Sanjoy Hazarika, human rights activist, scholar, author, journalist, filmmaker and policy adviser is International Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, an international NGO working on issues relating to human rights in the Commonwealth. Earlier, he was Director, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi where he held the Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew Chair. He is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of CNES which runs the pioneering boat clinics on the Brahmaputra in Assam (www.c-nes.org).
Acknowledged as a specialist on issues regarding India’s Northeast and its neighbourhood, Hazarika's latest book is Strangers No More: New Narratives from India’s Northeast which is described as ‘the most comprehensive book yet available about India’s Northeast’. His first book on the region, Strangers of the Mist: Tales of war and peace from India's North East was published to instant acclaim 25 years ago. Other books include Gender, Poverty and Livelihood in the Eastern Himalayas; Rites of Passage: Border Crossings, Imagined Homelands, India's East and Bangladesh; Writing on the Wall, Reflections on the North East.
Hazarika has also made over a dozen documentary films, with a focus on the Northeast, including Rambuai, his latest on the post-independence uprising in Mizoram, A Measure of Impunity on AFSPA, and A Rivers’ Story – The Quest for the Brahmaputra. The documentaries deal with a range of issues such as the endangered Gangetic river dolphin, boat clinics on the Brahmaputra, and the way society, particularly women, cope in conflict situations.
He is a current member of the NITI Forum for the North East, and a former member of the committee to review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). He was a member of the first National Security Advisory Board (1998-99) and a member of the Advisory Panel (NE) for the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution.
An award-winning journalist, formerly with The New York Times, he is a contributing columnist to various newspapers and magazines. He was also Consulting Editor with The Statesman and The Sunday Guardian.
He appears frequently on television programmes to address issues of rights, advocacy, governance, politics and the environment relating to the Northeast.