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Vignesh Rajahmani is a PhD student in the India Institute, where he started in January 2019. He has a MA in Modern India from King’s and a BCom from Loyola College, University of Madras, Chennai, India. Before starting his PhD, he worked as a legislative research consultant for over three years in New Delhi.

He was associated with Youth Forum on Foreign Policy, a youth-led initiative in the field. He also briefly interned with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes commissioned under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and Goldman Sachs.

His research interests include identities in democracies, the idea of nationalism and its manifestation in everyday life, animal rights and foreign policy.


Thesis title: 'The making of a subnational consciousness in independent India: How 'Tamils' became 'Tamils’?’

Vignesh's thesis aims to unpack and analyse the period between the late 1940s and 60s – the myriad processes mostly in social and political domains in the south Indian state of Madras, later renamed as Tamil Nadu.

The study is important as the result of these processes is regarded as the reason why politics in Tamil Nadu is playing out the way it has been over the years – in terms of the inclination of people towards certain ideologies or principles and the reasons for opposing certain other ideologies or principles, and the consequent dominance of the regional parties in the state.

PhD supervision

Further details

See Vignesh's research profile