Published: 14th March 2021
#ThrowBackToday: Iron lady of Manipur Irom Sharmila was born 49 years ago today
In today's #TBT, we remind you about the war Irom Sharmila waged against AFSPA by fasting for 16 long years. It was a gruelling time for her, but her activism kept her going, onwards and upwards
With the Assam elections right around the corner, the state government deemed it fit to extend AFSPA [Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act] in the state for another six months. It's the same act that gives the army and other paramilitary forces unprecedented power to conduct raids or arrest anyone and it's the same act that Iron lady of Manipur Irom Chanu Sharmila, who was born on March 14, 1972 has been protesting all her life. So much so that she fasted for 16 long years to repeal AFSPA. She ended her fast in 2016, with a drop of honey. But this did not mean that she had stopped fighting. Mengoubi (the fair one), as she is fondly known, declared that she is taking her battle to another field, that of elections.
All those years of being force-fed through a nasal tube were not easy for Irom Chanu Sharmila. But by doing this, she was hailed across the world and became a shining example of dissent and woman power. By the way, did you know that she is also a poet?
But in some good news, in the year 2019, Sharmila birthed twin daughters, Nix Shakhi and Autumn Tara, in Bengaluru, the city which she now calls home.