ACROSS much of South Asia, there is a growing strain of state-sponsored nationalism that is worrying and potentially dangerous in its consequences. From India to Bangladesh, and from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, political dissent of various hues is being branded as anti-state and clamped down on viciously. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed has marched her country to a deadly place in her quest to vanquish her political enemies, while in Sri Lanka, the civil war may be over but great prejudice and discrimination are rampant against ethnic Tamils. Meanwhile, Kashmiri dissenters have once again caused India to bare its teeth while the political opposition in the restive northeast of that country has for decades now been labelled as militants, anti-nationalist and veritable traitors. The unmistakable rise of a narrow, state-sanctioned version of patriotism is evident in far too many places in South Asia against far too many oppressed groups.