oppn parties Irom Sharmila Did Not Lose, Manipur Did

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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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For 16 years of hunger strike to get AFPSA repealed and the armed forces removed from Manipur, Irom Sharmila was rewarded with 90 votes when she stood for election against the sitting chief minister Ibobi Singh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.