Irom Sharmila and Anna Hazare Hunger Strike : North East India View

After the successful completion of hunger strike by Anna Hazare demanding enacting Lokpal Bill, the comparison of hunger strike by Irom Sharmila and Anna Hazare has now surfaced in social networking sites by Netizens from North East India as well as in blogspehere.

In Time of India, social commentator Santosh Desai says, “The state can forcefully feed if the issue doesn’t have certain legitimacy,” in case of Irom Sharmila! ( source here )

On Twitter, many tweets doing round about the same few examples are :-

@sardesairajdeep: Can you please tell why Anna Hazare type attention is not given to Irom Sharmila, who has been fasting for last 10 years?

@manjitzing Because her cause is totally misplaced. And she’s not getting the point in 10yrs. Ask her to start eating. @sardesairajdeep

Irom Sharmila has been on indefinite fast for ovr 10 yrs. But she hasn’t been able to attract TV channels. Therefore she hasn’t succeeded.

Anna Hazare fasted for 4 days and was supported by the people, including the glamour world, and the national media. Hence he succeeded.

One thing i didn’t get. Why wasn’t Anna Hazare arrested for “attemp to commit suicide”, IPC 309 ?

Its been 10+ years & i feel proud for her. Y not go to Delhi n give some hardcore speeches like Anna did while fasting?@akeesorok

In another blog post, aptly titled “The Art Of Hunger Strike”, the blogger writes

The nation is rejoicing as Anna’s farce fast unto ‘death’ crusade ends. We decided to compare this with another hunger strike being kept by Irom Chanu Sharmila. A fast which has lasted for more than 10 years…
( Source )

The way Government of India treats the two hunger strikes, specially the invoking the IPC 309 against Irom Sharmila and not against Anna Hazare proves that Indian law treats some citizens more equal than others ( from North East India).

Many netizens opine that Irom Sharmila is on hunger strike is demanding “right to live” as AFSPA ( Armed Forces Special Power Act) gives almost license to kill to armed forces involved in counter insurgency operation in North East India.

Supporters of AFSPA ( include armed forces, some security experts) claims that, without AFSPA cover, it would be difficult to fight terrorism. Sadly, they have forgotten that AFSPA in force for last 50 years in North East India has neither helped them ‘fight’ terrorism here nor made it easier. Its only natural that draconian laws like this attract misuse as well as public outrage when used for long time!

Civil Societies in India as well as political parties were quick enough to demand and get repealed similar draconian law POTA introduced to fight terrorism in ‘mainland India’, but same is not case with AFSPA whose repeal Irom Sharmila is demanding and on hunger strike for last 10 years.


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