An open letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Dear Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji,
First of all, I seek your pardon for any lack of etiquette in addressing you as the Prime Minster of India.
I, Irom Sharmila Chanu, the lone hunger striker for repeal of the AFSPA, 1958 from the whole of areas in the country that come under the purview of this act, would like to draw your kind attention to my humble appeal for getting, the innocent people numbering around 4 crores, free from the injustice, meted out by the Parliament of India.
Why should the Indian Parliament treat us, the inhabitants of the North East Region of India differently from the rests of people in different states of India at large by declaring our region as disturbed areas, under which the Constitution provides, the Armed Forces, even to the rank of a Havildar, the power to kill with full impunity, torture and rape anyone on mere suspicion of being an insurgent in their eyes? Why should so many women be exposed helplessly to their sexual pleasures? Holding with such Licence to kill under the AFSPA, 1958, the Government of India has been committing thousands of the killings and enforced disappearance of innocent people over the last few decades. This has resulted into same number of surviving widows and thousands of lamenting parents for their love ones leaving behind thousands of women headed families!
The Chiefs of the Indian Army remain strongly against the repealing of the AFSPA only because they are too scared and insecure in their movements without excess power provided by this Act. As the consequence of their barbaric acts towards the innocent people, who are considered inferior and wild stupid beings in their eyes, and are very likely to retaliate suddenly and stealthily against the inhumanness of the Indian Armies, out of rage amongst the masses. With such mindset of the army chiefs’ tactics of controlling the insurgency and upholding AFSPA in the north east states of India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir has only been helpful in begetting more and more insurgent parties in the long run. I consider, the only solution to the liberation or separation movements in the north east region of India will be none other than changing of the mindset of the mainstream masses and power holders in politics at large to stop discriminations and step-motherly treatments meted out to at the looks of Mongoloid features.
Please, do provide us with the basic right of being a human so that we can live with self-respect and dignity. Under the disturbed areas status the State has exploited our tourism industry by restricting any tourist from abroad which should provide us large income in exchange of our traditional manual products with which we would also expand our knowledge and horizons from such interactions with advanced countries of the world.
Please don’t see me as a supporter of any insurgent party by the only notion of the way I protest against. Instead, please do see me as conscientious human being who doesn’t want to have a permanent home and food nor adopt any particular religion or citizenship like the birds in nature so that I am accessible, wherever and whenever needed. I want to wonder around in the world as long as my body and soul are in union. And, I want nothing from this mundane earth, except enjoying the feeling of Importance with my birth as a rational, social animal to the following generation after my departure from the world, In that case, the future generations who would be born after me and whose knowledge about my living past would also be from the history, only will surely be want to transform the bad side of my own being into good, owing to the glory of my good actions of which I had meted out during my living space In this world.
Do prevail over the nation with the practice of nonviolence under your leadership and ensure democracy takes roots in the country by repealing AFSPA from the whole areas inhabited by around 4 Crores of people in the North East and elsewhere. Crores of rupees which is allocated every year to eradicate insurgency can be utilized productively for the uplift of the poor peasants who feed the Crores of Indians by transforming all the armed recruiting centres and barracks in every nook and corner of our states into fertile paddy fields that once it were for the farmers so that we can live a contented and peaceful lives. Now, that you are not only the head of the State but popularly elected leader by the whole of the nation for a change, holding with the greatest power to command in your hands. Like the enlightened emperor Asoka of KaiInga after witnessing the huge devastation with heaves of deaths and lamentations that prevailed over the whole land as a consequence of historic battles, do rule your nation with the weapon of Ahimsa so that you may reap only with peace and love of your peoples to allay the fears of Anti-Modi groups since the incidents of Godra in 2002 and transform them into your beloved friends for a peaceful and vibrant society.
At my personal level, your historic victory over the recently concluded Parliamentary election and your becoming the Prime Minster of India was also envisioned in my dreams, nearly 5 years back in 2009, when I saw you standing few metres apart right in front of me with smile. I waited for this day to see you in that position, today. It has been dream fulfilling for me also.
In those very days, I knew nothing about you except with a notion of a violent leader. But, recently after hearing from the Newspapers of your pronouncement as the Prime ministerial candidate of BJP in the 16th Lok Sabha election, I did recollect myself of my past dream of your standing before me and sharing the dreams with my near and dear ones, here. So, we were hopeful and prayed for your victory. Now, it turns out that the dreams were a prophecy that came true in your assuming the highest post of the State. I now count the days of my freedom with the repeal of AFSPA, 1958 with your efforts in the Parliament. So, do be the omnipotent leader who eventually breaks my fast of 14 years by repealing the Act. You’ll be blessed by the souls of those innocent people who are no more and millions of young people like me and my intimate friends who wish to lead protected life by the law of the land with dignity or let us gain Nirvana from this crazy world of power abuse of the mundane world and liberate our souls from the body that enjoy No Right to Life guaranteed under the Constitution of the country. The choice is in your hands under your able leadership.
Thank you for your kind attention.
With utmost regards
Irom Sharmila Chanu
Imphal Central Jail