One of the crosses that institutions like the Armed Forces bear in ensuring our country remains a thriving democracy is to receive potshots from every Tom, Dick and Harry (or Harriet). People with a lot of passion, but little understanding of issues at hand beyond what they read in the newspapers or see on television, become self appointed activists. Perhaps in their imaginations they are valiant crusaders fighting for the underdogs, brightening up their otherwise dreary lives by vicarious pleasures form the comfort of their armchairs.
Normally one tends to ignore such stupidities. But once in a while one doses feel obliged to respond. Particularly since the organization itself does very little to counter such slurs to its reputation. The result of one such instance is the comment below on one such post – Indian Army – Magic Formula to have beautiful and successful daughters:-
Dear Kamayani Bali Mahabal,
I often wonder why so called “Human Rights Activists” like you NEVER document and raise the rapes, murders and violations by terrorists, naxals and the likes. Is it that they don’t take place, or that people are too scared to talk about them in general? Or that they don’t really much such a good story?
I also wonder if any of the armchair activists in this country have any real understanding of the situation – or whether they only thrive on rhetoric and rabble rousing without logical application of mind. Reading your post today really makes me wonder.
Firstly, do you really think that such a hoarding would have been put up by the Army? If you do, then you really don’t have the moral and intellectual right to comment on matters related to the forces. The board seems to have been put up by someone to derive just the kind of mileage this post is deriving from it.
Secondly, lets get a few things about AFSPA in perspective:-
- The act has not been created by the Indian Army – it is the legislature of this country which has passed. it.
- It is not applicable all the time, or across the country. It is ONLY applicable in areas declared as disturbed by the government, and where the Army is deployed. The fact that the government has decided to use its instrument of last resort internally means that the situation is beyond the capability of the regular machinery to control. NOW, if the situation is extraordinary, how can it be dealt with using the ordinary laws.
- There certainly have been cases of excesses. But these have been aberrations. And for every genuine case of excess, there have been thousands of false complaints. Please stop spreading the fallacy that AFSPA grants immunity to perpetrators. You yourself have cited the case of Harbhajan and Gurtej Singh, where they got 10 years RI for rape. What AFSPA grants immunity against is the harassment of troops by false complaints. At the same time, the Army itself takes the matter of Human Rights violation very seriously, and takes appropriate action against any cases found genuine.
- If it wasn’t for the AFSPA, every soldier who served in Kashmir or North East for two years would spend the rest of their time and money traveling from one court to another trying to fight the false cases foisted by motivated and / or misguided parties.
As regards why no one talks about HR violations by terrorists and Naxalites, maybe because they are too scared of the repercussions, while there is no such danger from a disciplined force like the Army.
Fortunately for all people like you who trash the Army but enjoy a sound sleep because of them, the official machinery of the forces is too busy doing their job to worry about defending themselves against unwarranted attacks like this post. It is therefore left to old fogies like self to stand up for what we believe is true, and prevent people like you from getting away with saying what you please without really understanding issues or going into details.