View of India’s 2014 Election, Delhi, Oxford University Press, pp. 163-196.

AHMED, Hilal, RATHORE, Aakash Singh and GOSWAMI, Garima. "The Politics of Shariat", in Rethinking Indian Jurisprudence: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law, London and New Delhi, Routledge, 2018, pp. 95-103.

AHMED, Hilal and KAVIRAJ, Sudipta. "Indian Democracy and world’s Largest Muslim Minority", in Democratic Transition in the Muslims World: A Global Perspective, New York, Columbia University Press, Alfred Stepan (ed.), 2018, pp. 201-226.

AHMED, Hilal. "There are 3 claims to Ayodhya — law, memory & faith. It’s not a simple Hindu-Muslim dispute", The Print, 14 October 2019.

AHMED, Hilal. "The tale of two Ayodhya archaeologists who changed the way we dig up India’s Hindu history", The Print, 22 October 2019.

AHMED, Hilal. " Making Sense of India’s Citizenship Amendment Act 2019: Process, Politics, Protests", Asie. Visions, No. 114, June 2020.