IMPHAL Nov 22 : A two hour long special meeting and discussion session was organized by Manav Adhikar Sangram Samity( MASS) in Guwahati Press Club on Nov 20 to express Unity Solidarity and Support to the decade long fast by Manipuri Iron Lady Irom Chanu. A press release in the regard states that, MASS has a two decade long history in the fight against AFSPA in Assam.
At the program , the dais was shared by MASS President Bubumoni Goswami, Secretary General of MASS Aditya Lahkar, ex-Vice Chancellor and Chairman of Parag Kumar Das Research Centre Dr. Deba Prasad Baruah, Founder Member of MASS and veteran journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, General Secreatry of Assam Jatiyata Yuva Chatra Parisad (AJYCP) Manoj Baruah, Secretary of the Meira Pebis of Manipuri Basti in Guwahati L Sampa and as special guest Irom Sharmila’s brother Irom Singhajit.
The other speakers who joined them on the dais were the Advisor of AJYCP Dilip Patgiri, veteran Lawyer of Guwahati High Court Bijon Mahajan and People’s Consultative Group (PCG) member Mukul Mahanta.
Dr. Deba Prasad Baruah in his inaugural speech plucked the sentimental chords of the people present referring to the immense struggle Irom Sharmila has been continuing in protest against such a draconian law still applicable in a country that boast of being the biggest democracy. Dr. Baruah called such a democracy, as prevailing in present India is a farce. In spite of having at present a woman in the helm of the political affairs of the country, a female speaker in the Indian Lok Sabha, a female President, a female Chief Minister in the largest state in India and a female minister managing the Indian railways, one of the biggest public transport system in the world, there was none to hear or represent the voice of a revolutionary lady like Irom Sharmila. All the policies of reservation of women in parliament to rake up representation, in such a scenario, do not amount to any value for the women of Northeast who has been suffering and thus protesting. He ended his enthralling speech with a poem dedicated to the poet revolutionary Irom Sharmila, praising her spirit and perseverance and called on the support of all the people to repeal the black law.
Veteran journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan who himself was a victim of the black law, recalled how organisation like MASS has been formed in Assam to fight against laws such as AFSPA. Therefore the support to the cause of Irom Sharmila is natural and is an issue that crosses over borders and communities. He called Irom Sharmila as the true vanguard of democracy. The existence of such law is despotic and protesting against is democratic.
Guwahati High Court Lawyer Bijon Mahajan called for an united fight against such law and cited the need of forming inter and intra-state umbrella organisations to address the issue. He also said that the hypocrisy of Indian government is clearly visible since in places like Chattisgarh, Jharkhand such laws are not applied cause it would bring international hue and cry that mining has been done on support of such laws and thus show cause exploitative face of Indian government in a naked form. So cases like Irom Sharmila has to be brought more intense and extensively in the international platform.