Irom Sharmila who went on hunger strike for Manipur, survived on liquid diet given through Ryles tube has been failed by her own people. When she must have taken the decision to end the strike little would she have thought that she would not be welcomed even in her own home, by her own mother let alone the other people of Manipur who till yesterday were her supporters.
I had wrongly assumed that there would be grand reception since the Iron lady will end the excruciating task that she had continued for 16 yrs with such perseverance, that people would support her decision to achieve the goal in more fruitful and logical way. In the 16 years that she didn’t eat did the conditions related to AFSPA change in Manipur?, did government repeal ASFPA? No. This was a decision which should have been taken years ago and should have been something that Manipuris should have suggested themselves. Instead they closed the doors on her when she has now decided to take the other path to achieve her goal.
It makes me think if people who are objecting to Irom’s decision, would ever take upon themselves to do the same what Irom has been doing for these many years for Manipur if they feel that hunger strike was the best way. Maybe they should have gone ahead and said ‘Sharmila, it has been too long for you, pass on the baton to us now’. This never happened. After some days now we have seen such development though again it is a woman. I personally do not believe that hunger strike is a good way especially looking at Irom’s strike’s results but still one has to notice that if somebody came forward it is a woman.
Another question that arises – Would the same treatment be vetted if the protagonist in this whole situation was not Irom but a man. It feels like a woman is celebrated and respected mostly when she is keeping all her personal desires aside and working towards what matters to others. As soon as she starts to walk in a direction for personal fulfilment people term her ‘selfish’. Mind you, still Irom is dedicated to the cause and wants to lead Manipur as a CM. If it was a guy, would people object of him marrying? I guess not.