Shame to India’s AFSPA-1958

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Sixty five (65) years passed since India regains freedom from British. Nevertheless, the remnant of the past empire still exists in the form of mental slavery and felony such as the sport-cricket, divide and rule, defeat using own family members, make acts and rules to suppress, hang to death or shoot-at-sight if troublesome. Mentally, India is still enslaved with no remorse to modernize from the imperialistic views. Until today, the colonialism principles taught by the empire are more or less applied in India, little might have change been brought, but it was mainly by agitations and blockades! The dubious distinction of India to be a racist country is fast perpetuating. Whatever it may be; racism is for oblivious. The sensitive issue is that India is still to understand the distinct cultures, traditions, habitats and the values of life in the Northeast (NE) region.

The capitalism and economic crisis in the NE are poorly understood by the people of the States and the Center. NE States are losing miserably in the present world economical war. At this juncture, our excellent brains are hiding underground in the diseases infested jungles of Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Nepal. The collective knowledge and skills of our brethren’s in jungles, if combined together, can revitalize the downtrodden States of NE to a brand-new height, which the world will recognize it as a unique and culturally rich society of the New World. But the sad part is our government’s tendencies to look myopically the NE people to be like Iraqi, Pakistani, Palestinian, Taliban, or just a buffer zone to any foreign invasion–solely in its endeavor to become superpower. Of course, the adopted colonial centric draconian acts like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)-1958, which gives full impunity to the armed forces to kill, maim or arbitrary detention and torture of merely suspected person is becoming a hurdle to the country’s dream for superpower. Life is not just to ‘live and die’, but it also has a meaning to ‘perform and prosper’ in a cordial manner, to become a superpower.

Recollecting the battles and wars won by guns and swords, which always boomerang with times, the invaders invariably fall down to the knee. Be it the mighty Greek, the Roman, the British or the Nazis all falls with time. There is nothing like big or small in nature. The ecological system of nature taught us that every organism and non-living things are in dynamical interactions in an intrinsic manner. A little disturbance in the system will make the system collapse. Thus, every individual, community or population is more or less essential to interact as a functional unit. Jim Corbett in his book entitled, “Man-eaters of Kumaon”, rightly indicated that the incapacitated tigress, wounded by the poachers/hunters became a man-eater. Human is a social animal, an injured family’s mother, father, brother or sister can do anything to protect her/his offspring/family and for survival. The rule is, “if someone hurts somebody, hundreds and thousands will appear, to hurt someone”. This is nature’s law. A prolong suppression or oppression of an individual, community or population, will ultimately be a detrimental scenario in the long run. A synonymous situation of Corbett’s Man-eaters, are in the making.

The young generations of India believed that “rules are made for fools” and “justice in the barrel of a loaded gun” will never bring peace and tranquility. Therefore, humane acts, laws, policies and rules, not for fools, are sought after. The law makers earlier, failed to sincerely-study the root cause of ‘who, how and why’ the so-called ‘anti-social elements’ are created, produced or perpetuated within the country itself. Is it the laws and policies of our country: ineffective or inadequate that so many anti-social elements are produced and mushrooming? Don’t we have any other means to control or pacify the militants? Are we at the receiving-end to control our children, therefore, providing the armed forces the special powers to shoot-at-sight their own brothers? The answer is: our borrowed laws and policies needs to be discarded and new ones to be formed, framed and implemented. Geographically, NE region is also in a vulnerable location connected to mainland India by a narrow strip of chicken-necked land and if broken, India will become like headless nation!

Unlike other terrorists, the insurgents of NE never disturbed the serenity of the mainland India. However, most of them (if not all) are fighting for their recognitions, identities, anti-corruptions, anti-drugs, territorial integrity, developments, fundamental rights, etc. in their own homes, States and region. Their desires cannot be suppressed at gun points, but it can be won by social, economic and honest developmental transformations. The subversive activities by the rebels, which is making their lives and common people suffers from all possible malice, can always be resolved through sincere and humane political dialogues. Do we need AFSPA-1958 here?

It is also pertinent to mention that our borrowed acts and policies, despairingly metamorphosed or tagged, the majority of the young NE people to be like terrorists, militants, savages, loose characters in the eyes of the mainland inhabitants. This further alienates, deprives, discriminates or hampered the people to live freely, study or get job in other States of India. The prejudice in giving justice to the twelve years hunger strike by Miss Irom Sarmila Chanu is another example of discrimination by this act. Thus, the differentiation created between the people of this region and rest of India owing to draconian acts, furthermore, brought hatreds and racisms to our country men and can be termed as the most pathetic mistakes of the past.

In a nutshell, if unwanted colonialist styles of acts/rules are not changed within the State/s and the Center, then the Government of India is indirectly influencing to create a modern Indian National Army (INA) to fight against them. History repeats itself! The endangered innocent civilians, who are wronged by the name of ‘disturbed area’, will live underground, someday. Entirely, the role of AFSPA at the present scenario, seems to be only for protecting the conniving politicians, corrupt officials, greedy businessmen, dictatorial radicals, who consciously believed in preserving their name, fame, land, money and whose intention is to make the country fall. These sections of society may always “sworn to fun and loyal to none”, and their credentials of loyalty to the nation is debatable. To save their bottom from exposing, they need a sweeping act to react against what they called ‘anti-social elements’. Our ‘Jawans’ who should be well equipped/protected with sophisticated weapons, vehicles, armors, surveillances and military fatigues to combat the militants/terrorists are rather equipped and protected by the vintage style acts and laws. Hence, implementing AFSPA-1958 for safeguarding them is a gross mistake to India’s economy, development and human rights and a shameful act to the rest of the world.

Khwairakpam Gajananda (PhD)
E-mail: [email protected]

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