“150 Years of Indian History in Cambridge” is a walking tour that explores the last century and a half of Indian history through the stories of Indian students at the University of Cambridge. As it takes participants through Cambridge’s historic city centre, the tour examines the experiences of little-known early Indian students at the University, as well as the trajectories of those who went on to play central roles in South Asian politics, society, and culture — Jawaharlal Nehru, Aurobindo Ghose, Sarojini Naidu, and Muhammad Iqbal, among others.
I initially researched and designed the tour in 2013 as my final project for Rising Stars, a public engagement training course offered by the University of Cambridge. It went from project to reality as part of three annual festivals that bring the University’s research closer to the public: the Festival of Ideas (2013), the Alumni Festival (2014) and Open Cambridge (2017). I guided the tours in all these occasions. The 2017 tours were organised in collaboration with the India Unboxed initiative, which marked the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.
As an offshoot of my research for the project, in 2015 I wrote a piece on the unique history of Indian student admissions at Downing College, my college in Cambridge. In 2017 the college archivist, Jenny Ulph, curated a temporary exhibition based on the article at Downing’s Maitland Robinson Library.
For my writing for a general audience, please see my Publications.
Babies of the empire (Sarmaya, 16 November 2018)
How a small society of Indian Cambridge students helped destroy the British Raj (Varsity, 16 September 2018)
How a British plan to convert an illiterate boy into a loyal maharaja failed (Scroll.in, 16 June 2016)
The illiterate boy who became a maharaja (University of Cambridge Research Feature, 31 May 2016)