Daak Issue 1: Right-wing authoritarianism in South Asia

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Daak, Jamhoor’s newsletter. With Daak, we will curate and contrast stories from across South Asia, allowing our readers to draw connections, energize debate, and understand the wider dynamics at play in the region.

In this issue, we highlight our recent publications on right-wing authoritarianism in South Asia. Whether it’s the rise of Hindutva in India, the consolidation of one-party “democracy” in Bangladesh, or the systematic marginalization of Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka, we see a common thread across South Asia: the reassertion of authoritarian rule and with it, an active stifling of dissent. We need to examine the conditions that produce and strengthen this kind of politics, prevalent as it is across South Asia today. This selection of publications is a step in that direction.

Stay tuned for future issues. Join the conversation.

Journalist on the Fascist Trail

A Talk by Niranjan Takle

There is a shift in the world toward right-wing populist authoritarianism. As the recent spate of arrests of human rights activists and lawyers shows, India is well advanced on this path, with its ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) moving rapidly to make India a fascist state. Investigative journalist Niranjan Takle tells a story of historical significance in this development: the murder of a judge presiding over a case of extra-judicial killing in which the president of the ruling party and the most powerful man in India today, Amit Shah, was the prime suspect.

The Spectre of the "Urban Naxal": An Interview with Sanjay Kak

Renowned documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak on the recent crackdown of activists in India, the #MeTooUrbanNaxal campaign, and alternative filmmaking in Modi’s India.

The Nation-State is Not Our Friend: On Celebrating the Repeal of Section 377

Nisha Eswaran argues that uncritically celebrating the repeal of Section 377 (India’s anti-sodomy law) as a milestone of decolonization obscures the complicity and exclusion inherent to the nation-state.


Khoon Diy Baarav — Blood Leaves its Trail

Independent filmmaker Iffat Fatima takes Jamhoor through her experience of making her recent documentary on the narratives of families impacted by state violence and enforced disappearances in Kashmir.


Buddhist Majoritarianism and Anti-Muslim Attacks in Sri Lanka

With Farzana Haniffa and Aparna Sundar

Farzana Haniffa and Aparna Sundar compare the rise of Anti-Muslim attacks in the Buddhist and Hindu majoritarian states of Sri Lanka and India. We learn how these right wing authoritarian states pit people against each other and how, in those moments, class, race and ethnic politics converge and diverge.

Organized by Sri Lanka Series [www.srilankaseries.com]


Fighting Fascist Democracy: The Young Radicals of Bangladesh

Atif Anik, President of the Revolutionary Student-Youth Movement, explains the recent student mobilization across Bangladesh at a time when the country is swiftly becoming a one-party "democracy"


Snapping an Uprising: Bangladeshi Youth Take to the Streets

Saptarshi Nath captures students taking to the streets for road safety in Mirpur, Dhaka.


Good Sufi, Bad Salafi: Is Pakistan’s Romance with Sufism Backfiring?

With a politicized Barelvism leading the recent protests against Aasia Bibi’s acquittal, has the Pakistani state’s romance with Barelvism, the supposedly soft and Sufi Islam, backfired?



Acclaimed poet, playwright, satirist, and public intellectual Salman Haider presents his most incisive works on the casualties of war, nationalism, and other forms of state violence.



We invite commentaries, essays, reviews, poetry, photography, short films, short stories and any other forms of expression that relate to the South Asian experience. We are open to a broad range of voices, extending beyond the geographical borders of South Asia proper to include those in the diaspora.


Created with images by suketdedhia - "yak pangong lake pangong tso"

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