Sanjoy Hazarika is Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. Earlier he was Director of the Centre for Northeast Studies and Policy Research at Jamia Millia Islamia.
He is an award-winning journalist, formerly with the New York Times. His books include Bhopal: The Lessons of a Tragedy; Strangers of the Mist: Tales of War and Peace from India’s Northeast; Rites of Passage: Border Crossings, Imagined Homelands, India’s East and Bangladesh; and Writing on the Wall, a collection of essays. As a columnist and specialist commentator on the Northeast and its neighbouring regions, Hazarika has written and published extensively on draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Eastern Himalaya, and freedom fighters from the Northeast. He is founder and managing trustee of C-nes (www.c-nes.org) which has pioneered the work of boat clinics on the Brahmaputra River; these provide nearly half a million people every year with regular healthcare. Hazarika has made over a dozen documentary films on a number of subjects including the Brahmaputra, the endangered Gangetic river dolphin, and the danger that women face in conflict situations. The films look at how communities and individuals, especially women, cope with conditions of acute conflict as in Rambuia, his latest documentary on Mizoram. These have been screened across India and at national and international film festivals and also in Dhaka, London, New York, Washington, Berlin, Göttingen and Vienna.