It has always been received with skepticism by the various governments for its potential to challenge the all-powerful notion of the nation-state. With the arrival of Narendra Modi on the stage, he has proceeded to weaken the SAARC organization, a weak regional entity which nevertheless indicated the governmental 'buy-in' of the idea of regionalism. This weakening of the Southasian concept is unfortunate because, all said and done, it is an idea that promotes both social justice as well as multiple, complementary and accommodating identities. Instead, we have sharper borders and harsher rhetoric.
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Aunohita Mojumdar: While the region has robust media, much of it is confined in its coverage to the boundaries of the nation-states or takes a nationalistic approach while reporting on cross-border issues. The drum-beating jingoism currently on exhibit in the mainstream media of India and Pakistan underline how urgent it is for a different form of journalism that is fact-based and underpinned by rigorous research. Based on a recognition of the need for social justice for the people rather than temporary pyrrhic victories for the political leaderships, Himal Southasian brings journalism back to its creed of being a public service good. Index: Did the arrest of Kanak Mani Dixit, the founding editor for Himal Southasian , contribute to the suspension of Himal Southasian or the treatment the magazine received from regulatory agencies?
Kanak Mani Dixit
She had even gotten into trouble with the Indian government for her reporting on Kashmir, an area of territorial conflict between India and Pakistan. In , after Mojumdar had been at the magazine for five years, Himal founding Editor Kanak Dixit was arrested, an incident heralded by human rights groups as a sign of the declining state of free expression in Nepal. In the months after, Himal collapsed under bureaucratic pressure. Documents seized from government offices made it impossible to access grant money to run the publication.
In a statement on 24 August, The Southasia Trust announced the suspension of its groundbreaking publication Himal Southasian due to pressure by Nepali state agencies. The statement said:. Though Nepal has been a leader of free press since the introduction of democracy in , continuous socio-political chaos over two decades has progressively weakened the commitment of the political class to open society.