Pralay Kanungo's picture
ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) Chair Professor
Pralay Kanungo

Professor Pralay Kanungo is currently the ICCR Chair of Contemporary India Studies at IIAS/ LIAS, Leiden University. He is also Guest Professor(2015-2020) at Sichuan University, Chengdu and Honorary Professor (2015-2018) at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. Before coming to Leiden, he was Professor and Chair, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was also a Fellow at Nehru memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and Visiting Professor at Maison des Sciences De L’Homme, Paris.

Kanungo is the author of RSS’s Tryst with Politics: From Hedgewar to Sudarshan (2002) and co-edited Cultural Entrenchment of Hindutva: Local Mediations and Forms of Convergence (Routledge, 2011),  Public Hinduisms(Sage, 2012) and The Politics of Ethnicity in India, Nepal and China (Primus, 2014). He was also the Principal Indian Investigator of Indian-European Social Sciences Research Networking Project on Electoral Changes in Urban and Rural India (2013-2016).

His research areas include:

Religion, Culture and Politics: Hindu Nationalism (ideology/everyday practice/mobilisation/ regional variations/ethnography at the grassroots); Diaspora: Hinduism/Hindu Diaspora; Indian Politics: Ideas, Institutions, Processes and Policies with special reference to Electoral and Party Politics, Regional/State/Urban Politics; Indigenous Communities/Adivasis: Cultural/Political Mobilisation and Development. Recently he is exploring research on Religious Resurgence in China with a focus on Taoism.


  • Indian Politics

Country of origin


Period of stay at IIAS

01/09/2013 to 30/06/2018

Research topic

Indian Politics: Institutions, Processes, and State Politics, Religion and Politics, Ethnic and Communal Conflicts, Indigenous Communities, Political Anthropology, Indian Diaspora, Religion (Taoism) in China

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