Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Muthe, Sanjana Sanjay (2016). A Voice for Public Memory: A Comparison Between the Memorial Practices in India and the United States of America to Propose a Suitable Response to the 26/11 Attacks in Mumbai. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


This thesis compares the memorial culture and practices in India and the United States. Based on the observation that memorial construction is not a popular culture in India, the thesis first studies the memorial history of India to establish that the country has had a rich tradition of memorialization. Through the research of the subjects of memorialization, their commissioners and the role of memorials in Indian communities, the thesis draws inferences on why memorialization is not currently popular culture in India. The thesis further compares these inferences to the history and current culture of memorials in America to conclude on the differences in the two countries. The goal of this thesis is to draw on best practices from the two countries and apply them to public terrorism memorials in India. For this purpose, this thesis evaluates the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York and the memorial process of the 9/11 memorial and museum as a precedent from the United States. This evaluation is compared to the aftermath and memorialization of the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, a major terrorist attack that severely lacks comprehensive memorialization. The thesis also uses the recent Bhopal Gas Tragedy (a major industrial disaster) memorial process as a precedent from India that conducted a nation competition for the memorial design and involved public engagement. Finally the thesis proposes suitable paths for the execution of terrorism memorials in India that aim to be popular symbols of strength and healing.


memorials, 9/11 memorial, 26/11 Mumbai attacks, history of memorials in India, contemporary memorials



Date Posted: 31 May 2016