Home » ELECTION 2014- Don’t Forget AFSPA

ELECTION 2014- Don’t Forget AFSPA

 Representatives of all political parties of India
 The World’s largest democracy has plunged into the election season as the 16thLokh Sabha elections are approaching. The environment is tense. While you all are busy organizing rallies, giving speeches, proving yourself better and different from others, the media and the public are busy in speculations and debates. Your every move is being closely watched. This election season is particularly more gripping because of new political developments. Claims and promises are largely centered around development, secularism and corruption. It is being believed that with these issues, you all will be able to woo all sections of the population. However, the truth is that still millions of people are being left out.
 You have missed out on millions of people for whom these promises of development, secularism and corruption hold no meaning. We are talking about the people residing in the AFSPA-imposed states of North East and Jammu & Kashmir. Their voices, their concerns have been ignored. But this is also not the only time. They have been ignored for decades.
 Reports by NHRC, by several national and international independent human rights’ committees have shown how AFSPA has become a symbol of cruelty and arbitrariness in these states. They have led to extra-judicial killings, torture, rapes, disappearances and fake encounters. AFSPA has disrupted civilian life. In these states, it is an everyday struggle to save one’s life and honour. So in these states, your claims and promises of development, secularism and corruption hold no meaning until basic human rights are guaranteed to these people. They need to be promised and be given the right to life. Your promises of development are incomplete and impossible without the repeal of AFSPA. Where is the place for your symbols of ‘development’ in the cities torn apart regularly by the repressive state machinery and military? Where schools and public parks are transformed into military camps? How will there be development in the shadows of guns? Your promise of challenging corruption is another utopia. You cannot challenge corruption without challenging AFSPA because AFSPA is the face of corruption- a corruption of humanity. AFSPA has been caught in the blame game. While the state government will put the blame on the centre, the centre will put the blame on army. The army will also justify its stand by blaming the Government’s failure to administer. However, the truth is that AFSPA is a mask. It has many beneficiaries.
 All your promises are useless there. The promise of a better future is intertwined with the repeal of AFSPA from these states. You cannot ignore this issue. Repeal of AFSPA is the only way forward. It is the only way forward for a better India. Repeal of AFSPA is a democratic and humanitarian issue. AFSPA is a blot on the world’s largest democracy. It is a shame that Irom Sharmila has entered her 14th year of hunger-strike against AFSPA. It is a shame that while she and her heroic struggle are internationally respected, her own government is not bothered. While her heroic struggle has challenged the conscience of the world, the conscience of her own government remains unchallenged. While her struggle shows her faith in the democratic values of the country, her government has no respect for democracy.
 Democracy gives you a platform to contest between each other, but at the same time democracy wants you to be humane. Is your party a humane one? Does your party consider democracy as people’s mandate or is it just another method of acquiring power? Do you support the heroic struggle by people of J&K and North East against brutal and draconian AFSPA?
 We want democracy, a democracy without any derogation. A democracy, where humanity should be the foremost promise.
 Therefore, we appeal to all political parties who believe in democracy, equality and justice to take up this issue of repeal of AFSPA.
 ELECTION 2014- Don’t Forget AFSPA
 Issued by,
 Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign

Endorsed by:
1. Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA Secretary and CPI(ML) Politburo Member
2. Vrinda Grover, Advocate and Activist
3. Ravi Nitesh, SSSC
4. Devika Mittal, SSSC
5. V Arun Kumar, AISA
6. Kalita Rupam, SSSC
7. Aslam Khan, RYA
8. Amar Kanwar, Filmmaker and writer
9. Meena Saraswathi Seshu, General Secretary Of SANGRAM, Maharashtra
10. Nilanju Dutta, Jagori
11. Vasanth Kannabiran, Asmita Resource Center for Women, Hyderabad
12. Rituparna Borah, Queer Feminist Activist, New Delhi
13. Prof. Nandini Sundar, Academician and Activist
14. N. Jayaram, Journalist
15. Shreya Ila Anasuya, Activist
16. Queer Feminists India
17. Reclaim The Night Delhi
18. Lesley A Esteves, Queer Activist, New Delhi
19. Shraddha Chickerur, Activist
20. Vahida Nainar, Activist
21. Dr. Sagari Ramdas
22. Mini Mathew, Advocate
23. LABIA Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Mumbai
24. Nandita Narain, Delhi University
25. Ubaid Mushtaq, Scholar, IIT BOMBAY
26. Chhaya Datar
27. Jinee Lokaneeta
28. Rohini Hensman, Writer And Activist
29. Kaveri R. I., Hyderabad
30. Rakhi Sehgal, Hero Honda Theka Mazdoor Sangathan, Haryana
31. Juhi Jain, Feminist Activist/Writer
32. Gayatri Buragohain, Foundation For Social Transformation
33. Dheeraj Gaba, Founder Of Rooh (A Rural Organization Of Humanity)
34. Satyashodhak, Mumbai
35. Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar
36. Zaheeb Ajmal, Samar
37. Jayachandran R, The Civil Rights And Social Justice Society(CRSJS), Kerala
38. Sukla Sen, Ekta (Committee For Communal Amity), Mumbai
39. Jawad Mohammed
40. Madhu Bala, Jagori
41. Saumya Uma, Women’s Research & Action Group (WRAG)
42. Ramlath Kavil
43. Aruna Burte, Solapur
44. Anuradha Kapoor, SWAYAM, Kolkata
45. Lalita Ramdas, Activist
46. Shruti Batra
47. Uma V Chandru, WSS, Bangalore
48. Prof. Dr. Vibhuti Patel, SNDT Women’s University
49. Deepti, Saheli Women
50. Mohammad Imran, Activist
51. Voices Against 377
52. Dyuti, Student
53. Ridhima Mehra
54. Richa, Jan Abhiyan Sanstha, Himachal Pradesh
55. Abha , Jagori Grameen
56. Nimisha, Olakh, Vadodara
57. Kavita Panjabi
58. Wahengbam Joykumar Singh, Secretary of Human Rights Initiative, Imphal
59. Ningthoukhongjam Rajesh, North East News Network
60. Walter Fernandes, Scholar and Activist
61. Ashim jain, ICAN
62. Subhash Mohapatra, Global Human Rights Communications
63. Viren Lobo, ICAN
64. Prithvi Sharma, ICAN
65. Kiran Shaheen, Activist, Journalist, Member-ICAN
66. Manzoor Dar, Social Activist, J&K
67. Rashmi Talwar, Columnist-Journalist-Writer
68. Ameeque Jamei, PCPT
69. Jyoti Punwani, Journalist Activist, Mumbai
70. Ghazanafar Abbas, Youth Activist and Journalist, Delhi
71. D.Gabriele Pennurimai Iyakkam, NAPM
72. Antony Arulraj, Hotline Delhi
 For any other information and queries, mail at [email protected]

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