The prisoner of conscience, Irom Sharmila has broken her fast of 16 years and now the society she had been fighting for has turned against her. Once a political icon, Sharmila is now a lonely figure in Manipur, almost ostracized, and with no place to live. Her fault was that she chose to break her fast of 16 years before the government repealed the AFSPA.
According to social analysts, the public has been angered by Sharmila’s decision of marrying Desmond Coutinho, an India-born British national who has been accused by many to be an agent to thwart her struggle.
However, a post on Facebook by actress Renuka Shahane proved that not everyone in this country hero-worships a true patriot to an impossible level and then turns against them when they find out that heroes are also humans.
Irom Sharmila if you have no place that is willing to accept you please stay with me in Mumbai, it will be an honour! All those human rights & anti AFSPA “activists” who were happy & supportive only when you had a tube attached to your nose for force-feeding or only when you were facing the wrath of the State with courage, are not worth a second thought. You are still fighting against AFSPA; you are going to do that with a person whom you have chosen to love & in a manner that you & only you should choose to do. You are so used to dissent. Now, its from within the people you consideted your own. That is more difficult & painful.
Not everyone was on your side in 2000 when you went on your fast; not everyone is on your side now that you’ve chosen to stop it. Not everyone suffered the consequences with you. I do not consider myself politically intelligent enough to say I’m even knowledgeable about what your stand is & what its repercussions are. But I stand against all those forces who want to force their opinions; right, left or centre, on any adult woman who has chosen her form of protest, suffered the consequences of her choice, chosen a boyfriend who is “inconvenient” for people close to her & is yet again willing to take on the challenges of her choices. Why only adult women, I support the freedom of choice of every adult human being.
We have to stop this “choice-shaming”. The image of you being sent back to the hospital bed that was your prison for 16 years but has now suddenly become your home because protesting activists, your family & friends wouldn’t allow you to live among them, just broke my heart. It is a sad commentary on the fascism of people who ironically are fighting for human rights! They should try being human first!
Everything said and done, this Facebook post by Renuka keeps you from concluding that there’s no one worth fighting for.