Know : Irom Sharmila – The world’s longest hunger striker

This solitary hunger striker is about to cross 15 years without food!

Irom Sharmila

Iron Lady of Manipur” – Irom Sharmila (born 14 March 1972) is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur. On 2 November 2000, she began a hunger strike which is still ongoing.

On 2 November 2000, in Malom, a town in the Imphal Valley of Manipur, ten civilians were shot and killed while waiting at a bus stop. The incident, known as the “Malom Massacre”, was allegedly committed by the Assam Rifles, one of the Indian Paramilitary forces operating in the state.The victims included Leisangbam Ibetombi, a 62-year old woman, and 18-year old Sinam Chandramani, a 1988 National Bravery Award winner.

Sharmila, who was 28 at the time, began to fast in protest of the killing, taking neither food nor water. As her brother Irom Singhajit Singh recalled, “It was a Thursday. Sharmila used to fast on Thursdays since she was a child. That day she was fasting too. She has just continued with her fast.”

She has not met her mother since the start of the fast as seeing her mother’s anguish may break her resolve. She said “The day AFSPA is repealed I will eat rice from my mother’s hand.

The Manipur High Court has ordered Rs. 5 lakh compensation for each of the families of 10 people killed by the Assam Rifles in November 2000, in what was later alleged to be a fake encounter. But for the families of those who were killed 14 years ago, compensation is just the first step towards justice.

Three days after she began her strike, she was arrested by the police and charged with an “attempt to commit suicide”, which was unlawful under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at that time, and was later transferred to judicial custody. However, Amnesty International and the World Medical Association both dispute that a hunger strike is equivalent to suicide as hunger strikers “generally hope and intend to survive”. Her health deteriorated rapidly, and nasogastric intubation was forced on her in order to keep her alive while under arrest.

And her hunger strike continues still…

The following documentary by IBN talks about her life and the politics around her.

The sad thing it is 15 years now. Will the Indian government answer her? This is the land of Mahatma Gandhi who remarkably contributed towards the Indian Freedom via non-violence! Will the government consider her request? What is their answer to her?

You can buy her book Fragrance of Peace here at Amazon

Courtesy & Credits : IBM via Youtube, Wikipedia and Sakthivel

A girl who fights for the Society, but concerned about her path!

Nandhini AnandhanNandhini Anandhan, a young girl who cares for the society on various facets and fighting for good causes especially she is an activist who fights against TASMAC the liquor shop monopoly run by the Tamilnadu Government across the state. One among many profiles on Facebook you can find with Che Guevara’s photo as a profile picture.

In the line of Anna Hazare, Nandhini a law pursuing student has led a few hunger strikes demanding the shutdown of TASMAC. She is concerned about the lives of people who get addicted to alcohol and families who lost their beloved ones because of this addiction to drink.

She has written a letter claimed to be sent to the Current CM of Tamilnadu J. Jayalalitha, the then CM M. Karunanidhi and also addressed it to the public cum social media. This letter is going viral on FB now. In that letter she has made valid points about how TASMAC is affecting the society and self-centered profit seeking politicians making money out of it. She demands an answer from the concerned and the justice for in this issue.

As per her Latest update, she is about to organize a hunger strike protest on 24th Dec 2013, in front of the CM’s house demanding the shutdown of TASMAC. Will our CM listen to this? If she does and put an end to TASMAC, she will be remembered as a good leader for a long time. A complete ban on alcohol was already a thought expressed by the Chief minister, but it faded away. What is going to the reaction of the CM? We need to watch! But one thing is sure, this way will not be entertained by her for sure and allow someone to protest in front of her house! Unlikely to happen in reality.

For a 20 year old youth this kind of good intentions towards the society is so good and a big Kudos to her for being so brave but perspective narrowed. However I could sense the decision and guidance went on the wrong side. While we have large crowd of youths who are habituated to drink, what is the use to fight the source of the supply. We are creating the demand instead.

The missing point is it is so easy for a person like Nandhini to make people get awareness and abstain from drinking addiction. A youngster like her if can join together in this cause we can make huge changes among people and their attitude towards drinking. People who back her on Facebook with comments like ” you are great” “we support you” “proud of you” need to think it’s her life she is risking for a good cause. It is our responsibility to let her know if she is taking a dangerous path. We need people like her for guiding the younger generation.

The hard truth is we cannot get justice by fighting the politicians by hunger strikes or street rallies. We need long term solutions, not a media hype or an attention seeking act will help! They are just short lived efforts. We are no more in the pre-independence era of good politicians, at least a few morality driven politicians to value us. So better we change our strategies unless we have the political power resistance and a huge economic background to help us from behind. Simply power and money rules here, we cannot stand against it in the current scenario like in cinemas. Feeling sad to see the efforts of the inspirational youth like Nandhini goes down with minimal impact, almost vain.

A Poster by Nandhini, demanding justice for kids who lost their fathers for Alcohol.

A Poster by Nandhini, demanding justice for kids who lost their fathers for Alcohol.

If one Nandhini can spread such inspiration, there are many youth like her out there, with spark struggling to find the right path. What if we can unite them and make our efforts so meaningful and strong! We can do it 100 times more effective. Education is Everything, beyond schools and colleges there are various roles education can play. If we can realize this, we can bring a change!

– Words by Din


Image Courtesy : Facebook