A 70 year old man calls for a hunger strike till death gathers thousands of supporters in Delhi and a nation wide protest follows resulted in change of government as this caused backed by political forces for political gains. On the other hand a 28 year old lady started a hunger strike for injustices was arrested on charges of committing suicide and force fed through tubes. She is fighting for others through indefinite strike for 14 years now. She is Irom Chanu Sharmila regarded as 'Iron lady of Manipur' or Maingoubi ( "the fair one").
On 2nd November 2000, she began a hunger strike which is still ongoing. Her primary demand to the Indian government is the complete repeal of the AFSPA (Armed Forces (Special Powers ) Act 1958) which has been blamed for violence in Manipur and other parts of northeast India. This act is criticized for the inhumanity and dictatorship attached to it. Armed forces in order to control situation many times target innocent civilians. On pretext of this act soldiers rape women, hold mass massacre, allegedly detain civilians and so on. The people of Kashmir valley have similar demands for this act which also got unheard.
She maintained that she was protesting against a draconian law and her hunger strike would continue till its annulment. She advocated this cause also during her detention in hospital. She was released by the trial court on Wednesday ( 20th August 2014 ) after a trial judge found no evidence to support charges filed in 2000 by prosecutors in Manipur that she was trying to commit suicide by refusing food. If this is happening in independent India then how it is different from British rule where similar things happened with those on Satyagraha or hunger strikes for protests.
So many questions came in my mind when I think about this situation in northeastern India and Kashmir that why a law which is against democracy is enforced for so long ? Why the situation is still out of control? Is the power abuse by military in those areas creating more tension among the masses ? Why government changed but this law not repealed ? We may not find answer to these questions as our politics is excellent in hiding and manipulating the truth.
I salute this lady to stand and fight for the rights of others. My support is with her. I hope a day will come soon when she swallows down something from her throat. I also appeal both state and center government to look in to the matter with utter importance and find some solution to this as we are a democratic country and not a country ruled by military. We also have responsibility to spread awareness about her cause and not to neglect issues of northeast. Since PM Narender Modi showed her concern towards northeastern states during his election rallies I hope he would show some seriousness now also when he is in power and in the position to change.