TODAY -

How to fight with AFSPA ?

Ravi Nitesh *



Peace Rally at Imphal observing the signing of AFSPA in 1958 :: 11 September 2011
Peace Rally at Imphal observing the signing of AFSPA in 1958 on 11 September 2011 - Pix: :: Amarjit Longjam



Everyone who concerns with human rights know about the consequences of AFSPA, imposed in NE states and J&K. If we will see the recent developments, we will find that not only government but civil societies and media also have not done much on this issue.

Some organisations/people raised the voice but the real strength of civil society remained un utilized. Few cases have been filed in courts, few movements took place but the result is zero.

At this point, we must have a look on certain points. AFSPA is related to Army. Army itself has already gained much power in these areas. People of mainland India have very much faith and respect for army personnels and they cannot hear anything against the Army.

Army play a vital role for government of any country and for security of the country, hence government also hesitate in questioning with Army. Foreign policies may get affected if cases of Army violation will come in front.

The main national media sits in Delhi and used to cover the news of mainland. The news which can affect political conditions in mainland and/or in turn increase their revenue through TRP or through any other mean. National political parties already know that their main leaders and main vote bank comes from mainland.

Local parties are powerful in states and only those local parties will get seats. Main parties, therefore, know that they will make collaboration with local parties there to get their support. They also know that their vote banks live mainly in mainland and thus all national parties focus there only.

Civil societies in these days have much concern with their participation in government projects. They very few times extend their supports towards human rights and justice in NE states.

Apart from this local organisations of those states also less interested in these issues and sometimes they face humiliation by government. Separatists and extremists who are working in these states also make misunderstanding. Sometimes they also get foreign support.

Sometimes they become responsible for promotion of armed conflicts and violence and these all send message across rest of the country that situation is out of control and thus deployment of army becomes necessary.

Because of the above reasons, the issues of human rights violation either don't come in front of whole country or become ignored. Hence, the main issues related to justice becomes secondary for people of mainland.

Now, if we all really want that human rights violation cases should be addressed, AFSPA is draconian and government should listen then primary need is to spread awareness in general public. If you will see about the case of these states, you will find that only 10% people of mainland India are aware about local conditions and human rights violations of these states.

Thus awareness is the main requirement. This awareness should have an objective to make the people aware about the ground situation of these states. Organizations have responsibility to inspect the causes and to provide the solutions.

Organizations should also have responsibility to make the mainland's people aware about their dissatisfaction with the rule only (with AFSPA) not with person (army men). Now media should also spread the message through awareness.

However its true that without involvement of mainland people and organizations, media will not take care of the matter genuinely. The groups who are active in these states, including all local political groups, should move towards stopping violence and stopping damage of public property.

They all should try to show their strength through peaceful protests. They may be able to continue their fight with their own capability but this will be certainly in their favor if they will get support from other parts of India, and it is only possible when the protests will be peaceful.

Though it is a moral responsibility of government to address the issue of all states without any discrimination but still if it happens, people should come forward together to show their unity and brotherhood for all their co citizens. There is no doubt that AFSPA must be reviewed.

Government should listen the demands, should come forward to make a solution. All stakeholders should be ready to find the best solution and yes, of course, negotiation will be the basic condition to find the best.

Rigidness will not provide any solution to anyone. DISCLAIMER: Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely mine and my employer is not related/responsible for any material of this mail. The sole responsibility will be mine, in case of any dispute.
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* Ravi Nitesh (based in New Delhi) contributes this article to e-pao.net.
His Bio-Data reads as "Petroleum Engineer, Social Activist, Blogger, Student of Human Rights, Article and Poetry writer
President : Mission Bhartiyam (regd under SRA,1860, established by youths) ,
Member: Executive Committee, Save Sharmila Campaign follow on twitter: Blogs: The writer can be reached at ravinitesh(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on September 27, 2011.



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