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Showing posts from August, 2016

The lonely case of Irom Sharmila

For a few days now, I have been thinking of Irom Sharmila. The din over her ending a 16-year hungry strike has abated, the media has moved on to their next target and Sharmila is somewhere in Manipur holed up, perhaps, in the solitary confines of a room.  Right now, she has yet to find a place called home because the people of Manipur have literally disowned her.
In 2000, just 28 years old then, Sharmila embarked on a lone fight to remove an archaic law called the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in this remote north-eastern state of India, Manipur. She started the hunger strike after a massacre in a small village called Malom in the outskirts of the state where Indian army force Assam Rifles reportedly killed 10 people including some teenagers who were going for tuition after class. The AFSPA (1958) covers many areas of north-east Indian and Kashmir and gives security forces powers to search and shoot on sight. Many have criticised the Act as a “licence to kill”.  And organi…