Tuesday, June 14, 2011

IROM WHO?


Heard about Anna Hazare, didn’t you? The household name of sacrifice and the toast of Indian media. Yes man, he is the famous Gandhian who has taken up our cause to fight against corruption. It took him a mammoth 97 hour long fast to make himself heard. Even though the government is yet to accede to his demand he still stands tall to fight. 15th August is his final deadline to the thick skinned, utterly corrupted Indian government and then he moves for a fast unto death. Dude, he is a hero. The discussion continued for another 5 minutes or so.

Heard about Baba Ramdev? Man, are you kidding me! Who doesn’t know about the famous yogi? He has cure for everything from anorexia to baldness to heart disease. He was undemocratically evicted from Delhi and air lifted to Haridwar but that guy didn’t lose his faith. He fasted there too. He is an icon man. 

Well, but didn’t he ended his fast without any results? 

What else you expect.....You want him to die for this corrupted bunch of bureaucrats. See a living man can fight his battle another day. The debate rolled on for another half an hour.

Hey by the way, you are really quite an activist with your level of awareness. You have then definitely heard about Irom Chanu Sharmila?

 Irom who?

Yes that’s the question million of Indians must ask themselves today. Irom who? 

Without wasting any time on hero worshipping which we Indians are really fond of let me get straight into the statistics then. While Anna Hazare’s fast lasted for a mere 97 hours, Baba Ramdev’s ordeal stood for 9 days, in contrast Irom’s struggle is continuing for the past 10 years, 7 months and 10 days and is still counting. 

Did anyone said Irom who? 

Well then, while we made such a hue and cry over the Ramlila maidan incident, now coined as the Ravanlila incident, a spit on our democratic ideals; Irom Sharmila has been in and out of prison for the past 10 years.

What was she convicted for? 

She was convicted under Section 309 of the IPC, “attempt to commit suicide” and that too for the first time on the third day of her fast. But then some are pretty lucky to be let off the hook for the same crime committed. After all, India is a country of diversity isn’t it?

Well but seriously, that fasting period seems fabricated. I mean 10 years is not a joke!

Yeah it isn’t. Police has forcibly used nasogastric intubation to keep her alive.

What’s that?

Insertion of a plastic tube through the nose, past the throat and down into the stomach.

Bloody hell, dats inhumane, what’s she fighting for by the way?

To repeal the Armed Forces Special Power Act (1958).

Never heard of that buddy?

Cause you don’t face it in your everyday life. AFSPA has been imposed in Manipur and most of the Northeast since 1980. It allows the army to use force, shoot or arrest anyone without warrant on the mere suspicion that someone has committed or was about to commit a cognisable offence. The Act also prohibits any legal or judicial proceeding against army personnel without the previous sanction of the Central Government. On 2nd November 2000, 10 civilians were brutally murdered in Imphal by the Assam rifles that triggered her fast which continues till this day.

But then who cares. It doesn’t affect India, isn’t it? No candle light marches, no slogan shouting in Jantar Mantar, no sms or e-mails to ignite passions, no celebrity endorsements, no red carpet welcome at the airport, no Guru to feed. And where are our 24x7 media centres? After all, it’s an obscure martial law in the jungles of north east right, not good enough to raise TRP’s in Indian mainland? And our politicians? Well, Manipur seats are too trivial to shift electoral balance in our massive nation.

Silence prevailed.

We departed but then a question lingered in our minds, how many more years will be wasted before we at least recognise,

 IROM WHO?


Reactions:

7 comments:

Anilkumar Sharma said...

I may not be in position to understand fully the plight of North eastern region. Apathy towards this part of nation is the reason behind all the violence and suffering there. This foolishness and extreme irresponsible behaviour by central govt. in such a strategically important area speaks volume about wisdom or vision of our so-called national leaders. I don't know how well elected govt of these regions are working. People from that region should come out in masses and organise such rally/march in Delhi. Atleast this will create awareness and people from other regions will certainly come in support. People of whole nation are not happy with corruption, failure of welfare schemes etc. They want reformation, but someone has to provide leadership. As an aware and educated citizen, we have to start working in our groups and then take awareness and new hope to whole of the nation. Then, only things will change. Some leaders are coming; we shall participate and take leadership in our area of influence.

mamta said...

Really very very nicely written and can see satire on us,media as well as on government. You know what became a news in india that affect government and that raises the TRPS of media and their news channels and if they do not find anything like that in the matter then no one wants to write about to thing .then they do not want to make it a news too......good to see, you write about a lady who is fighting for others rights and she is all doing in annonymity .every one should know about her really.she really deserve a salute.

Saptadeep said...

Yes she does & this is an humble effort for that. Its high time people atleast recognise her struggle.
@Anil: U have rightly pointed out the apathy of the government for the states of northeast. But that feeling of indifference is among the people too who fail to even recognise Northeast as a part of India. The constant harrasment of NE ppl is a glaring proof of that. Mainland ppl fail to recognise our cultural diversity. The fault also lies on the shoulders of our leaders whom we elect to represent us but thay barely do so. Evn our PM being frm NE failed to acheive anything for the region. The glaring unemployment is creating a hotbed of terrorism. You r ryt we need a change & its only we who can make it. I hope this lady's struggle make Indians as a whole recognise her struggle.
@mamta: Yes its a satire on us & our apathy towards humanity. Swami Nigmanand have sacrificed him nw we can't allow some else to meet the same fate. Her struggle shld reach the corridors of power.

mamta said...

who cares in our country where government is insensitive and peoples are cynic. they always find faults in others no matter how much good they are doing.....hey i want to share it with my friends as well as on twitter but not able to tweet the post .

Saptadeep said...

There is a link for twitter both below d post & at the right hand corner......else u cn jus copy d link of the post n tweet it.....thx mamta..atleast u felt that her plight shld reach d ppl!!!

Ambarish Mishra said...

I have sympathies for what she has suffered .. this loss is irreparable and an act of injustice.. but i urge u Saptadeep to please dont write off AFSP Act ... being in armed forces I know exactly how it works... its not a freeway kind of thing that you have described... friend who would go to a valley of death when he doesn't have a special power in hand to fight against non state and inhuman elements.. all powers given to armed forces are recorded and investigated ... well we indians have a habit of going too emotional at times ... we always want our neighbour's son to go in Army n not ours... becoz we fear about his future.. this is a aide for a soldier to save himself.. yes there have been violations but dont undermine d dangerous job that our jawans undertake..!!

Saptadeep said...

Friend, I do understand your point. Army can repress violence but can't create a congenial environ to survive. The violence marred J&K, NE, Naxal infested areas speaks volumes of this fact. What Army has done till now is commendable but now its high time they give the power to the local police force, strengthen the civil society while it moves towards the border to seal it so that there is no external influence. I'm not against the power given to the army, what I'm against is the lack of accountability & (sometimes) abuse of that power.
I agree to the dangerous job our armed forces have in their hands but globally infinite presence of armed forces in civil society creates unrest among the natives. Whether its Afghanistan, J&K or NE the list rolls on.
I'm not emotional but I'm being practical about the apathy of NE states which play a minor role in Indian politics. Why not a AFSPA in Mumbai which has been attacked by Pakistan, bombed, is mafia infested & much more crucial to Indian economy. Why don't army brandish their guns out there?
We have experimented with the army & it has been minimal success, why don't we charter some other course, say of development & education. This is a pandora's box where inspite of all the honest efforts of the army they suppress the independence of the indigenous population, success will arrive when the whole of India will be measured in the same units.

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