Tuesday, September 20, 2011

iron Lady....

Well, there is no need to mention that recent 12 days fast by Anna Hazare paralysed Indian political system by capturing the media attention and inspiring hundreds of thousands of people across the country.......But in India where hunger strike is known as a common tool of protest , not all of them capture the public support and media attention in quite the same way as Anna Hazare and Narendra Modi did in recent past, and Irom Sharmila is one of them whose lonely and nonviolent struggle against the disputed Armed Forces Special Power Act(AFSPA)  has endured in obscurity.

Irom Sharmila of Manipur has been on fast for more then 11 years, yes it is more then a decade now that she has not allowed even a drop of water to pass through her lips. The episode that prompted Sharmila to begin her fast took place on 2nd Nov. 2000 in Malom, a village near Imphal, where after an explosion along the main road, the Army men killed 10 people that include a teenager and a 62 year old lady. And in protest of brutal killing by army men, Sharmila started her hunger strike demanding repeal of AFSPA and was arrested shortly after beginning her fast on charges of attempted suicide. She was sent to a prison hospital in Imphal,  where began a daily routine of being force fed via a nasal drip and it is continuing till date. The soldiers claim that they had been fired upon but the judicial inquiry found no evidence of firing by villagers.

I think the only difference between Anna Hazare and Irom Sharmila is that Anna is able to galvanize public support through various means. Most importantly he could get a media glare to reach the mass at a rapid pace, where as Sharmila's battle is so silent and confined to Manipur only. But why can't the media do its part to get Irom Sharmila some attention. I mean you report if Big B sneezes or Katrina coughs....So please do your part for Irom Sharmila too.

But again what has Sharmila got to give to media if it backs her, a little amount of TRP in the North-Eastern region....Well who cares, when they are getting much more TRPs by showing Big B's visit to meet his charge sheeted friend and by covering Narendre Modi's high profile fast......

I personally feel that if there is any true Gandhian at present then it is Sharmila but our authorities as well as society is not even as responsive to her as the imperialist Britishers were to Mahatma Gandhi. I think its time that people of India join hands in convincing her to put an end to misery.....Her life is too precious to be wasted like this.

By writing this post here I am not saying that in response to Sharmila's hunger strike government should have withdrawn AFSPA from that region, in fact Govt. knows better about merits and demerits of the disputed act. But what I want to say here is that the Govt should not give an impression that it succumbs to the pressure of rabble rousers only. In my view it should listen to Irom Sharmila and pay her due regards and if rules of the game can be twisted for Anna Hazare, why should the Govt not heed the demand of a silent sufferer. We must note here that she is suffering in silence only and not blackmailing anyone....


  1. hii

    very relevant post

    this lady's will power is amazing but sadly no one takes her seriosly

  2. Hi Irfan. It is good to be reminded of Irom Sharmila in this day of 'rabble-rousers' as you put it! She is sometimes as forgotten as the North-east is! Although in the last few years, the government is making some efforts for development in the region, the main problem in the north-east states has been that the local governance has been so corrupt that there has been hardly any progress in the region. Hence militancy is strong especially in Manipur and Nagaland and the people suffer. Irom Sharmila is a hero for sure, but the chances of her ending her fast are not very bright! At least now, the media and the government are beginning to take her a little more seriously.

  3. TOTALLY 100% with you , I am sure you know my views .. SO very Tru. It is she who is really doing something ..

    It was the same when Baba ramdev was rushed to hospital after his fast in the SAME hospital another person DIED who was on hunger strike for the good of his community .. NO one batted a eyelid

    The govt did something cause people got involved with ANNA no one knows about this lady and as such people also go for the ones who are in the lime light and in media .. ANNA was in media so suddenly the whole country was walking with him .. makes you want to think twie now here ..


  4. well said...remember Swami Nigamananda Saraswati?....

    She is a strong lady...her courage s inspiring...

    wonder why people are talking about this Iron Lady now while hardly a blog or publication before Anna's fast...


  5. Can someone actually live this long without eating?

    I fail to understand how people have the energy to fight for a cause for this long. Anna is a clever man, he knows how to get things done!


  6. Honestly....Even I hadn't heard about her until the Anna issue. I liked her for the fact that she didn't blackmail the govt. My heart goes out to her. 11 years is a a very long time. She definitely deserves an answer.

    Good Post Irfan. Thank you bringing the topic up here. :)

  7. Apparently, Iram Sharmila has been too sharmeeli to become iron lady - by clinging onto her silent mode.
    In fact, You have to shout loud to gather your fans around you and then become an effective voice.
    In my view, wrong approach on Sharmila's part has been inflicting much damage to her standpoint.

    She failed to get empowered by the available street power.

    Very last line of your post tells it all.
    Element of blackmailing does wonders when it comes to raise voice.
    Silently you can only do ground work but in actuality when you speak you have to be loud enough to mean business.
    One must be "result oriented," otherwise it's a mere failure.
    Better! stay away from the desert where goal is hardly reachable.

    In the end, I must congratulate you for raising very good point here by writing another wonderful post IRFAN BHAAI.

  8. Yes. Media makes a lot of difference.

    Also Anna's cause is broader that cuts across region and education level whereas Sharmila's cause is confined.

    Another factor to be considered is that Indian army follows its own rule - they don't follow democracy. Army's job is to protect the country and they do make mistakes but their internal systems are pretty rigid and usually Army is very careful when they pick up arms against civilians.

  9. hmmmm....nice to see you after long break but you have broke the ice well...

    Its always shame that our government can't decide who to give their attetion...it is always when they see the winds turning they run their horses along...

    hmm...nice post...

    Applaude for Iron Lady !

  10. yes she is a true gandhian but hardly a handful realize this coz there is no media glitz behind her, no political parties, no big NGOs..its coz a plain simple women fights for a cause that really matters and v Indians blindfold ourselves to be manipulated by silly puppeteers!!

    Its high time that we really would do something...appreciate ur writing of this post!


  11. Irom sharmila was in the news, but not in the way Hazare or any other political strategic protesters were featured..Thanks for this article..

  12. I Agree..its all media hyped ..and Anna hazare got all the applaud ...he might be doin for india But what about these people ?? are they taken for granted...
    its sad!
    I think these hunger strikes are jus insane.
    I have never seen any processions here in US or hunger strikes or campaigns with loud speaker But still system works..
    To me it appears people who are loud are otherwise very shallow!

  13. yeah.. she is the true iron lady of the modern India:)

    Weakest LINK

  14. You've made very strong practical points here. I haven't been following India's politics these days but I remain united with your strong nationalism and love for your country.

    Whatever means and measures that could revitalize the spirit of your government is laudable. However, as I said in your previous posts on hunger strike and getting media attention, something else could be done. Yes, end that misery as it defeats the real purpose of getting India united.

    I pray for your country.

  15. Whoa! Anywhere I find the word hunger strike, I feel like to put something in my belly. :P

    Indeed she's an iron lady.

  16. Irom Sharmila - a name I heard of recently when my FB page was flooded with her photos. It was then I went and googled a bit to find out the reason for her fast. Yeah she is one strong lady who is fighting for a great cause but has never been in the visibility/lime light. I am with you , Govt should atleast think acting towards her pleas..

  17. It mostly shows that certain regions in the country are not getting the importance they should. It is a fact that media attention is needed to bring an issue to centerstage. Hats off to the courageous lady, and I hope that the government can be pushed to reconsider AFSPA.

  18. A simple question.
    What if she was fasting in Delhi?What if she wasn't from N-E?

  19. thank u Irfan for sharing something of such great importance today...our media tends to overlook certain important aspects...u always bring it out.

  20. Thanks a lot for stooping by my profile and dropping your valuable feedback... :)
    Hope to stay connected :)

  21. She is an unsung heroine...an iron lady. Very apt post.

  22. i think media is just like other businesses...they only look for their profits... they are not concerned about corruption or peace or anything...they just need headlines...and whoever can give them headlines, they will cover him/her....

  23. @AS : thank you, perhaps her supports lacks in managing the show and the poor lady simply lying in prison hospital for her cause.....

    @Amy and Arpit Mathew : hello Doctor....having spent few years in that region you must be having a better idea about the place and the people there...and yes, its good for her that now after Anna episode govt and the media have started giving her some attention at least.

  24. @Bikram : thank you for the valuable comments, in fact its not only NE-region that army has misused the power over the common public but at times they have done in other states also...therefore keeping that in view her cause must be treated as for all the Indians and not for Manipur only....lets wish and hope that she get her dues from the authorities sooner than later.

    @SUB : i just wish and pray that her struggle doesn't end like Swami's ended...

    yes there were least talks about her before Anna episode, may be because somehow her supporters failed to do much to make her cause public, but its good that at least she is getting some attention now.

    thank you so much for coming over here again.

  25. @Chintan : undoubtedly he is a clever man and people behind him managing the show know their job well....Thank you Chintan.

    @Juxtaposition : lets hope she get what she deserve sooner because life is not something to be wasted like this....Thank you.

    @Tariq Mian : its not about being sharmeeli..actually she is under police custody and authorities don't allow her to meet people or the press and unfortunately in the long run local people for whom she is going through this painful life started taking her for granted...so she failed to gather support of the mass and that helped our govt to keep her story under the carpet... it think she couldn't realize the fact that now a days you have to market properly even your hunger strikes, like some other people did here recently....
    btw thanks for the appreciations Tariq bhaai.

  26. A : yes i agree, that she could not get much attention of the people bcoz her cause is mainly related with a very small section of people that too in a remotely located area of the country....Thank you.

    Thinking : yes, our govt acts only when it is under pressure from a big section of its people and unfortunately in her case it was not so..... Thank you.

    subtlescribbler : off course, people of this country must act together too help her to live a normal life...thank you.

  27. Tomz : THank you so much Tom for stopping by here :)

    Harman : well, unfortunately in due course of time these hunger strikes have become a tool of blackmailing for some people here and your last sentence says all....thank you so much.

    Rachit : Thank you Rachit.....

  28. @melissa : The way you go through these posts about the politics and the social conditions of our country and give your valuable response is really appreciated...thank you so much for the wishes n prays...plz keep coming same way.

    @Prateek : Really man, how coould they keep their hunger in control for so long :)
    Thank you prateek.

    @Ashwini : yes, perhaps this is the high time that govt should come forward and do something to end her fast and make her life easy.... Thank you.

  29. @Rachna : i think looking at the history of the NE region, govt must act in a way so that people of that region get a feeling that they belong to India and Indians do think about them...Thank you.

    @Chowla Sir : i personally feel that things would have been little different and she might have got a better treatment...thank you Sir.

    @Alpana Jaiswal : lets hope some sense prevails among the media people and they start working with some professional ethics, BTW thanks for the visit and for the encouraging comments.

  30. @Madhulika : you have got a nice blog Madhulika...will be looking forward for your upcoming posts...thank you.

    @Alka Gurha : indeed an unsung heroine...thank you Alka ji :)

  31. @Muhammad Israr : but these people just forget that like any other professions media also have some professional ethics and they should take care of that, at least a bit....thank you.

  32. Hats off to the iron lady !
    An unsung heroine , no doubt.
    Unfortunately Media has no time for such real heroes and heroines !
    Irfan bhai, you also deserve to be congratulated for this post !

  33. @aarkay : perhaps our Indian meida is busy showing mirrors to others only, God knows when they are going to see their own face into it.....thnks a lot for those encouraging comments.

  34. We in NE know her for long and i have seen her twice or thrice in National News too but that was way before when satellite tv was still taking it's baby steps.Arunachal Pradesh's CM went missing and it took more than a day or two for media/central govt to realize/report/act .Need i say more.
    A big thanks to you from the bottom of my heart for highlighting this story

  35. In this sea of people called India, a silent protest is not the most wisest approach , she rather should have had a rally or a morcha or some kind of agitation that would have got her voice heard and her cause out there in public view...
    The cause is good, and so are her intentions, but I feel one needs to be a little clever in addition to good intentioned, else you are sacrificing your life for nothing...

  36. @Kavita : i can understand Kavita ji...at times our Govt and other agencies did act in a way with NE people and that of some other regions of India which should not have been like that.... thank you.

    @ADD : in fact being in prison she is not in a position to hold rallies or do some thing to make her voice heard by rest of the world...don't know why authorities don't allow her to meet the press or public like other use to do during their agitation.
    BTW thanks for stopping by...plz do come again.

  37. Can't imagine what a life she should have been going through her fast stretching more than a decade. Really a great hearten women to hold her breath till date daringly fighting for her request. Thanks for bring into the light her shadow and resonate her silent. Very proud of her!

  38. You are right. Government must pay attention to someone who is doing so much. Much like you, I am not saying that it should repeal or stick with AFSPA. But the voice of Irom must be heard with utmost contention.

    Plus there is the love story which she has- maybe one of the most romantic ones that we will come across in recent times. For sake of humanity too, one must listen to what she has been trying to say.

  39. ohhhh really? for ten years! thats a freaking long period of time! and em amazed no one noticed it? so what if she is not from Delhi? this is not the point here..merits or demerits of the above-mentioned Act is also not the issue here..but somebody would have talked about it na..she is an Indian Citizen tooo..at-least they could have discussed the matter and yes you are right about using the right means...and I really wish some body gives her some attention too..she is representing the victims of an Act passed by the Government..and she deserves to be heard too.,right?

  40. @Jeevan : just imagine someone being fed through a nasal tube twice or thrice a day for more than a decade now..... HORRIBLE....
    thanks for stopping by Jeevan.

    @sritatsat : even i read somewhere about that love story...just pray it gets a lovely ending INSHA ALLAH.... Thank you sritatsat, hope to see you more often now.

    @Mishi : yaa, she genuinely deserve much better treatment than what she has been getting since more than a decade...BTW nice to see you back Mishi, Thank you.

  41. thankyou irfanji for sharing this:)such an informative post.little sad that they never captured the public atention

  42. Someone had to write this, about this iron lady!
    Good one irfanji :)

  43. someone from North East of India...I knw hw much its neglected by govt & media at large.....

    I also had a similar post...visit my blog sometime...

  44. @Haritha : Thank you Haritha :)

    @Vijay Menon : but why only someone Vijay..??? why not some more people start talking about her...??? you must be remembering that blog world was filled with ANNA episode, i think she need to be mentioned that way or even more than that....

    thank you Vijay :)

  45. @Soumyadeep : hello soumya...
    yaa, i agree, at times govt and media do act wrongly with that region....

    I read your post and left my views there...BTW thanks for stopping by, hope to see you more often here now.

  46. this indeed is an issue that needs attention. i read about her in Femina & was moved by her story.its sad that a decade has passed & the cause isn't taken up by the state cabinet for discussion or consideration. her family has not celebrated any festival or any joyous occasion since the past so many years. its very sad

  47. @Sujatha : yaa, its very sad that most of the Indians don't even know about her sufferings...but the good thing is that now after ANNA episode people have at least started talking about her and her story is being featured in some of the magazines as you mentioned.....
    Thank you Sujatha.

  48. she is really an iron lady, so many days and without food? sharmila is an amazing woman. but she needs to be recognized all over for her honest effort to fight for humanity. media must play the required role to promote such cuases.

    it was nice that APNiBOLi did it's part.

  49. I had read about Sharmila recently and was really shocked to know how silently she has been protesting all this while... Hats off to such a strong lady...

  50. I am so glad that you wrote about this.. It is a sad fact but the media seems to decide for us which cause is more important!

  51. Literally she is an Iron Lady !!
    an inspiration or source of motivation for many of us.
    Its no exaggeration to call her a Legend !!

  52. Irfan,

    It is shocking to read this post as I did not know anything about Sharmila.. 2000 is so far behind.. it's a longggg lonnggg time to be on a fast.. and why is she doing this to herself??? So many yearss!! Such hardship!! :( :( :(

  53. yes, the worthy ones always go unnoted.....

  54. @Sancheeta Biswas : yes, media can do it and should do it.....thank you.

    @Tanishka : thanks for stopping by....

    @Meera Sundararajan : yaa, in a way media is doing that...perhaps their biased attitude towards happening is responsible for that....thank you.

  55. @Jyoti Mishra : i agrre with you..thank you.

    @punamjr : unfortunately its not you but most of us were unaware about her, in a way Anna episode has helped her that at least now people have started talking about her...just hope it is being heard by those sitting at the top.....thank you.

    @sneha christall : yaa, you are right....thank you.

  56. well in all honesty justice delayed is justice denied...as the government will also turn a deaf ear to someone whom they dont find worthy of vote bank...And there will be many more Sharmila's around but alas our media also work only where they get TRPs...

  57. Wonderful post about an in iron lady. Very nice and informative post.

  58. Thanks for blogging about Irom Sharmila. Completely agree with you. Like somebody else above pointed out, the news of the Arunachal Pradesh's CM going missing also took time to reach the media, shows our indifference towards some regions. But I also feel that media can get viewers interested in anything if they really want to. If people don't know how will they empathise?

  59. irfanji

    kahan gum ho gaye hain aap aajakal?


  60. thank you for telling me about sharmila. what an amazing woman.

  61. Searched bloggers from Patna on Indivine. Good blog.

  62. Irfanuddin,

    Read 3 posts now. I am also not Anna as I did not go for any of the gatherings. But that does not make me less committed to see corruption free India. This has to start from within by each of us. If we go and shout slogans or wave placards but pay the traffic cop to let us go after violation then I feel we are not true supporters for the cause. Your wish list is really so much in need. Not only this lady but there was another one who died unsung death in a government hospital after being force fed for almost a year as he was campaigning against mining along river Ganga. Media has own priorities, it seems. I too wrote about Media few days ago. As far as AFSPA goes, I may say that at times it is needed. If you are in hostile territory facing bullets from unknown directions, only then one would realise need for such law but at the same time negotiations process on political ways has to start simultaneously to remove this act as soon as possible.

    Take care

  63. Good that you have taken on this issue, with so many comments it has reached that many people and all those have passed by your blog.

    Media these days like you say are obsessed with their circulation. They only try to sensationalise issues. Like even with Irom, sadly a weekly reported about her personal affair than about her struggle. Thank you so much for the info.

  64. @Rolling Stone : very right...its all about vote n TRPs..thanks a lot.

    @Babli : Thank you.

    @indianhomemaker : yaa....now a days media does have its role to make any issue a big one...don't know when we will be matured enough to decide on our own and not as per the media....
    BTW thanks for the visit....

  65. @AS : :)

    @Ed Pilolla : thanks a lot.

    @Satya Prakash : hi..thanks for the visit...welcome here... BTW are u from Patna??

  66. @JACK : i understand ur concern about the law n security but all i say is there must be some initiative from the authorities to convince her so that she can be relieved from the pain....

    BTW thank you so much for giving so much of time and for ur enlighting comment, much appreciated Sir :)

    @Asha : i think the story of her personal affair in that weekly itself proves that media only shows/print that sells.....unfortunate....!!!

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