I am a professor of history at Delhi University, New Delhi, India. I specialize in early modern and modern South Asia, with an interest in the transformation of the region’s legacy from Indo-Persian to one heavily affected by British colonial rule. My most recent book is Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the age of Empire from Harvard University Press, USA.
I earned my PhD from Cambridge University, England. I have twice been a Fulbright Scholar and a Smuts Visiting Fellow at Cambridge and was a visiting Professor at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard. In 2010 I was at the prestigious Radcliffe institute at Harvard as the William Bentinck-Smith Fellow. I wrote Sepoys and the Company: Tradition and Transition in Northern India, 1770–1830 (Oxford University Press, 1995) and co-authored with Muzzafar Alam, A European Experience of the Mughal Orient: The I‘jaz-i Arsalani (Persian Letters 1773–1779) of Antoine-Louis Henri Polier (Oxford University Press, 2001). My book Eighteenth Century in Indian History in the Oxford Debates series is a popular reader in India and abroad. In 2009 I wrote Islam and Healing: Loss and Recovery of an Indo-Muslim Medical Tradition, 1600–1900 (Palgrave Macmillan,UK 2009). I serve on the editorial board of several national and international journals.