Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Epitome of Will and Determination: Irom Sharmila

In India , a special act of law called the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) can be enforced in states when the scale of continued unrest or instability in the state is too large for local forces to handle especially when in the cases of militancy & insurgency, borders are threatened.

This act gives exceptional powers to Army officers such as:
  • After giving such due warning, Fire upon or use other kinds of force even if it causes death, against the person who is acting against law or order
  • To arrest without a warrant anyone who has committed cognizable offences or is reasonably suspected of having done so and may use force if needed for the arrest.
  • To enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests, or to recover any person wrongfully restrained or any arms, ammunition or explosive substances and seize it.
  • Stop and search any vehicle or vessel reasonably suspected to be carrying such person or weapons.


Army officers have legal immunity for their actions. There can be no prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law. 

This law is considered draconian by many state citizens.  UN has reviewed this law and does not have a favourable view of it and asked India to revoke it.

On 2 November 2000, in Manipur (a state in India where AFSPA is applicable)  ten civilians were shot and killed while waiting at a bus stop as an AFSPA  operation was ongoing.  The incident, was allegedly committed by one of the Indian Paramilitary force operating in the state. The victims included a 62-year old woman, and 18-year teenager who was a 1988 National Child Bravery Award winner.
One lady Irom Sharmila, who was 28 at the time, was unable to come to terms with this incident and began to fast in protest of the killing, taking neither food nor water. The lady has been on fast since the year 2000, arrested many times for attempted suicide. Her health has deteriorated many times during these 14 years of protest fasting, requiring force feeding through nasogastric intubation. However that has not deterred her from standing up for her belief.


She is the epitome of determination and will,  a person who had dedicated her life to a cause for the people. A selfless individual who continues undettered even when her years of sacrifice and pleas have fallen on deaf yeard. A salute to her spirit for being  a hero!

19 comments:

Sumi Go said...

Wow! She is definitely an epitome of will, determination and even sacrifice. But I wish her efforts would not end up being in vain...

Jeni G said...

She's an inspiration. With your post, I remember incidents like that here in the Philippines during Martial Law Regime...

JeniG of Kalikotpepot

RANE said...

Wow! That what you call Will Power... how many of us would do such a thing? This lady is an epitome of strength

Priscilla Yeo said...

I am not sure about the exact story about those shootings but while I think Sharmila has the will and determination, I feel she should have done better than to protest fast.
However, I will still applaud for her persistence and her deep belief.

Khushboo Motihar said...

Irom Sharmila is one of the most inspirational women I have met and I hope that she manages to free the state from a draconian law.

Louise Banta said...

Personally, I admire her will & determination but she should have done something else than fasting! There are other things she can do to protest - some things more influential and would derive action.

Sim @ SimsLife.co.uk said...

What an incredibly strong lady! A true inspiration! Simone x

Russ R. said...

I agree with Sumi that for all her efforts and courage, I hope her gesture does not go in vain. The world needs more people of character and strength like her. Indeed, she is a hero.
--
Third Comment Attempt for the Week

Franc said...

That is a really scary law. 14 years of fasting makes her a really tough and iron willed person.

Suzanne said...

I agree that this law seems too extreme and has obviously, when enacted, caused untold loss and destruction. But, I am not sure a 14 year hunger strike is the answer. Yes she has great strength and spirit, but where has this gotten her and what she stands for? Is there not a better way to get your point across?

Lorenzo Caballes Jr said...

Wow. awesome lady! how i wish i have here will power and determination.

Fred Hawson said...

There was martial law like that in our country forty years ago. There are also people who stood their ground and fought against this rule. I see now that it's an international phenomenon. This woman is really very brave and steadfast in her beliefs.

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

She's really persistent! But sometimes, I feel that such strong will when used on wrong methods will only harm yourself. If only it can be used on educating the future generation or even going around to give talks, wouldn't that be more useful?

Marie said...

Wow! She's fasting since 2000? What a brave woman! Kudos to her!

But, I do agree with Tiffany's comment.

Manu Kalia said...

Such an inspiring woman, I hope all politician will be just like her.

Eliz Obih-Frank said...

What a terrible tragedy. No one should suffer for so long without some relief or compensation. I wish she will stop the fast and enjoy what's left of her courageous life.

Vanessa said...

That is an amazing example of dignity and strength, thumbs up for this great woman who withstands her convictions at the cost of so many hardships, health deterioration and fasting. She has my respect. People like her can change the world for the better.

Aisha Kristine Chong said...

wow i didnt know here - such an inspiration - thank you for sharing.

Suzanne said...

I do believe whole heartedly in chasing your dreams and having the courage to do so. If not for that idea I would not have my blog!