Akhil Gogoi and Anna Hazare, will you dare to fast with Irom Sharmila

Posted on
  • Friday, August 19, 2011

  • In fact seeing Irom Sharmila’s case, we people of North East India now have the right to question if India gained its independence because of suicide attempts by Gandhi and his followers by not eating or drinking.

    Priyankan Goswami

    It was the 6th of November 2000, the third day of fast-to-death by a young woman with unmatched inner strength, whom now we call as the Iron Lady of Manipur, Irom Sharmila. She was fasting against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which had provided the Indian Army all the power in the world to kill and rape civilians of North East India. The reason why she started the fast on 4th of November was to protest against the Indian Army brutally killing ten innocent civilians at a bus stop in Malom, a town in Imphal valley, on November 1st, 2000. The killings by the Indian Army had included a 62 year old woman and a youth, a former national Child Bravery Award winner. Instead of paying any respect to Sharmila’s democratic and peaceful protest against a barbaric act, instead of even trying to listen to what she wanted to speak about, the state forces of the great (!) Indian democracy arrested her charging her of suicide attempt.

    Irom Sharmila’s peaceful non-violent means of protest, the hunger strike idolized by the Gandhis and the Nehrus whom India still claims to follow, was labeled as “attempt to suicide” on her third day of protest. With her courage and patience, Irom Sharmila continued to hunger strike and but was arrested several times throughout the decade, each time with the same charge of suicide attempt. In fact seeing Irom Sharmila’s case, we people of North East India now have the right to question if India gained its independence because of suicide attempts by Gandhi and his followers by not eating or drinking.

    Few days back, a 73 years old Anna Hazare decided stage a hunger strike to implement a bill that might help bring down corruption. On his third day, he was contacted by the Prime Minister’s office, accolades flowed into him from all section of media and public and the Government agreed to his demands. This time the State forces did not consider him to be staging a suicide attempt. Instead, he was showered with praises by the Government as well as opposition. Though there is no denying the fact the Anna Hazare deserves credit for his strong stand against corruption, the way he succeeded in just three days has understandably astonished the people of North East India because of the paradigm shift of policy of Indian Government in handling the two hunger strikes.

    The pain that Iron Sharmila has gone through in the last decade, without food and water, with a food pipe forced into her nose by the Government of India only to keep her alive, is unbelievable. She is undergoing this pain with so much courage and patience only for the people of North East India and if India indeed believes that the people of this region are its own citizens, India must accept that she is fighting for none else but for the people of India against a draconian rule which violates all norms of human rights. Time and again the people of this region has felt and complained that they live under colonial rule of the Indian state machine and the fact that India continues to pay no importance to her only shows how true the anguish of the people of North East India is.

    As pointed out by eminent writer Sanjoy Hazarika, who recently called for Anna Hazare to fast for Irom Sharmila, Irom Sharmila has challenged the system of Indian State Machine while Anna Hazare has only stood against people who works in that system. This is one of the reasons why her justice is long overdue now. The other reason of course is that India does not want to bow down to someone who has challenged the Indian Armed forces, especially if that someone is from a region where Indian Army has created most trouble as well as faced most trouble in the decade long armed rebellions since the first decade of India’s Independence.

    However the reason why the above is written is not to just compare Irom Sharmila from Anna or to blame the Indian Government again and again, while we sit and enjoy at our homes. The reason is to question a recent controversy in Guwahati whether the authorities should permit the public rally against corruption, in which Anna Hazare is set to take part in the Judges field. Guwahati Town Club, led by veteran ex-ULFA Munin Nabish is strictly against letting the newly laid out sports field to be used for a public gathering as it will destroy not only the sports field but also require huge efforts to bring back the field to a condition favorable for sports. The Judges field, after being used only for political reasons for decades was recently given the new look and conditions for hosting several sports and Guwahati Town Club has been taking care of it quite well so far. Even it had denied All Assam Student’s Union from organising cultural function during the Bihu days, in the sportsground.

    To read more click on http://www.timesofassam.com/headlines/akhil-gogoi-and-anna-hazare-will-you-dare-to-fast-with-irom-sharmila/
    Next previous
    Copyright (c) 2011दखलंदाज़ी
    दखलंदाज़ी जारी रहे..!