These laws of exception

GKNN
Srinagar, Publish Date: Apr 23 2018 11:51PM | Updated Date: Apr 23 2018 11:51PM

The history of statecraft amply demonstrates that it is finally a mix of law, and power that states employ to manage populations within, and meet the challenges without. Throughout history we have seen political theorists, and activist alike struggling with the idea of how to strike a balance between freedoms given to people and control exhibited by state. It is this fine balance that decides the fate of a common man living in any particular state. In the times of stiff challenge within and without, states resort to special laws, and emergency measures to safeguard the big structures. In the process they compromise on democratic ideals, and also human freedoms. Sometimes this becomes even worse and leads to a perpetual denial of freedom. It is at this point that the voices for restoration of the normal state of affairs gain pitch, and a stiff opposition to the laws of exception builds up. In the context of India there has been a long struggle of civil society actors, and political forces to see an end to the reign of exception. It has been a long struggle for the people to convince the state structures that it's not the ideal thing to look at the populations through the prism of security only. The opposition to the Armed Forces ( Special) Powers Act is rooted in deep ideals of freedom, rights, and citizenship. This opposition cannot be silenced just by invoking security threats, and a kind of hyper nationalism. In this backdrop it is long awaited news that North East is witnessing the beginning of a change. According to media reports AFSPA stands removed completely from Meghalaya, and diluted in parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Can this small beginning act as a prelude to a bigger change int the region. For one reason or the other the populations in the South Asian states have faced some severe laws, curtailing their democratic rights, and also leading to human rights violations. This has even contributed to bigger confrontations. It's time that the leadership in all the South Asian countries took a review of such laws, and restored the rights of people. Kashmir would welcome such a change with wide open arms.