A story that we should all know..

Today, Irom Sharmila of Manipur would enter the 10th year of her epic fast protesting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

On November 2, 2001 a bomb exploded near the 8th Assam Rifles Camp, near Malom, Manipur, India. In what was regarded as a retaliation, the Assam rifles personnel shot down 10 innocent people at the Malom bus stand, people whom had no connection with insurgents, young and old, men and women alike. Today a park, ‘Ten Innocents Park’ stands at that place.

What made the army men go on their killing spree is debatable, but it is clear that the mindless killing was a manifestation of the draconian AFSPA that was in force with almost the entire state of Manipur declared a ‘disturbed area’. Two days later, on November 4, 2001, Irom Sharmila declared a peaceful protest against the AFSPA, she went on a fast unto its repeal. To date, Irom Sharmila continues her epic fast. Of late, the government has indicated that it is open to revisit the AFSPA. But neither is the government showing any urgency in the matter, nor the issue has got the national attention that it deserves.

Hers is a story that we should all know, whether we agree with the AFSPA or not. Find here a poignant account of her tale by Shoma Chaudhury in Tehelka:
http://www.tehelka.com/story_main43.asp?filename=Ne051209irom_and.asp

Also read a compelling argument for a ‘modest’ change in AFSPA by Siddarth Varadarajan in the columns of The Hindu:
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article615837.ece?homepage=true

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3 thoughts on “A story that we should all know..

  1. Amazed at the conviction. Ironical that in a democracy, the last people listened to are – people…

    But what does 10 year fast mean? How is she surviving?

  2. She is forcibly kept alive through drips.
    I read this story around 4 years back, she had finished 6 years then. It was terrible to read. 4 years down the line, nothing has changed, life goes on and Irom Sharmila and her iron will live on.

  3. Good post Mani. Been waiting for this post from you for a long time. Sometimes, the way government & the population thinks is kind of strange when they do not give as much importance to NE India as they would for any other part & then act all worked up when China flexes its muscle. & Truly, if you dont want China to have NE India, then everyone should stop calling people from NE India as Chinkis. Anyways, digressions aside, good post

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