On 16th November 2015, I went to take part in the protest march called by the Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR), CSWO along with a few other activists from Meghalaya. I went not because I was instructed to by ‘party high-command’, not because I was threatened or coerced by anyone: I went there because, firstly, I don’t want the introduction of AFSPA in Meghalaya (nor anywhere else for that matter); secondly, I do not believe in AFSPA as a law in general. However, the main reason why I went was because in the aftermath of the two brutal horribly-handled debacles which had occurred in the past few weeks – the Synjuk Rangbah Shnong episode, the Kiang Nangbah incident – I personally felt that this was, in a sense, a wonderfully apt method by which I could protest police brutality and its institutionalisation. In a way, one could see the anti-AFSPA march coming from miles away, especially in the wake of those horrible tear-gassing and lathi-charging fiascos, but in another sense, the march was anything but reactionary.
It may, of course, come to pass that one day the same group/collective(s) may end up doing something completely foolish and unnecessary, these things happen and will continue to happen but as I write this, the 16th of November 2015, will always have a distinct memory for me because of its uniqueness, because hope showed up that day.