My name is Chinglen Kshetrimayum, I am from Manipur and I am not a threat to anyone. I studied in Sainik School Imphal for 5 years and I have hoisted the Indian flag. I used to proudly sing our national anthem (even though there is nothing about Manipur or North-east in our national anthem). Once when we were in 9th standard, we were having assembly and it was announced that we can go for Diwali vacation just after the assembly. So we were very happy and at the end when we sang national anthem, we sang very loudly. My father who was waiting outside the school gate, was surprised to hear students singing so loudly and beautifully ask me is there any good news? I said we can go home now itself. So he was also proud and I was also proud. When I was in Manipur, I thought I was an Indian. After I came out from Manipur to other parts of India, I realized I am less Indian. Suddenly my very existence became a threat to them. They are ready to wipe me out. But the thing is, I, happened to be born in a place that lie in the political map of India so, what I thought was I am also an Indian.
That’s when I slowly started realizing that there are certain types of people who doesn’t like diversity. They think whoever is different from them whether it is their food habits, dressing sense, hair style, or looks is a threat to them. They want only certain types of things to be followed. They think that only their identity should be accepted.
Mr. General Bakshi, in Manipur University, there is something much more than your national flag. There is an Assam Rifles camp inside the university campus. So don’t worry, you people are winning. There are also two Assam Rifles camps on both the side of my town. So I am pretty much under your control.
Well I will tell you something. You all are animals. Animals who live in jungle. Jungle where the only rule is “might is right”. The only reason you are putting laws like AFSPA in north-east or Kashmir is just because you are strong. Tell me General Bakshi, if you say that the situation is not right to remove AFSPA, then when is the right situation going to come. Is it going to come today, or tomorrow or after 100 years? I don’t think you have answer for that. So tell me, what according to you is “the right situation”? Is it killing all the men so that you can rape every women?
You cried in the debate and Smriti Irani felt sad and call you. What about a lady who had been fasting for more than 15 years simply asking for the AFSPA to be remove-an act that gave the armed forces the right to kill anyone on mere suspicion and doesn’t even give the people right to go to the court. The reason why people are against Indian flag is because you identify yourselves with the Indian flag and proud to be an Indian whereas when we identify ourselves as Indian we get racist comments. So naturally we feel bad and you also know that we feel bad, so to keep us under your control you put a law called AFSPA. Sir, if you are against British people for passing laws like Armed Forces Special Power Ordinance, then why are you putting that law, that is more dangerous than the one Britisher put against you, against us. And you expect us to keep quite. Every human being will react against that. And when we react against you, you branded us as terrorist. That’s why I say you all are animals. Nothing less than animals, who used only physical power to keep people under control. If you say that, raising voice against Indian army or national flag is anti-india, then I think the whole Manipur and Kashmir is anti-india. If so then, what the hell is Indian army doing in the land of Manipuris and Kashmiris and what is Manipur and Kashmir doing in the political map of India?
Mr. Arnab Goswami, you host a debate and ask a “yes” or “no” question to the people and you want only “yes”. If you want only “yes” then what’s the point of hosting that debate at the first place.
I don’t believe in giving long speech or making people listen only to me. So I will wait for your reply and I will give my views again.
A Human Being
** The original open letter from Chinglen Kshetrimayum was initially published in the Social media Facebook Notes: https://www.facebook.com/notes/chinglen-kshetrimayum/an-open-letter-to-gen-bakshi-people-of-india-and-mr-arnab/672706209547430 **