Congress MP Shashi Tharoor at a book launch event at Oxford Bookstore in New Delhi on Friday has called for more autonomy to be given to the Northeastern people. He also voiced support for amending the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
Tharoor said that rather than an umbrella look, it would be better to have at least half-a-dozen different perspectives of the area as the problems are not the same, even within the States. He also said that decentralized democracy is necessary as the areas that are distant from Delhi feel that it’s not possible for them to have every decision being taken in Delhi. On the other hand, the former Union Minister also clarified that the Northeastern states cannot function independently, broadly due to their small geo-economics.
Tharoor described the language of the provisions in AFSPA as “offensive” and said that a significant section of the political establishment from his party would be in favour of amending (the) AFSPA. But amendment of the Act might be a politically difficult step too, he mentioned.
Also, he added that in any democratic country, to have a law that is seen by the public as conferring immunity for human rights violations is always going to do more harm than good.
Talking about the insurgency, he said that in a democratic State, anything can be discussed, provided it is not done on the point of a gun. But, if the irked parties come forward in a democratic manner and participate, then there would be more voices in favour of real autonomy, he added.