Shivani’s research aims to understand and explain the relationship between culture, religion and politics in society. Her work proposes elaborating on this connection by analyzing the symbolism and cultural politics of India’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
For her MPhil, she has analyzed PM Narendra Modi’s speeches in Mann ki Baat radio episodes. The work shows how the political leader establishes a personal identification, political connection, and cultural extension to his audience by employing the cultural theory of social performance. She then explores the meaning of the concept of Seva (selfless service) in 19th century colonial India and its role in forming cultural associations and civil society. The work further argues how the cultural repertoire around Seva in contemporary times opens up a gateway for the BJP-RSS nexus to redefine and restructure the civil society of India.