[Assam] Fwd: letters to the Editor

Chan Mahanta cmahanta at charter.net
Thu May 24 17:55:57 PDT 2007

Any comments on it on your part ,Ram :-)?


At 6:15 PM -0500 5/24/07, Ram Sarangapani wrote:
>Of Army 'Excess'
>One of the remarks made by Mr Wasbir Hussain in his column entitled 
>"Men with weapons must have accountability" (The Sentinel, May 19, 
>2007) could not help but catch my eye. A direct quote, perhaps, 
>would carry the right flavour: "The action of the Army, police or 
>the paramilitary in eliminating any innocent civilian... is 
>unacceptable." True, checks and balances are necessary, and 
>accountability on the part of the security forces must be 
>established and responsibility fixed. However, one must understand 
>that the problem of terrorism cannot be tackled gingerly, nor can it 
>be equated with the delicate act of delivering babies.
>The counter-insurgency operations are a lethal game that entails 
>quickness and keenness of perception. It is a killing field where 
>the Army has to fight an invisible enemy, who hides amongst the 
>common masses and does not wear uniform. It is the terrorist who 
>decides when, where and how, while the soldier is at the receiving 
>end. In order to overcome this disadvantage, a soldier must be 
>swift-reacting for which lightening reactions are summoned into 
>actions, whenever and wherever there is an iota of doubt. By being 
>fast and unpredictable, a soldier garners the ability to alarm the 
>terrorist before the latter unnerves him. Time is not on the side of 
>the soldier, and he lives only if he reacts swiftly. Under this 
>circumstance, human errors are bound to occur occasionally.
>The Army, in essence, is a well-oiled killing machine, who are 
>taught to annihilate the enemy. Its mathematics is simple: 
>''anti-national'' means ''you have to eliminate''. Ideally, the Army 
>is not a force to be unleashed in civilian space. When they are 
>marshalled into a troubled spot to help civil administration to curb 
>violence, a soldier does not differentiate between a foreign enemy 
>and a home-grown separatist. His only objective is to erase the foe. 
>Since the terrorist almost always hides amongst the common people, 
>the security forces must treat everyone with suspicion and that 
>keeps the soldiers on their toes. This may cause harassment to the 
>public, but it is the price one has to pay when the security forces 
>are fighting an invisible enemy. This is precisely why we get to 
>read the news of innocent civilians being killed mistakenly by the 
>Army. But then, these cases are exceptions rather than rule.
>It would be worthwhile to keep in mind that the terrorists are 
>certainly not normal human beings who harbour sentiments such as 
>compassion and love. Had they been so, they would not have been able 
>to stand to shoot at another human being's head point-blank - that 
>too, that of a non-combatant civilian. And this speaks volumes of 
>their mental make-up.
>The fact remains that brutes only understand brute force.
>Kamaljit Deka,
>Sugarland, Texas.
>assam mailing list
>assam at assamnet.org
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