Dr Saumya Saxena

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Jesus College Postdoctoral Associate
Affiliated Lecturer

Saumya Saxena is a legal historian interested family law, religion, and gender politics in India. She writes on women’s rights movements, religion and law in late 20th and 21st century South Asia. Her research brings into conversation a number of archives and analyses how issue of religious personal law contributed to the unique evolution of both, the rule of law, and the doctrine of secularism in India.

Gender, law, democracy, South Asia

Paper 28 'The history of the Indian sub-continent from the late 18th century to the present day'.

Special Subject 'Indian democracy: ideas in action, c. 1947-2007'.

I supervise students on Paper 23 'World history since 1914'.


Tags & Themes


Room 321, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT


Key Publications

"Commissions, Committees, and Custodians of Muslim Personal Law in Post independence India." Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 38, no. 3 (2018): 423-438.

"‘Court’ing Hindu nationalism: law and the rise of modern Hindutva." Contemporary South Asia 26, no. 4 (2018): 378-399.

"Human rights and state-enforced religious family laws in Israel, Egypt and India by Yuksel Sezgin." Jindal Global Law Review (2016): 113-116.

"Reinvention of Communal Identities and Implications for Democracy." Economic and Political Weekly (2013): 47-53.

Nikah Halala: The petition, the promise, and the politics of personal law’ in Tanja Herklotz and Siddharth Peter De Souza (ed.) Mutinies for equality: contemporary developments in law and gender in India Cambridge University Press (Forthcoming 2021).

Divorce and Democracy: A history of personal law in post-independence India. Cambridge University Press, (Forthcoming 2021)