An impression from a few comments on a news report on The Times of India regarding the recent order of the Supreme Court on forming SIT to probe into fake encounter killings in Manipur
Last week, the Supreme Court of India ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe into 95 fake encounter killings ‘that involve the Army, Assam Rifles, CRPF, BSF and police’ in Manipur. The issue is already a blot on the largest democracy of the world. This number is filtered out of the whopping 1,528 known cases, which are out in the open for quite some time. In one of its earliest mandates, the Supreme Court had directed to appoint a three-member commission following a public interest litigation over these 1,528 extra-judicial killings in Manipur. That was in 2012. [Also refer to The Indian Story of the Northeast]
Subsequent to the SC order, The Times of India published a news report on July 15:
A couple of months ago, the Press Trust of India had published another report:
Extra-judicial killing in Manipur: SC asks Centre to segregate
New Delhi: The Supreme Court asked the Centre today to segregate the cases related to the armed forces from the list of 265 incidents of extra-judicial killings in Manipur, which it would deal with first on a plea that seeks to probe into such alleged fake encounter killings. The apex court, which said that 265 matters listed under four categories would be heard by it first, also asked the Manipur government to distinguish among these the cases related to the state police. The court is hearing a PIL seeking probe and compensation in alleged 1,528 extra-judicial killings in Manipur from 2000 to 2012 by security forces and police.
— PTI, 7 April 2017
For now, let’s tune out the legal proceedings, the forthcoming and possible cover-ups by the military, India’s foreign-relation headaches and so on. Even if we don’t, some of them can dodge easily. In April last, again for example, the army had replied that they are a superpower out in the real bad world to fight the real bad terrorists so, no FIR for them—though these might not be the exact words. Come on, it’s not one or two cases, not even five to ten but one thousand and five hundred and twenty-eight of them. It’s a political problem and they should leave it to their political masters to sort out the problem instead of prolonging the bloodbath and further building the antagonism with the natives unnecessarily.
Again, we should entrust the legal and political responsibilities to the big guns for today, notwithstanding the role for us as a stakeholder. Most recently, however, what is appalling is the response of some mainland people. We are referring here to the comments on The Times of India report. Let’s assume that they can die for their army, who can in turn die for the country, but things are not as easy as making a chapatti. We are here talking about life and death, about a whole generation leading a miserable life, about a land fucked up so bad that nobody knows where the list of tragedies starts from or where it ends.
And here they are. One guy related these fake encounter killings to the Vyapam death, asking what is to become of the latter. Another barked that ‘SC judges should fight these terrorists in the fields (sic) and maintain law and order’. Meanwhile, a gentleman suggested: ‘We should ask the Judges to be moved to these areas with their families and then conduct the inquiry.’ He added his two-cent: ‘The judiciary has gone mad and trying to make a mess of the Constitution and the country. Politics and judiciary have to learn to live by the Constitution rather than the ego, [sic] the judges have developed because of corrupt former central governments.’
These are none of their business so to say, yet their comments tell many things howsoever unfortunate these may be. It would be naïve to hypothesise from a few comments written in atrocious English, particularly on The Times of India; still we cannot ignore some key facts:
(i) mainland people are very less aware about us though it’s no harm;
(ii) yet it becomes a problem when many of them are in favour of the AFSPA; and
(iii) it becomes even more dangerous considering, for example, the government in New Delhi is decided by the governments that are formed in places like Uttar Pradesh and the likes.
What's more, the concoction of ignorance and jingoism can be a deadlier than s Sukhoi fighter plane.
Regardless of their nationalistic dumbassery or incestuous love for the army, an act such as the AFSPA has no place in a democracy and must go as well as the present military democracy that the mainland policymakers have mastered should have its days numbered. This is no terrorism. No resistance. No human rights rhetoric. No confrontation with the State. No dispute with the army or any authority but plain commonsense. Just see the latest observations made by opinion-makers:
From the birth of postcolonial India, there has been a big question over the sense of imagined community that the mainland Indians have vis-à-vis the hinterlands like Manipur and its neighbours. In simpler words, the Mongoloids were hard to be considered as Indians and the crises continues unabated as evident from the countless cases of racism.
Historians would say the notion about the existence of a people entirely different from snake-and-elephant Indians in the so-called Northeast India started ‘trickling’ into consciousness of the mainland people only when the Chinese came running, trying to pinch the ass of Nehru’s India in 1962. [Refer to The Ghosts of 1962]
Above all these issues, it is pertinent to note that the argument is not against the AFSPA per se but the very concept of governance and administration that New Delhi has applied in the region. The imposition implies that the State legitimises the rule of military, and hence the thriving culture of military democracy and that it is following two forms of democracy in India barefacedly. It is a shame that these mainland people cannot see it and all that they have in their minds is the myth of India as a single country where a clear line divides the good and the bad.
For a reminder, the AFSPA allows literally anybody in the army to kill a person merely on suspicion. It is a colonial legacy—recreated from the Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance, which the imperialists had imposed to subdue the Quit India Movement in 1942—and in other words, India is behaving just like the Britain of 1942; only this time it is 2017.
- Gandhi in the Time of AFSPA https://kapilarambam.blogspot.in/2016/03/gandhi-in-time-of-afspa.html
- The Brown Substitute for the White Raj https://kapilarambam.blogspot.in/2016/07/the-brown-substitute-for-white-raj.html
At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own lives. That’s as well the main problem. The mainland people are never be in the picture albeit they appear now and then by virtue of the existing political system. The government is a major problem-solver; but again here lies another problem. The RSS fully supports the imposition of AFSPA and we have a BJP-led government in the state, which survives on the freebies on New Delhi. It is indeed a big bad world but this is where our story begins from.
PS : There are two types of Manipuri believers in this world but not in a religious sense: one, who believes that it is impossible for us to exist sans India’s attention; and two, who believes that nobody gives a fuck about it. In any way, by virtue of being human beings, and despite the absurdities, we do have reasons why we are in one of these groups. At a time, we might be pragmatic and decide how it is possible to live without a saviour to look after us; and in others, we live in a neo-colonial world where the only solution is resistance.