I AM HONOURED!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Iron Lady

If this year, 2011 is to be dedicated to anything then nothing can be better than to dedicate it as 'Year of Hunger Strikes'. The nation has witnessed a quite a few remarkable and dramatized fasts which have been made more popular by the acts of our able and apt government at the center. Be it Anna Hazare for LokPal Bill, Baba Ramdev to bring back Black Money or Narendra Modi's Sadbhavna fast (though there is a big doubt how much Sadbhavna this fast could generate), the fasts have been popular ones and all these have been possible because of active support from the political parties from front or behind the doors, support of media at large and the common people of the nation.

But there is one fast that didn't get counted here and very few people ever consider to know about it is the hunger strike of 'Irom Sharmila Chanu', a civil rights activist who has been fasting for more than 10 years in demand of the repeal of 'Armed Forces Special Powers Act' (AFSPA), a draconian act that gives such powers to the Armed Forces that they can detain any person they wish, on their suspicion without any valid proof or documents. She started her fast after Assam Rifles brutally killed 10 people in the streets of Imphal, capital of Manipur. Then there was the incident of the death of Manorama, who was raped by the Armed Forces in the most inhumane act after being detained by them. These led to women of Manipur coming to the streets naked and asking Security Personnel to rape them.

So, why this fast is not making much headlines or the required attention in the print or electronic media?
Why political parties are not coming out in active support of the cause?

The answers are hard to find but one of the reasons is that this fast is not happening in one of the most happening places of Delhi (Jantar Mantar, Ramlila Maidan, India Gate, etc.) but at a place in the North east of India which hardly people know about or care. I won't be surprised to find people saying that they are hearing about Imphal or even Manipur for the first time and I am not saying this with my some kind of preassumption but I have experienced this. So, to those people it doesn't matter much if there is some one fasting for that long period (world's longest fast ever). And our media is also good at selecting those topics that sells among people, ultimately its all about money. So why to show this when people are not willing to see this.

And for political parties, they only go where the mass follows. Perhaps, Manipur being a small state of India with a very low population doesn't stand much in terms of electoral gains. So, why to take so much of pain, they are better of at their luxury bungalows and cars. Political parties and their leaders are pseudo activists, they water a plant only after it starts to fruit. They supported Anna Hazare because people were supporting him.

So, what Sharmila can do? Basically she can't do much because her acts and whatever she says being in Manipur, all going into the deaf ears of the government. She is at the mercy of the ones in power. If she can assimilate support that Anna or Ramdev managed to get then only something can be achieved but that is most unlikely from the present circumstances because the AFSPA concerns only a few lakh people of Manipur and from that to mobilise such a support is very difficult. We can only wait for the good sense to prevail on the government when they will realise the atrocities committed because of the Act.

8 COMMENTS:

Ashwini said...

True. I myself did not know about Irom Sharmila until recently. I read about her and I was so touched to see someone fasting for so many years.

Anna Hazare's fast gained a lot of momentum through the Media.

The so called Media Barons who pride themselves by flashing the most mundane breaking news, can anytime dedicate some of their time On-air to this Lady. God save her.

Saru Singhal said...

Very few people know about her. I wish people come to know about her sacrifice and struggle. Great post!

Chintan said...

Irfanuddin covered this topic too. I think this is brilliantly articulated. Lot better than your previous ones. Very happy.

Sujatha Sathya said...

i have been reading about Iron Sharmila in Femina & The Week. you have written about the issue really well. good post

SUB said...

one thing you have to agree, the common people came to know and talk of the Iron lady only because of Anna's fast...
I would not call Ramev or Modi's fast as success...but Anna's one definitely was...reason: it stroked cord with the sentiment of common people...that's where Iron lady's fast could not succeed...people in general are selfish and not moral...

great post :)

Cheers!
SUB

IRFANUDDIN said...

hi soumyadeep...

i agree that She could not get that much coverage and importance bcoz of geographical conditions of her place and the cause of her fast(AFSPA, disputed act) which incidentally does not effect most of the Indians, buttttt i am not able to understand that why people of that area are not that much vocal with this issue as they should have been...???

i agree with SUB here that all of us are talking about Irom only bcoz of ANNA's episode..and in a way we should be thankful to him...and now its our responsibility to make this voice louder and people like you from that region can lead the show.....

BTW thank you so much for stopping by at my space..plz do come again.

Soumyadeep said...

@Ashwini: yes, the media should have dedicated some time to this cause..

@Saru: thanks for dropping by...and giving ur valuable comments...

@Chintan: thanks and u hav alwaz been helping me...

@SUB: though Modi's and Ramdev's fast may nt be that success but they got lot of media attention...

@Sujatha: thanks a lot

@Irfan: thanks a lot....
I will definitley be at ur space again...

sriramnivas said...

'Where there's a will, there is a way' is the saying.
Fortunately, Irom Sharmila has the character and will power to take on the autocratic government. But unfortunately, she didn't get the support which she actually deserves. I think, the most famous saying has been proved wrong in the land of ahimsa....Alas!!! it's a real shame to India. Something has to be done to put an end to this shameful act.
From: sriramnivas.wordpress.com

Post a Comment

If this post could hit a chord in your thought process, then please share your thoughts and views...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...