Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act to stay

Prudent decision, Mr Home Minister

(Home Minister Shivraj Patil) said that the Act, first introduced in 1958, was enforced to deal with the ‘‘abnormal’’ situation there. ‘‘Let normalcy return,’’ he said, ‘‘then we will look into it.’’ [Indian Express]

Saner counsel has prevailed in the end. It is good to see Shivraj Patil come out unequivocally on the reasons for keeping the Act.

7 thoughts on “Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act to stay”

  1. Yes, very prudent indeed. I wonder when they are sending the next batch of sex-starved soldiers there.

    Like I said earlier. India does not need Pakistan, there are enough idiots inside to make a mess.

  2. Preetam,

    Sarcasm, just like gross generalisations is not a very useful style of argument. But what you say about there being enough idiots in India is certainly true.

  3. The trouble is that we have been fed the wrong image of the army throughout and movies like Lakshya don’t help much.

    Do you think any soldier in this day and age wants to give up their lives for a mere 5,000 Rs. They are sent to battle the terrorists. Like everyone of us, self preservation prevails. It is none of those guys business to sort out the mess created by years of apathy.

    Some views from Manipur
    http://p076.ezboard.com/fepaocompleteeplatformformanipurisfrm24.showMessage?topicID=12.topic

  4. Preetam,

    Would you agree that the image of Indian Police as conveyed by Bollywood is accurate? When movies portray them as corrupt and brutal, it is often said that Art is a reflection of the realities of societies. But when movies portray a positive image of the Army, it somehow becomes propaganda. Either case, I’m not basing my opinions on Bollywood’s portrayals.

    As I pointed out a few posts ago, much of this controversy is because of the failure of governance – an inability of the political leadership to maintain law and order using the police forces. Using the Army for internal security duties puts them in unsuitable combat contexts.

    You are right – in the end, the soldiers are simply human beings, with all the failings. We dont have an army of saints. But unlike you and me, they are putting their lives at risk for ‘a mere Rs 5000’. They may not deserve gallantry medals for doing this, but they certainly do not deserve labels like ‘sex-starved’.

  5. There are several documented cases of sexual abuse and molestation both in the nort-east and Kashmir.
    Another recent case
    http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/nov/27assam1.htm

    I agree, every single army man does not deserve to be called “sex-starved” but again the people who do it go unpunished and the indian government tries to stall investigations by bodies like the NHRC.
    http://www.achrweb.org/features/ACHRF0504.htm#_ftnref1

    So what image of Indian army (and the Govt.) does that leave in the affected areas?

  6. Preetam,

    That’s the nub of the argument. The Army’s primary role is combat, not image enhancement.

    Its for the political leadership to handle the image bit, which they have consistently failed.

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