oppn parties Irom Sharmila Did Not Lose, Manipur Did

News Snippets

  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
  • Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian planes
  • Dilapidated building collapses in Mumbai, killing more than 10 people while many were still trapped
  • Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict to be delivered today by the ICJ
  • A Vistara flight landed in Lucknow with just 5 to 10 minutes of fuel left in the tank
  • Supreme Court to decide on Karnataka MLAs plea today
  • Karnataka alliance to face floor test on Thursday
  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
Irom Sharmila Did Not Lose, Manipur Did

By Anukriti Roy

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Anukriti is a student who dabbles in writing when she finds time.
For 16 years of hunger strike to get AFPSA repealed and the armed forces removed from Manipur, Irom Sharmila was rewarded with 90 votes when she stood for election against the sitting chief minister Ibobi Singh from Thoubal. Surprisingly, 143 hit the NOTA button. How on earth can a Manipur resident think none of the candidates are fit if the list contains Irom Sharmila?

Irom Sharmila spent the best years of her life to protest against army atrocities on her innocent Manipuri brothers and sisters. But the people were not grateful. Sacrifice does not count in our society, especially where politics is concerned.

Money and muscle power defines who wins or loses. Rarely is an election decided on principles or issues. The party that has the most charismatic or notorious leader, backed by a well-oiled election machinery that has goons masquerading as cadre and a generous war chest, often wins election. It seems Irom Sharmila’s charisma was limited to the human rights groups. Otherwise there is no reason why she could lose.

There is one more thing though. Sharmila chose the wrong seat to contest. Pitting a debutant like herself against a crafty and seasoned politician like Ibobi Singh was a mistake. Apart from making a statement, it served little purpose. She should have stood from where she belonged, where people knew and respected her. If her purpose was to carry on with her battle against AFPSA and other issues as a legislator, she made a big mistake by taking on Singh and not getting elected.

Finally, it reflects very poorly on the priorities of our society if a person like Sharmila loses. Indians send people with rape, arson, robbery and other criminal cases pending against them to their legislative bodies. These people do not contribute anything to either the debate on vital issues or to nation building. Sharmila would have raised important issues in the Manipur assembly. Her voice would have carried weight as she is internationally renowned activist.

By not electing her, the people of Thoubal have done a great injustice to the whole of Manipur. Irom Sharmila has not lost; it is the people of Manipur who have.