TODAY -

Unmatched Saga of Relentless Struggle - Irom Sharmila Chanu

Mandavi *

Paintings by Neogene ( a new generation of contemporary artists from Manipur) on the 'Spirit of Sharmila'
Paintings by Neogene ( a new generation of contemporary artists from Manipur) on the "Spirit of Sharmila" :: Paintings Picture courtesy of Just Peace Foundation



She is called the "Iron Lady of Manipur". A civil rights activist and a poet from Manipur, India, she's the one and only Irom Sharmila Chanu, who have been on a fast for over twelve years now. Her only plea to the Indian government is to take away the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 which empowers the military to shoot down just anyone on mere suspicion.

She has been consistently and incessantly continuing the fast but in vein. But, what has motivated and continues to motivate her to consider this harsh tone? A thought of the Malom Massacre...

On that fatal Thursday, November 2, 2000, ten ordinary people were shot and wiped out through the eighth Assam Rifles while they were waiting for the bus at a bus-stand in Malom, an urban area within the Imphal town of Manipur. The following day, the local dailies carried the atrocious and cruel pictures from their dead physiques, together with a 62-years old lady, Leisangbam Ibetombi, and 18-years old Sinam Chandramani, a 1988 National Child Bravery Award champion. In the news, all of them including the 62 year old lady and the Bravery Award winner were declared to be "militants". This incident is referred to as the "Malom Massacre".

Enraged by these increased atrocities from the military, 28-years-old Sharmila, who would observe fast every Thursday since childhood, decided to dedicate the fast to draw attention of the Government towards these atrocities. But little did she know that, her fast would continue for 12 years. She is neither taking water nor food. On November 4, 2000 she visited the spot where the incident had occured and stated her utmost step - to fast-unto-dying till AFSPA is taken away.

Sharmila stated, "I had been traumatised by the sight. There is no way to stop the further intrusion by the military... It (fast) is the best way, it is a spiritual fight... My fast is with respect to the folks of Manipur. This isn't an individual fight, it's symbolic. It's an indication of truth, peace and love."

Around the third day of her fast, she was arrested and charged with 'attempt to commit suicide', under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. The Government decided to keep her on a nasal feeding of a semi liquid substance, just to keep her alive while keeping her under house-arrest. Every year, she is re-arrested.

Born on March 14, 1972, since childhood Sharmila was quite incomparable from other women in her own locality. She was modest, a basic girl having a couple of selected buddies. She didn't like dressing, she neither used any cosmetics nor any jewellery. She was habitual of reading Bhagwad Gita and practised yoga and began learning naturopathy and stenography.

A lady like Sharmila is unequalled; she's actively fighting for her region, for her people without getting her very own individual interests. Her fast is possibly, the longest hunger-strike ever. She's not been eating or drinking, even a droplet of water since November, 2000. She's been kept alive through the painful procedure of nasal feeding. She's now living in an exceedingly pitiable condition. She doesn't comb her hair, does not check herself in the mirror and cleans her teeth with a dry cotton. She is internally week, her menstrual cycles have stopped. Whenever she will get a chance, she tries to do away with the nasal tube.

According to a report of BBC on her health stated, "Doctors are saying that her fasting has got an immediate effect on normal functions of her body - her bones have grown to be brittle and some medical disorder are worsening her body too."

She's a lady, a beacon of hope and peace, a genuine fighter who has fought against this fight, for so long and all alone, with no media hype. While Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare fasted for any couple of days and the whole nation was with them(a huge credit goes to the media), Sharmila's fight is a lonely one. Here it is! Sharmila, you undoubtedly are a legend and has proven the fighting spirit of humankind.



"In a recent move of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC), a nationwide protest to favor Irom Sharmila, is observing 12 Article series to reflect 12 years of suppression of Irom Sharmila's fast.

Irom Sharmila is completing her 12 years of fast on 5th November. To highlight the plight, SSSC invites articles from public and selected articles will get published on its website www.savesharmila.org . In this series one article per day will be published on its website and will be dedicated to one year fast of Irom

This is the seventh article of this series.".



* Mandavi wrote this article which was passed on to e-pao.net through Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC), as part of a 12 Article series to reflect 12 years of suppression of Irom Sharmila's fast
Mandavi is from Chandigarh. She is an entrepreneur and currently running an Event Company. E-mail: mandavi(dot)707(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on November 01 2012 .



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Purul, Senapati :: 360 View Panorama
  • Play: 'It's a Myth' :: Gallery
  • Floral tributes to PLA 'martyrs' #3:: Gallery
  • Relevance of ecotourism in the real world
  • World Malaria Day: End Malaria for good
  • The Bath :: Poem
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Peeking through the FA pact
  • Leaking of the secret deal, another trick?
  • Tributes paid on Khongjom Day #1:: Gallery
  • Arm-Wrestling Championship :: Gallery
  • Dilimpou, Thaireiliu, Doukhothang :: eMing
  • Curses come home to roost
  • Childhood hearing loss/deafness
  • Does India trade deficit with China matter
  • Silent protest against minors gang rape
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • B'pur citizens launch forum for development
  • Yes sir, yes sir syndrome
  • Cheiraoba Thabal @Singjamei:: Gallery
  • TBSFA Veteran Football :: Gallery
  • Saga of Herbert School Hostel
  • Disable for the disable person
  • Manipur : Charting the way forward
  • Uneasy Coexistence :: Poem
  • Assam Rifles Ex-Servicemen Rally
  • Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied
  • Public Relations(PR) Day celebrations
  • Forest authority denies killing tiger
  • Education Minister needs to check
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Ethoi Oinam #1 (Actress) :: eRang
  • Angkor Wat , Cambodia #5 :: Gallery
  • Read all about Khongjom Day : History
  • Where Do Manipuris Come From ?
  • Food & beverage of Zeliangrong #2
  • WW2 Bridge remain unnoticed by govt
  • I m not born to fulfill parent's dreams
  • 2nd Northeast Fiesta at Jalandhar
  • Filmmaker urged to make socially relevant
  • Bat for more people to people contact
  • Changing trend of journalism
  • Nura Pakhang : Music video
  • Cultural program @Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • puNsi (Punsi) :: Seireng
  • Faith, forgiveness & future
  • Rise of new hopes with BJP in Manipur
  • What is your keyword ?
  • Thanksgiving Function: NE people in Delhi
  • Condemns rape of two school children
  • Govt decision to make hindi compulsory
  • Expectations from the BJP led Govt
  • 6th Kangleipak Kang Trophy #2:: Gallery
  • Floral tributes to PLA 'martyrs' #2:: Gallery
  • Victor Thoudam's It's A Myth :: Synopsis
  • The end of history & Manipur!
  • From Imphal with love
  • License to kill in Manipur
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Central Working Committee of TSA
  • Lajong NE Diaries cross 1 Million Views
  • Nagas in Cambodia
  • Addressing VIP culture : No to beacon lights
  • SC judgment to extra-judicial killings
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba @Pune :: Gallery
  • 8th MU Annual Sports Meet #1 :: Gallery
  • Career options after 10 + 2
  • Computerization of land records in Manipur
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba organized at Pune
  • Sattriya Dance: Assam's classical dance
  • Phynyx in Classic Nostalgia at Imphal
  • Beginning of the end of Cong ?
  • Please be serious on road accident
  • Thabal Chongba @Kolkata :: Gallery
  • CM N Biren visit to Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • National Mathematics Day :: Gallery
  • What Ails India's North East? :: Review
  • Commercialization of transgender event
  • Urges Manipur Govt to desist Mapithel dam
  • Mathematics Day at Oriental College
  • Ministers inspect Chandranadi Riverbanks
  • DG IIMC & ADG IIS visit Manipur
  • Manipur duo net London goal
  • Battle of Khongjom : 2 dates for 1 battle
  • Action appreciative, fishy in replacement
  • Food & beverage of Zeliangrong #1
  • Governor Trophy Junior Tennis #2 :: Gallery
  • 7th UGC ROP must be Empowering ...
  • Imphal Talkies in my town
  • A new perspective of urban planning
  • The morning dew :: Poem
  • Assam Rifles Ex-servicemen Rally
  • Challenges of heading a coalition Govt
  • Cheirao-chingkaba :: Gallery
  • Tangkhul Dance @Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • 1st People's Day @Jiri :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Some Canadian Ideas For School Education
  • Manipuri is a classical language
  • NEROCA FC :: Group Photo
  • Dont make it another Publicity stunt
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa -Apr 14 :: Gallery
  • Floral tributes to PLA 'martyrs' #1:: Gallery
  • CM Reception @Khwairamband :: Gallery
  • Wanted: Manipur River Protection Force
  • BSNL broadband condition in Tamenglong
  • April Showers - Sketches :: Poem
  • Websites launches on Digital Manipur
  • MHRD-University Ranking: Status of MU
  • Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Assam met CM
  • Against notice served to Dr. Kamei @JNIMS
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #4 : Ooba
  • 'Manipur Govinda' (Play) #2 :: Gallery
  • Superstition, oath & ordeal of Koren
  • Appointment of IAS Officer as JNIMS Director
  • A toffee for the coin
  • DM : Inspiration Episode 12
  • Some points for the CM to digest
  • Govt should not let free public money
  • Reaching out to the hill people
  • CM N Biren visit to Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Shumang Leela Day :: Gallery
  • Yaikhomba Mutum selected at Cambridge
  • Ethnic Relations: Discourse of NE : Seminar
  • Public Behavior; Hard Nut for New Rulers
  • Will the Lotus really bloom In Manipur?
  • Story of rain & drain in Imphal city
  • Manipur State Policy for Children 2017
  • Centre against SC verdict lifting AFSPA
  • Dubai seeks access to airports in NE
  • Demand for Inner Line Permit : Articles
  • Mending the cracks
  • Earthern Pottery- Thongjao #1 :: Gallery
  • Trip to Kamjong district :: Gallery
  • Hanubi & Hanuba : Downloadable Folktale
  • The Slumbering Beauty :: Poem
  • Career planning after Class X #2
  • CCMT: MTech Admission at NIT Manipur
  • CM inaugurates Tourist Resort at Hungpung
  • Thousands welcomed CM in Ukhrul
  • No re-examination stand of COHSEM
  • Media can still be a tool.. CCpur issue
  • Thoubal Keithel #2 :: Gallery
  • Governor Trophy Junior Tennis #1 :: Gallery
  • Cheirao-chingkaba [Mar 29] #3 :: Gallery
  • Importance Of School Education In Manipur
  • Question leak: Where system goes wrong
  • Walk-in for JRF post @ Mizoram University
  • BNHS announces third common bird count
  • Setting aside a day for the public
  • Unfair, why over 2 lakhs voters are deprived
  • Thabal Chongba @Mysore :: Gallery
  • Nungshiba Khongel @Sylhet :: Gallery
  • Dance movement Takao Kawaguchi's way
  • The man who bridges Manipuri Meiteis...
  • Convention & Nungshiba Khongel at Sylhet
  • A wakeup call by Ima Chenghi
  • Atrocities against ethnic minorities in B'desh
  • Question leak in Class XII exam
  • Shuri Kaso Phanat (Garlic Fest) :: Gallery
  • Education system & emotional integrity
  • Cheiraoba as practiced by Meitei Hindus
  • Religion As A Marker Of Caste System
  • Shaheed Memorial Football :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports #6 (Mar 16) :: Gallery
  • Observation of World Health Day
  • Admission: 3 Months Tour Guide Training
  • Landslide @Sirarakhong, Ukhrul:: Gallery
  • Ministers @Sirarakhong landslide :: Gallery
  • Buddha: follow moderate way of life #3
  • Advanced Robotics Workshop by IKoSC
  • Web developer wanted @ Cobigent Tech
  • Mix Media Festival #4:: Gallery
  • Meitei Pokpi :: Radio e-pao
  • Stories of Suns: Shadows from Past
  • Demand for Inner Line Permit (ILP) :: Articles
  • Arambai Exhibition Show #1:: Gallery
  • Nongmai Kainou Chingsomba #2:: Gallery
  • Career prospect in Physics
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [Mar 29] #2:: Gallery
  • Last rites of Sunder Gopal :: Gallery
  • Oinam Doren wins 'Tangible Culture' in UK
  • Lukhrabi Macha : Funga Wari
  • Governor's Cup Women Polo Final :: Gallery
  • Heavy flooding Imphal #2:: Gallery
  • Tribal Literature & Performance :: Report
  • Manipur raiding Burma (1600 - 1850)
  • Cheirao-chingkaba [Mar 29] #2 :: Gallery
  • Miss Manipur Queen 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Trip to Tamu, Myanmar #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports #5 (Mar 16) :: Gallery
  • Cheirao-chingkaba [Mar 29] #1 :: Gallery
  • Chanu Creations (Textile) :: Gallery
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [Mar 29] #1:: Gallery
  • Hangmila Shaiza: First Woman MLA
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #1 :: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • Biju Ningombam (Photos) #3 :: eRang
  • Landscape of Manipur #5: Wallpaper
  • SPONSORED ADS