It was not so long ago I had a conversation in the canteen below my office which meandered from imperfections to human thinking to randomness of random number generators to evolution in the context of randomness. Somehow, today as I start writing another of my philosophical blogs, I take refuge in evolution to talk about some of the resent happenings of India. Based on human knowledge of evolution it seems human species is the pinnacle of the race of survival of the fittest. It is wounded in our DNA structure to protect ourselves or at least pretend to ourselves to protect ourselves. That is probably the reason why even a person who tries to commit suicide always welcomes help. It is probably a decision taken out of our illogical part of our mind. Why do I say this when I say that I write this blog as a response to recent happenings? This is because somehow my mind does not conform to both mainstream and extremist reactions to the recent grenade attacks in Kashmir.
Now that I have unveiled what made me write.It is perhaps time to mention why does some random comment of probably one of the few parts of India I have never visited bother me, a person born in Assam, lived in Assam, Delhi, Bengal, Andhra(/Telangana), Tamil Nadu (?). For the sake of self-satisfaction, I left the question inside the quote for it gives me immense pleasure to phrase the sentence “I chose to take liberty in my punctuation for my answer lies in the question.”
Assam is one of the states that still has the AFSPA enforced although arguably it is today one of the most peaceful states in India in terms of people killed in terrorist violence. As I grew up, my brain and living memory had been permanently scared by the memories of “Secret Killings”. The killings which were according to a judicial commission by Justice Saikia were perpetuated by ex C.M. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.Whenever I think of AFSPA, I remember my solitary bicycle ride on the streets of Dibrugarh, after people protesting some recent deaths of two individuals one of them being my ex classmate at school. People say they saw who killed the protesters. But till today nothing has happened.
Funny, may be a very incongruous word, but death does alter the memories towards a person for whom you never had a very positive emotion. Dheeraj was never a great friend of mine at school, it would not be wrong to say we were acquaintance rather than friends but then hearing about his death when I was in class 9 was shocking. For a sheltered teenager, death only strikes old people. While I was in the same house another day altered my subconscious. These were the screams of my neighbor. Assam is very unlike rest of India and we follow a different version of Hinduism and Islam. We were Hindu and our neighbor was Muslim.This neighbor was also a distant relative. It was a love marriage between one of my hindu uncle and an aunt in this family. I would not say we were very distant but we were not very close either. One day, the small kids in the house were crying. Did I say crying? Maybe I am wrong,they were wailing, somehow some of those screams still ring in my ear. They say Army had picked up their father and their uncle. A few days later their mutilated corpse was found. They say they belonged to MULFA (a fundamentalist Muslim terrorist organization). Maybe, they were terrorist, but till date I can’t convince myself of that.
AFSPA and disturbed areas act have no place in a country where citizens are free. It seems more farcical today when terrorism can strike anywhere. Citizens living under the shadow of terrorism are anyways victimized why should be victimized more. Somehow, if a terrorist kills a person I love, I know I can fight back against the enemy by hopefully voting for a candidate who will go after them. If I have enough determination,may be I can join the system and fight the evil. But if some organ of government kills or does not do enough to remove false doubts, it is kind of helpless situation.
Now where do I tie all that I have written together. I will diverge from the common thread tying all my posts. I am not going to end with an open-ended question. I am going to just preach something that I can’t argue for logically: AFSPA is just the fertilizer terrorism needs to breed more terrorist. I shall give no research, no logical arguments just naked emotional memories.