AFSPA DEBATES

Guest post by T R Ramaswami

Opponents of ASFPA must read the autobiography of an ex-IPS officer, Shri E.N. Ram Mohan, titled Simply Khaki. Mr. Rammohan was last DG of the BSF (1997-2000) and had served for extensive periods in the North-East and J&K. In the book he states that every political party, particularly in the North-East and Kashmir has a militant unit which comes into play when that party is in the opposition. Insurgency is therefore a political issue which ALL political parties are responsible for creating and nurturing.

Instead of asking for the ASFPA to be repealed, why doesn’t anyone, including human rights activists, central/state governments and the media have the guts to ask for withdrawal of the army in toto from internal security duties? Or let us have another alternative – if any state wants the army for insurgency operations, without ASFPA, the Home Secretary and the DG Police of the state will be sent home for incompetency and the army commander will function in both those offices. Or better still, President’s rule will be declared in the state and martial law declared. Done? Every political party wants ASFPA to be repealed when in the opposition but needs the army to hold their pants when they are in power. Will media even have the courage to state openly that using the army internally signifies failure of all politicians, police and bureaucrats? I challenge anyone to counter my views openly. I am of course assuming, but am open to correction, that media has the courage to publish this letter. It is lack of this courage to express true public views, that has led to “hate sites” which are now clownishly attempted to be censored.

 

AFSPA FOR DUMMIES

Guest post by T R Ramaswami

ASFPA opponents may note this story that explains the issue neatly. A human rights NGO worker, a TV journalist and a tough old soldier were captured by terrorists in Kashmir. The leader granted each one last request. The HR NGO worker said, ‘Well, I’d like one last plate of tandoori chicken.’ The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the chicken. The HR activist ate it all and said, ‘Now I can die content.’ The TV journalist said, ‘I want to record the scene here and what’s about to happen. Maybe, someday, someone will see it and know that I was on the job till the end.’ The leader handed over a video camera and the journalist filmed as he spoke. He then said ‘Now I can die happy.’

The leader turned to the soldier and asked, ‘ Havaldarji, what is your final wish? ‘Kick me,’ said the soldier. So the leader kicked him. The soldier rolled to his knees, pulled a hidden pistol from inside his vest and shot the leader dead. He emptied his sidearm on the shocked terrorists and with an AK-47, from an already dead terrorist, sprayed the rest. In a flash all of them were dead. The HR NGO worker and the journalist asked him, ‘Why didn’t you just shoot them all in the first place? Why did you ask him to kick you?’ ‘Because’ replied the soldier, ‘if I had shot first, you two would have reported that I was the aggressor and the root cause of all the blood shedding in Kashmir! Now you know why the army needs AFSPA. Go tell this to the world.’