(Free Press Release) When you think of a poet‘s life, it by and large presents a picture of an imaginary world and a seldom touching reality. But in some cases, you are compelled to think differently. “It‘s my bounden duty” were the words said by Irom Sharmila, a Manipuri poet when she touched her mother‘ feet and started the 11 year hunger strike towards the abolishment of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) by the Indian Government. The Malom Massacre that resulted in the killing of ten innocent civilians by the Assam Rifles, one of the Indian Paramilitary forces operating in the state touched her deeply. When the rest of India enjoyed the festivities of Diwali and Holi, she spent it in absolute desolation, away from family and friends, in her relentless struggle towards the eradication of the Act. To know more about this iron willed reformer watch Reportaaz at 10 am and 8:30 pm on Sunday, 6th November only on IBN-Lokmat.
Irom Sharmila Chanu, also known as the "Iron Lady of Manipur" or "Menghoubi" ("the fair one") started her struggle on November 2, 2000, in Malom, a town in the Imphal Valley of Manipur towards putting an end to the Act that allows the army to use force, arrest or shoot anyone on the mere suspicion that someone has committed or was about to commit a cognizable offence. The Act further prohibits any legal or judicial proceedings against army personnel without the sanction of the Central Government. To make her struggle more effective she chose to stay away from family, friends and supporters with the hope of making even a small part of the world a better place to live again. The struggle exemplifies the fact that human spirit is over and above the mighty power of the Indian State.
In addition to a lifetime achievement award in the presence of Law Minister Sri V Moilly, she has been endowed with the first Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize, the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, Sarva Gunah Sampannah Award for Peace and Harmony and the 12th Signature Women of Substance award (Assam). She was also nominated to the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize by a Guwahati-based woman's organization, the North East Network.
Know more about this extraordinary reformer who has been named as “the world's longest hunger striker” only on Reportaaz at 10 am and 8:30 pm on Sunday, 6th November on IBN-Lokmat