The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is probably the most controversial laws governing the armed forces in India. The law has been debated since years now and yet no specific conclusion has been arrived at. For the ones who are new to this AFSPA law, It confreres special powers upon armed forces in disturbed areas of the country. (J & K and North Eastern States)
Lately, it has become a trend for any political critic to condemn this law. Just by stating the powers conferred by the law, and adding a few negative adjectives to it, they have effectively mislead the common man against the law.
I have only one question against it. How many critics have actually been there on ground and have truly understood the real situation?
The answer would be none, because then they would have not been campaigning against it. Most of the armed forces soldiers would agree that they have been maintaining peace mainly because of the leverages given by this law. Contradictory to the popular belief, no solider is looking for reasons to break it. In fact, he always tries to maintain the constrain. But sadly, the common man is always made to believe otherwise.
Before we move on, let me emphasise here that in most of these states, our armed forces are fighting war against our own countrymen. They are called insurgents, who generate support from the common people for their terror movement. Even in Kashmir, where we face the problems of cross border terrorism, they essentially have a network of local supporters.
Now considering this ground reality, I have a proposition to make - Go ahead and remove the AFSPA.
Yes, go ahead and do it. But take a while before coming to any conclusion in haste. Do you know the consequences of removing the act? No, you seriously dont know.
It is like amputing your leg because you have a blister and it has been presented to you as cancer.
I agree that there may have been a few cases where this law would have been misused, but they are purely because of a few irresponsible individuals, rather than as a guiding policy of the forces.
My opinion on this topic is simple. Remove the AFSPA. Simply because people wont understand its importance, until it is removed. Let people burn their fingers first. And then ask the AFSPA to be reinstated again. Because critics sitting in their homes, wont realise the importance of the act till they themselves are affected by the absence of this law. And sadly, the repercussions of removing this law is not just limited to these affected states. It will gradually spill over to other states. And then to your neighbouring cities. and finally to your home.
So if you are already ready to comment on this article, take a moment or two and consider the fact that you have been just commenting on things you dont even know about, havent seen it in first person or just have heard some opinion from some third person who makes a living by making news out of nothing. Just for money.
And still if you strongly feel about it, I totally agree with you. Remove the act completely. And let the people learn from experience. And then reinstate the law again. I just hope that it is not too late by then.