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A Publication
on The Status of
Adivasi Populations
of India




AFSPA And The 15th Year of Non-Violent Heroic Struggle of Irom Sharmia

By Ravi Nitesh

04 November, 2014

At present when you are reading this letter, there are many things going
on this world. Some are becoming a everyday story and adding just another
day in one’s life, some are there and contributing to where history is
being created and recorded and even some others, with people like you who
are reading this article and now will know about this part of history,
where a lady, popularly known as Iron lady of Manipur, is entering in 15th
year of her fast that is in the common interest of people of Manipur and
within the larger objective of humanity and justice, and therefore rare in
one of its kind.

Just like you, I am also a mute spectator of this history that is mixed
with pride and sadness for me. It is a pride for reasons because I am able
to live in this year of history where I can witness such a non violent
historic and heroic struggle of an individual who herself became an
invincible, immoral and a movement within herself. Sad, because I wish and
pray of its end through the fulfilling the demand of Repeal AFSPA by
government. I, at present cannot do much, but probably the least that I can
do is to share my sentiments with you and to devote myself in solidarity.

At a time, when you are reading this article, I am sitting in solidarity
fast in support of Irom Sharmila, in the same city where she is under
arrest. Common supporters like myself, activists and students are also
sitting in solidarity with her. While I think that I may not be able to
meet and to speak to you all, I feel that this article (that is mostly in
the form of letter) may reach to some of you for sure and through this way,
I can convey ing my solidarity with your struggle.

I would like to convey the sentiments of all fellow countrymen also who
thinks and speaks for your rights and justice, I would like to convey
sympathy of our mothers and sisters to your families and I would like to
tell you that you that we believe that together we will get the rights and
justice in coming time.

I also see it as a time, when in my view, more than our worries about Irom
Sharmila’s fast, government should be in fear to see the changing time when
now it is another year that has come to add itself in counting of longest
fast and probably longest non violent struggle for a demand. It should be
a matter of worry for a democracy like India that history is being written
of its ignorance and deviating decisions of undemocratic behavior, history
will remember the contradiction and biased behavior of governments of this

People who are subjected to AFSPA are just any common people of other parts
of India. On the other hand, armymen who are working with AFSPA powers are
also like any other human being but with skilled trainings of armed systems
like any other army has. The Government must think that how it is trying to
create a rift between army and people with such a mechanized law that do
not consider humanity and rather treat people like any object, they (army
men) can play with. It cannot be said to be fair or beneficial in anyway.
On the other hand, people within the army, should also think about the same
reasons that how they hear stories and see the things in unbiased ways of
any killings, fake encounters and even rapes and they must think that how
all such victims are also a larger part of their family and how there could
be various reasons and moments that the lives could be saved and might not
be necessarily lost. Our dear army men and the whole army commands must
also understand that how people of Manipur or North East or any other part
cannot be enemy of them and even the ‘region’ cannot be a reason of any
such enmity. There are examples where people from these regions contribted
well for the Indian defence system and other forms of social and national
causes. In fact, from the government to army to judiuciary to people,
everyone must take it as a clear point that opposing AFSPA just meant to
opposing a particular policy and extra ordinary powers and it has no
concern of any personal or professional enmity among the people and army.
It is the same as people in non AFSPA imposed areas are against the extra
ordinary leisure, facilities and corruptions of bureaucrats and politicians
and it is no where oppose of bureaucrats and politics.

It is not an easy task that Irom Sharmila is doing. For the courts, when it
was an ‘attempt to suicide’, for Irom Sharmila, probably it was one of the
‘reason’ to ‘live’. She is not aimless like many of us are. Unlike us, she
has a reason and thought process and a decided goal for her life. Putting
the life on fast with all known intention, motivation and clear objective
towards making a society more humane, cannot be said as attempt to suicide,
instead it is something that we all need in our lives.

With my heartiest salute to this living legend of Non Violence and brave
people of all AFSPA imposed areas

With the sense and determination of making our society more humane, more

With the demand from Government to Repeal AFSPA from all regions

Ravi Nitesh is Core Member: Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign and founder: Mission Bhartiyam




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