From Gandhi to Sharmila

March 5, 2010 at 12:42 am 9 comments

Irom Sharmila is a human rights activist who went on hunger strike to protest the ongoing militarization of her home state of Manipur in Northeast India.

It started in November 2000 after she witnessed the massacre of 10 innocent civilians by government security forces in Malom, a small village on the outskirts of the capital of Imphal.

She has since campaigned for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) promulgated in the state to curb the insurgency. As the law provides the security forces unlimited powers and legal immunity for their actions, it has led to human rights abuses on the people of Manipur.

For the past 10 years, Sharmila has refused to eat on her own and remained steadfast to the fulfillment of her goal. She has been repeatedly arrested, released, and re-arrested on charges of attempting to commit suicide. Government authorities has kept her alive by confining her to the hospital where she’s force-fed through a nasal tube.

It can be said that a secessionist movement is alive and well in the state of Manipur and that the rebels are alleged to have perpetrated the same abuses that the special forces are accused of. The special forces, however, should realize that they are held to a higher standard since they represent the government. If repealing AFSPA can help keep the special forces in line, then it should be done immediately. It has been proven counterproductive, anyway, tending to promote the insurgency rather than discourage it.

Under the auspices of the Just Peace Foundation, a campaign was launched this year to bring about awareness to Sharmila’s cause. It’s called From Gandhi to Sharmila. It was launched on the 62nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi last January 30 and culminates on her birthday on March 14, By then, she will be 38 years old. There’s no doubt what she’d want on her birthday. Will the powers-that-be finally grant her wish?

For more information on Sharmila’s struggle, please click on the above picture.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. AC  |  March 8, 2010 at 5:00 am


    Is this in relation to the Women’s Month/Day Celeb? This post, I meant. Sakto kase. 🙂

    • 2. plaridel  |  March 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm


      i just thought of writing something about her as her birthday is coming up. she lives in northeast india where ordinary citizens are caught in the crossfire between government forces and rebel groups wanting to establish an independent state. she has been appealing for the lifting of the armed forces special powers act (afspa) as it has brought more harm than good. afspa is equivalent to the undeclared martial law in mindanao where our army and its hired militia are free to operate with impunity answering to no one under the blessings of president arroyo.

      as an act of political protest, sharmila has gone on hunger strike for the past 10 years. she’s willing to die for her cause, but state officials will not allow her. they keep her alive by force-feeding using a tube inserted through her nose. although physically weak, she remains strong and determined to continue the fight until the end. what an extraordinary woman.

      • 3. AC  |  March 9, 2010 at 8:01 am

        Yes, she is. 🙂

  • 4. Ruchi  |  March 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Thank you for your endless support to the cause.

    I have some good news for you. Irom Sharmila has been released and resumed her fast.

    Read the complete news here,

    • 5. plaridel  |  March 8, 2010 at 10:13 pm


      she’ll probably be arrested again. 😦

  • 6. Ruchi  |  March 12, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Yup, She got arrested within 14 hours of release and is back on drip feeding. 😦

    Tomorrow is the final day of the rally/campaign which has now reached the capital city.


    • 7. plaridel  |  March 12, 2010 at 11:31 am


      that’s sad. how much longer does she have to suffer?

  • 8. iPhone for free  |  December 2, 2010 at 2:33 am

    lol a number of the opinions readers submit are such stoner remarks, from time to time i contemplate if they really read the post and reports before leaving a comment or whether they simply just read the title of the blog post and pen the very first thought that pops into their heads. in any event, it’s nice to look over smart commentary occasionally compared to the exact same, classic opinion vomit which i more often than not observe on the internet so long


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