Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, New Delhi
Sanjoy Hazarika is the Director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. He was the founder Director, Centre for North-East Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and also holds Dr Saifuddin Kitchlew Chair. He is the founder and managing trustee of North-East Studies, which runs the pioneering boat clinics on the river Brahmaputra in Assam providing medical access to marginalised communities. Hazarika received Dr Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University and is one of North-East India’s best-known commentators. He holds a number of advisory positions both in Central and State Government Committees and Universities. He is also the Chairperson, governing board of the Society for Environmental Communications, which publishes Down to Earth. A prolific author and writer, Mr Hazarika has authored a number of books on the North- East of India and its people and writes for major Indian and international media.
Session 2E: Public lecture
Chairperson: R Ramaswamy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Dilli door Ast? The margins, memory and identity
The many competing groups of the region that is called the North-East may be strangers to each other, but they are no strangers to history. History is a close and, at times, terrible and unforgiving companion. Attitudes are formed by experiences, narrated in stories; these stories become texts, embedded in books and taught to generations who pass on the word. The volume of words become a torrent of cement and brick, building high walls of division. Those inside the wall believe they are specially privileged. Those outside are the ‘bahiror’ ‘mahuh’, the outsiders. For long, this region has been viewed as being at the margins – yet these very margins have forged a narrative over decades that have forced New Delhi and all of India to listen and take notice of their demands.