“I love my life, I never intended to commit suicide…I want to sense all the enjoyments of the world. I have every kind of feeling. I want to bear kids. I am just a simple human being, I want to enjoy life and romance.”
These are the words of Irom Sharmila, the Manipur Civil Right activist, who was produced in Patiala Courts, Delhi yesterday on the charge of attempting to commit suicide during her 2006 fast unto death at Jantar Mantar.
Sharmila, the Iron lady of Manipur, has been on a hunger strike for 14 years now. The strike, believed to be world’s longest hunger strike, is against AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act). The Act, she says, is against our right to life granted by the Constitution. She was 28, when she began the fast, the age when many of us are planning our future goals and preparing for marital-bliss. Ten civilians were shot dead while waiting at a bus stop. Sharmila began the fast in protest, taking no food and water. Her health deteriorated and she was forced nasogastric intubation to keep her alive while under arrest.
“I am eager to live, but will settle down in life only when AFSPA is scrapped,” said Sharmila.