I am eager to Live

“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 goImageals 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.

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One thought on “I am eager to Live

  1. The Act would have been “useful” only if:
    Assam Rifle (AR) Jawans had not tortured Naga Boys in front of their mothers in 1987. Maine Devi and her child were not killed by a CRPF party. 15-year-old Sanamacha of Angtha Village was not tortured and killed by AR in 1998, 10 civilians were not killed in 2000, Thangjam Manorama was not raped and brutalized in 2004. A SC probe panel found on April 6, 2014, six encounter killings in Manipur fake. Villages are burnt, innocents humiliated. It won’t be a surprise to find many more un-reported cases of rape and murder.
    The onus of the act does not fall on the locals alone. Greater responsibility lies with the implementers as well. With Great power comes, great responsibility. Problem is not the act but its Mis-Use. Like it happened with TADA and POTA.
    An analysis by IDSA on the act says, “The forces operating in the state have to be honest, law abiding and must respect the rights of the people of the state. The commanders at all levels should follow the principle of “use of minimum force” required for effective action. They should brief their men to respect all womenfolk. In case any woman is to be arrested, then it should be done with the help of a lady police/ force personnel, who should also remain present during interrogation…. Any person, including the supervisory staff, found guilty of violating law should be severely dealt with. The law is not defective, but it is its implementation that has to be managed properly. The local people have to be convinced with proper planning and strategy.”

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