Irom’s valiant battle continues…………


Irom Sharmila, the iron lady of Manipur has been on fast for 12 years for her motherland. Still she continues her fight with sheer determination for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Manipur .This woman bears the torch light, assuring the world to fight for their freedom and rights. The excerpts from the interview with Irom Sharmila are given below.


Why did you take up this struggle?

For the security of my motherland. I will continue the fast unless the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 is repealed.

Could you tell about the incident which prompted you to take this decision?

While I was returning from a meeting to set forth a peace rally, I came to know about the Malom incident. I was dumbstruck seeing the photos of those killed in the incident. Shaken to the core by this injustice, I decided to go on a hunger strike in protest. I had no other option to end the sufferings to innocent people caused by the armed forces . After this incident I was sure that peace rallies would not make much change in the situation.  I felt that I have to do something so that such situations do not repeat.

Why did you choose this specific path…to fast until death?

I had only this option left before me. Fasting has a spiritual background too.


Won’t it affect your health?

I don’t take it seriously ….At some point of life we have to face death.

Do you believe that this is a right path? Don’t you think that it is a kind of physical torture?

This is not a torture or punishment…I think this is my bounden duty.

What was your family’s response to your decision?

My mother knew about my decision. Even though she doesn’t have much education, she courageously gave me the permission to go on with my mission.

When did you see your mother for the last time?

Before the fast began…we have decided that we won’t see each other unless I accomplish my aim.

 It must be very hard for both of you…

No, it wasn’t that hard … (remained silent for some minutes)..How could I explain that …We are entrusted with some duties when we come to earth... And we come here alone.

How long would you continue this struggle with life?

I do not know. But I have faith. My stand is for the sake of truth and I strongly believe that truth will prevail someday .God gives me the courage to withstand all hurdles. That is why I am still living with this artificial tube.

Government says that by fasting till death you are attempting to suicide? Attempt to suicide is a crime, right?

Although they may think so at any circumstances I’m not willing to commit suicide. My struggle has an aim and I feel it is important to do so as I have no other way to express my discontent against the AFSP act.

How are you spending your time while in custody?

I do yoga for some time. It helps to keep my mind and body healthy. Circumstances make us adjust to certain things. Though this (Indicates the tube going into her nose) is unusual, I have become used to it now.



Do you miss something in this life?

Yes, people. I cannot see them nor mingle with them. I am in judicial custody therefore people cannot meet me without prior permission. Therefore I miss the opportunity to communicate with people.

If you have one wish that you could ask, what would it be?

Wish? The right to take decisions oneself.

Do you feel that the AFSP Act will be repealed? Will your struggle taste the fruit of victory?

I have realized many times that my struggle is a tough one. Still I stuck with my decision with patience. The day of happiness will come into my life; I am waiting for that day with patience. (The time allotted for the interview was over; the interviewer and the crew were preparing to leave, when Sharmila stopped them.) Will you help me? I would like to read about the life-history of Nelson Mandela. Can you send me a book about him? I have no idea about his life. It is full of restrictions here, therefore send it to the security ward or else I may not receive it.

(Article translated from Mathrubhumi website)




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