Sarthak Malhotra

Sarthak Malhotra is a PhD student in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. His research explores everyday life near India’s most famous heritage site, the Taj Mahal, which has recently been at the centre of fierce contestations of national narratives as they focus on contesting visions of religious and historical memory. Situating this within a broader context of Hindu fundamentalism and religious nationalism, severe environmental pollution in Agra, and the widespread criticism of state-led efforts to conserve the Taj, he has been working in Taj Ganj, a historic neighbourhood and marketplace near the Taj Mahal to explore the relationships between contested historic sites, changes in the natural environment, and everyday urban life in north India. Much of his research focusses on people’s mundane relations with Agra’s diverse monumental remains as they relate to local people’s occupational and devotional lives, their knowledge of history and their city, and their interactions with the state.



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