Archives of Contemporary India

Supported by HDFC LTD.

Nandita Haksar Papers

Nandita Haksar Papers

"After nearly four decades as a human rights lawyer and teacher, I have realized that the human rights discourse is no longer a tool for emancipation and liberation but an instrument of foreign policy used by the West to control and dominate the world."


Nandita Haksar (b. 1955) is a human-rights lawyer, activist and writer. She works with various human rights organizations and has been a defense witness in the Indo-Naga peace process. In 1983, she became the first person to challenge the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the Supreme Court. Nandita co-edited (with Luingam Luithui) the Nagaland File: A Question of Human Rights (1984) highlighting the underground Naga movement for the first time. She worked as secretary of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights in 1987. She has written numerous articles in national dailies and journals and has authored  several books, including Who Are the Nagas (2011); The Judgement That Never Came: Army Rule in Northeast India (co-authored with Sebastian Hongray) (2011); ABC of Naga Culture and Civilization: A Resource Book (2011);  Across the Chicken Neck: Travels in Northeast India (2013); The Many Faces of Kashmiri Nationalism: From the Cold War to the Present Day (2015); and Kuknalim: Naga Armed Resistance (co-authored with Sebastian Hongray, 2019).

About the Collection: The collection features some very important transcripts of interviews with Naga leaders, numerous articles, press clippings, research material collected for her books, letters exchanged between her parents and notes by her mother. The papers provide an extraordinary insight into several issues related to human rights, adivasis, migrant workers and refugees, Burmese activists, Northeast India, Kashmir and Amnesty International.

Donor: Nandita Haksar
Acquisition: 2021 & 2022