Irom Sharmila Chanu has been fasting for 11 years. Unlike Anna Hazare, who was cajoled by millions to end his fast, she enjoys no public support or media coverage. Her cause is almost unknown outside her state. She is seeking the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from her state, Manipur.
Irom has never had a Kiran Bedi to add melodrama to her agitation, but what she has had is the grit to try and persuade the government to repeal a law that empowers the security forces to arrest without a warrant, and shoot anyone at sight.
Irom took up a cause most Indians have no clue about. Her fight is not against corruption, which has become a popular bugbear, but for a life without fear.
Dubbed the Iron Lady of Manipur, Irom began her fast in 2000 after she witnessed the killing of 10 people by Assam Rifles jawans at a bus stop. Weighing just 37 kg, she has not eaten a single morsel for the last 10 years, as a result of which she is force-fed through her nose.
Irom hopes oneRead More »from Irom: A fighter greater than Anna