Irom Sharmila is free. But, for how long?

Sharmila said she would continue with her hunger strike.

sanskrita

Sanskrita Bharadwaj | August 20, 2014



Manipur activist Irom Chanu Sharmila has led a long battle against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives sweeping powers to the army. But what has she truly achieved?

On August 20, a Manipur court ordered her release (from the Imphal hospital where she was being force fed for years), on the ground that her “attempt to commit suicide”, a criminal offence under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), “is not strongly established”.

Will the court then be able to make her eat this time? Apparently, no. Soon after the court order, a teary-eyed Sharmila said she was crying because she was emotional but her stand remained the same and that she would continue with her hunger strike.

What next?

The activist, force-fed with a tube in her nose for 13 years and nine months now, would most likely be arrested again, and continued to be force fed.

Incidentally, she is now fighting against two draconian laws. Although, ‘attempt to suicide’ was decriminalised in England in 1961, India has clung to the colonial legacy.

Sharmila began her fast after 10 civilians were shot dead by Assam Rifles personnel in insurgency-hit Manipur’s capital Imphal. This, however, is not the first time she has been released. She has been picked up on the same charge again and again. What remains to be seen is how the court would try to implement its order. Or, will it still be an exercise in routine.

Where does this leave her? Does she continue her battle and remain the iconic figure that social media and the innumerable stories written about her portray her as, or should she start eating?

Comments

 

Other News

NTPC adds highest ever capacity; records highest single day generation

  With commissioning of 800 MW unit at Kudgi in Karnataka, 250 MW unit at Bongaigaon in Assam and 20 MW at Bhadla solar in Rajasthan, the total installed capacity of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) group has reached to 49,943 MW.   The 12th plan cap

Why do we need Aadhaar?

 Aadhaar is arguably one of the most convoluted public policy interventions in India’s history. It has been more than eight years, yet there is little clarity on the exact purpose of the biometric-based unique identification project.  Let me take you through an event which I witne

AAI signs MoU with Daman and Diu admin for maintenance of Diu airport

The airports authority of India (AAI), a Miniratna PSU, has undertaken operation, development and maintenance of Diu airport from Diu administration.    A memorandum of understanding demonstrating the responsibilities was inked on March 20 between the union terri

PSU performance: Better than expected

Central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) have done quite well despite facing headwinds, according to the Public Enterprises Survey (2015-16) that was tabled in parliament on March 21. The net worth of all the CPSEs have gone up and the overall net profit has zoomed. Their contribution to the cen

National Health Policy: Old prescription, new date

After much discussion and pondering over for more than two years, the cabinet has approved a new National Health Policy, scrapping the old one which was formulated in 2002. The government aims to increase the public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025. The policy formulated in 2002 aimed

It’s traumatic, says African student

  “We have requested more security from the government of India and the Uttar Pradesh government,” said Abdou Ibrahim, senior adviser, Association of African Students (AASI)  following an attack on four students from Africa in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. &n

Video

यूपी में नकल करने वालों की अब खैर नहीं

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter