15.1.12 | Post by anirban...
|(Image courtesy : reverbnation)|
Have you dear reader?
Irom Sharmila Chanu … rings a bell?
Heard of Anna Hazare / Baba Ramdev / Jan Lokpal bill ?
Welcome to India. The country that proudly defends its photogenic National Integration. Irom Chanu Sharmila , tagged as the world’s strongest hunger striker , is on hunger strike since November 2, 2000. Oh yes she did not invite media to cover her strike and she never took the pains of creating difficulties for Delhi office goers and hence she faced consequences: Going unnoticed! Even the people who noticed were mostly unaware of her demand or motive.
She is demanding a repeal of the age-old unreasonable Armed Forces (Special Powers) act that provides Indian Army special powers in the states of Assam , Manipur , Meghalaya, Mizoram , Nagaland , Arunachal Pradesh , Tripura and Jammu & Kashmir to :
- "Fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death, against any person who is acting in contravention of any law" against "assembly of five or more persons" or possession of deadly weapons.
- To arrest without a warrant and with the use of "necessary" force anyone who has committed certain offenses or is suspected of having done so
- To enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests. (Quoted from wikipedia)
|(Source : One world)|
That was the situation that led a twenty eight year old poet to sacrifice the most beautiful phase of her life for the cause. Yet her battle for a cause even after a decade has not caused any major stir in the coffee houses of Calcutta , IT parks in Bangalore or Socialite gatherings in Bandra. No politician even contemplates politicizing her fast as none of his prospective voters is concerned about some chinky female going without food for a decade! Plights of Manipur don’t concern us perhaps because it is too remote to concern. Just like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. These are not even India!
Over the years we have screamed in global forums about how great a democracy we are. We also take pride in the fact that India stands for “Unity in Diversity”. Unfortunately we never care to validate our pride. We feed on everything that is fed to us by popular media assuming the information unadulterated. A slight detailing would open up un-healable wounds. We would realize the pain provoking Imphal Talkies & Howlers to ask:
- Is there a dream that we share from north to south?
- Is there a song that echoes from east to west?
I wish I could also be proud, but then I have no answer for Imphal Talkies . I cannot answer Sharmila if she ever asks me why I became aware of her struggle only in 2011. I have no answer if somebody asks me about delicacies of Mizoram and Tripura. I have no answer if China asks me what I have done for Arunachal Pradesh!
Mixing cultures forcibly is more dangerous than mixing drinks before driving. No one has ever tried it thankfully. However what we have done is far more pervert: we have promptly trimmed off cultures and names from our history books, national museums and off-course our national anthem. Yet we expect patriotism from one and all and we spurn at criticisms of national policies. Have we done our bit to provide the ones we hate with a simple sense of belonging? We are instead waiting with fingers crossed for stone pelters to become suicide bombers.
The lady called Sharmila is waiting for justice to have its say. Hungry yet strong she is facing the toughest roadblock : mass ignorance!
Spread the word.
Author : Anirban Sengupta.
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