TO GO WITH India-unrest-Manipur-politics,FEATURE by Abhaya Srivastava
A policewoman escorts civil rights activist, Irom Sharmila Chanu (R) also known as the “Iron Lady of Manipur” or “Mengoubi” (meaning “the fair one”) to an ambulance as she leaves The Magistrate’s Court in Imphal on February 22, 2012. For more than 11 years, Sharmila has refused food and water to back her demand for the withdrawal of the special powers wielded by – and according to critics widely abused by – the security forces.
Photo: MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images
Irom Sharmila, a 40-year-old Indian woman who has been on a hunger strike for twelve years to protest a law giving the government broad counter-insurgency powers, is now being charged with attempted suicide. “I love life. I do not want to take my life, but I want justice and peace,” she said in court over the weekend, a government-mandated feeding tube up her nose. Irom Sharmila is better than you.