Manipur’s Iron lady Irom Sharmila may have withdrawn her fast but her anti-Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) struggle has not gone waste and the issue remains as pertinent as before, noted Manipur journalist Yumnam Rupachandra said.
“Sharmila’s was a lonely fight against the AFSPA and after 16 years of nose-feeding under judicial custody she finally decided to leave her self-inflicting struggle and changed her strategy,” Rupachandra commented speaking at the ‘Harendra Nath Barua Memorial Lecture’ on ‘Manipur in the backdrop of AFSPA and Irom Sharmila’ here last evening.
She may have been dejected with both the central and state governments which failed to listen to a non-violent struggle but her 16 years of fast has not gone waste and she has done more for the anti-AFSPA movement than any other individual or institution and organisation, Rupachandra said.
He said Sharmila must be given credit for bringing AFSPA into focus of the international and national media.
She has discovered a new means to achieve her goal by deciding to join politics and hopes to become a Chief Minister in her quest to remove the AFSPA Act, but whether it will work is another issue, Rupachandra said adding, even the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had described AFSPA as ‘draconian’.
The Supreme Court had appointed the Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission on AFSPA which put forth several recommendations but the law remains as “entrenched as even and the centre has not even considered making it more ‘humane’ as recommended by the Commission,” he said. MORE PTI DG SUS MNG 09011624