AFSPA: The Way Forward : Lt Gen Panag. – My comments on the NL article by Lt Gen Panag:
•I’m surprised that the General has missed the main point.
•The AFSPA as an Act, is an absolute constitutional tool available to Governments in power for absolutely hopeless internal security situations that have turned as bad as a strong external threat, like a revolution, an armed uprising which has “defeated” even Police Forces armed as well as the Military and available, at the State levels, to CMs or Governors & Central levels to the Home Minister.
•These are State Armed Police Forces & Central Police Organisations (CPOs) like BSF, CRPF, CISF.
•For those kind of situations ALONE, the Act provides, such immunity to its soldiers operating under it within the Nation State, as the same soldiery can function the way it is trained to operate, against external aggressors.
•Thus without blunting the fighting abilities of any of the forces they are applied by deft political & bureaucratic handling of the situation.
•This is the essence of it.
•At the heart lies the fact of the “Deft Handling” by the polity & bureaucracy.
• That polity & bureaucracy have failed in the NE in pulling out the Military long after the situation has come to levels that the CPOs, trained to “POLICE” with variable degrees of force acceptable in “Civilian Settings”.
• This is because corruption has eaten away the “WILL TO DEAL WITH CHALLENGES” of the Bureaucracy, the CPOs & the Polity fighting one election after another and converted all “Counter Insurgencies” into “Blue-Chip-Industries” to create wealth from, as has been explained in a most simplified manner by Madhu Trehan in one of her videos on NL.
•The Military too is part of this Blue Chip Industry in making as much money by the way of allowances if not siphoning off unaccounted money as “Intelligence Operations” or other such slush funds.
• These are the core reasons why the Military under AFSPA is being maintained by all stake holders.
•If the militancy has reduced to 10℅ of what it was, the General must strongly state that the Governments in the State & Centre ARE responsible for NOT sending Military back to barracks & removing AFSPA with them.
•The problem is none of these characters want the dirty job, neither the Generals.
• What happens if you water down the AFSPA yet retain the Military in the dirty work created by these rogues in the Governments & CPOs?
-You squander the Military abilities of the Nation (limited in numbers) for frivolous things that should be handled by CPOs, Bureaucracy, State & Central Intelligence Agencies.
– You blunt the Nation’s Military preparedness for wars against external aggressors in terms of Morale, Preparedness, “Wear & Tear of Equipment”, etc.
-You convert the Military to a CPO type of an organisation but under the Ministery of Defence.
-You use a costly tool for lesser gains.
– You antagonise the population against the State Government & Central Government.
-You antagonise the Nation against its own Military.
-You leave India vulnerable to external aggressors.
-You play into the hands of the enemy’s schemes such as “Thousand Cuts” & “Tukde-Tukde” ploys.
• None of the above are good for strengthening the Nation, rather they weaken it.
• So here are a few moot questions for the General :
-Did you not know all of the above?
-What did you do about it?
-How much of this “Blue-Chip” industry & you profit from each other & for how long?
•Here are some suggestions for the General:
-Tell us the stories about your efforts to withdraw the Military from situations that do not warrant it’s deployment.
-Tell us about the Military-Bureaucratic-Political-Contractor mixtures that fuel these “Blue-Chip-Industries”.
-If you can’t, answer all of these clearly even after so many years of retirement, haven’t you forfeited your right to crib about these issues in half measures?
• We need an overhaul of the “Polity-Bureaucratic-CPO-Sycophant Generals” nexus.
• Rest of the debate on AFSPA is either just plain nonsense or we are playing into the game plan of the enemies of bleeding us with these “So Many Cuts” – J&K, NL, Manipur, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Telengana, Andhra, Maharashtra, Karnataka.
•Does India have enough Military to be deployed in all these areas as the situation waxes or wanes & will that be warranted ?
•Or should the debate turn to returning the Military back to barracks while strengthening & holding the CPOs Bureaucracy & Polity to account under the usual Laws of our hallowed Lands?
•On the kinder side all this posturing is good for aging Vetarans’ health; else they can choose to contribute to Nation Building by standing up against the core diseases afflicting our Nation.
Col D.K.Sharma (Veteran)
#AFSPA #Indian Army