Publishing a booklet : "AFSPA a Challenge to South Asia"
Last Date :: 25th June 2012

 On 5th November 2011 at Baroda , Gujarat
On 5th November 2011 at Baroda , Gujarat

Office of the Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA Group (SDRAG)

Dated 1st June,2012, New Delhi

Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA group (SDRAG), Delhi is planning to publish a booklet on AFSPA and its related issues. This publication, in the form of booklet is a part of the larger struggle against AFSPA in general and part of the campaign initiated by SDRAG against AFSPA, since September 2011 .

This campaign is also part the 53 years people's struggle against the act and 12 years of fast by Irom Sharmila Chanu to repeal one of the most draconian and mother of all black laws in the world -AFSPA . It is a part of an attempt to create awareness and consciousness among the public that would strengthen the struggle against the undemocratic politics of the state and other policies similar to AFSPA.

The Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA Group was formally formed by mostly University students in Delhi, activists, faculty members in various universities in Delhi, all hailing from various part of India, on 17 September 2011 at Arts Faculty, Delhi University. The group was formed as a follow up of the protest-program “ Black day Observation” which was held on 11september 2011 at arts faculty, DU.

SDRAG then subsequently organised two public protest demonstration and rally, first on 2 October, 2011 and 5th November 2011 at Jantar Manter. 5th November,2011 protest demonstration was organised as “ All India Fast and Demonstration” in 15 states in India and North America with the support of the progressive organisations based in their respective areas and states on the day of completion of 11 years of fast by Irom Sharmila Chanu.

SDRAG extending solidarity to a pubic demonstration against AFSPA organised by CPI(M) at Jantar Mantar on 27 March 2012
SDRAG extending solidarity to a pubic demonstration against AFSPA organised by CPI(M) at Jantar Mantar on 27 March 2012

The group have been involved in increasing public awareness by distributing more than 20000 pamphlets and nearly 15000 printed copies of the law, AFSPA, so far till now in various part of Delhi and other part of India.

As part of the awareness program on the issue, group had organised/supported public discussions including film screening programs specially in the St. Stephen College on 3/Mar/2012, Delhi School of Economics Department of Sociology ; Vanaras Hindu University,UP; Varodha , Manipur University, Banglore.

SDRAG have also campaigned at Gujarat, Calcutta, Assam Manipur etc. More than 3000 hand written signatures were taken from the supporters as part of the ongoing signature campaign by the group. The mobilisation-funds are collected from the college students, teachers, general public and supporting civil society groups by distributing stickers, round badges, T shirts.

On 5th November ,2011 at All India Fast and Demonstration organised  by SDRAG
On 5th November ,2011 at All India Fast and Demonstration organised by SDRAG

As a continuing struggle, now, we are planning to publish documents on literature of politics and policies of India, with special focus on AFSPA, in the form of booklet as a process of trying to understand the State in particular, the players i.e society, public attitude, media ,judiciary, civil societies which are integrally involves and affected and the failure of the system to bring about a change in the state resulting in 53 years of continuation of the undemocratic law.

With Regards

Coordinators of SDRAG
Seram Rojesh
Suhela Kapoor
Sadab Anis

Publishing a booklet
(AFSPA : A challenge to South Asia)
Concept note of the Booklet

This is an attempt to unite the struggle by the people and bring solidarity to the campaign by trying to address various issues related with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA). This booklet will help us in the process of investigating as to why the “democratic form of government” continue to enforce this law as a form of governance in the region and the impact it has on section of people it calls its 'citizens' yet subjugated and discriminated against by this particular military act -AFSPA. The moment when AFSPA was applied in the name of “ disturbed areas act”, it suspended the constitution of India thereby forcing people to live without the rights and liberties granted to all other citizens of the country, to live in a state of exception .

Unfortunately, it has given rise to immense amount of violations and frustration leading people to assume whether it is a repressive form of military rule to suppress a particular section of the population who are cultural and racially different from the mainland India . AFSPA was passed in 1958 on 18th August at Indian Parliament and it was given assent by the president of India on September 11 in the same year. This law is targeted to the region and its people both, in principle and spirit. It proves that laws are made not for all the subject within the territory of India but according to the race, region origin or culture. It negates the principle of democracy and all the international standard laws. Draconian laws like POTA ,TADA, could not exist even a decade in India. POTA was repealed under pressure of the political organisations, civil societies and prominent individuals.

Yet, the most draconian of acts, AFSPA continues to be uses as an instrument of governance , almost equivalent to war, without actually declaring a state of emergency, but only in the name of maintaining “Law and order”. It has not been repeal despite many protests and outright resistance by the people in these “disturbed area” along with efforts by few progressive organisations and the activists from other parts of India. Unfortunately the AFSPA discourse has not been an issue of general public interest, even a subject of academic scrutiny and failing to make an agenda of civil societies in India at large. This has led the state to continue undaunted, enforcing its policies and the programme.

Now, Some State security agencies operating in central Indian had already demanded to impose AFSPA to provide impunity to the state armed forces in the anti-naxal operation. Army camps have already been set up in Dantenwalla, Chhatisgarh. The problem is spreading gradually from the frontier region of Kashmir and the border states of the North-East to parts of central India.

So the time has come for the people who believe in democracy to come forward and oppose the politics of the state and its policy- AFSPA, for a better society and a wholistically democratic state. The fundamental questions the Group wanted to ask in this booklet are:

:What is the nature of the Indian state that allows AFSPA to continue in India for more than 50 years as part of the governance and its politics.

:How is AFSPA related to Indian nationalism.

: Why does AFSPA fail be an important agenda point for the democratic civil society organisations of India.

: The role of the media and its contribution on the issue .

: The role of the India judicial system and its interventions on the subject.

: The reasons to defend AFSPA and its politics.

: Why AFSPA should be repealed.

: AFSPA and Democracy.

: AFSPA, a modern fascism in the contemporary world.

: Political Economy of AFSPA

: Movement against AFSPA and its politics

: AFSPA : A challenge to South Asia

( Note: You are requested to send the article till 25th June 2012 to SDRAG e mail address -
Word Limit: 1500 to 2800 words )

See a full picture gallery here

On 19 November, 2011 at Morish Nagar Police station, Delhi University
On 19 November, 2011 at Morish Nagar Police station, Delhi University

* This info was sent by Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA Group (SDRAG) who can be contacted at savedemocracy(dot)repealafspa(at)gmail(dot)com
This Press Release was posted on June 01, 2012 and updated with pictures on June 02 2012 and later updated on June 4 for some corrections.

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