By: Shanjoy Mairembam
First think ‘Irom Sharmila’ as an Indian, as a woman, as a human; then, acknowledge the fact that she’s been fasting for the last 10yrs in practical Gandhian style of non-violence asking Indian Govt to treat every Indians same within India and follow the democratic principles what India itself preaches to the whole world; also acknowledge that Iranian Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi met and supported her during the delhi visit; also, realise that Sharmila is no lesser suitable than Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner ‘Aung San Suu Kyi’ as woman role model towards humanity; NOW Reason yourselves – Doesn’t ‘Irom Sharmila’ deserve to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize; being the only Lady who is in history a living example/follower of Gandhian non-violence approach?
As part of celebrating ‘International Women’s Day’, let us share the info about ‘Irom Sharmila’ who is an Indian woman from Manipur State (located at north-eastern border of India, sharing international border with Myanmar/Burma). She has been a strong follower ‘MK Gandhi – Father of Nation in India’ not just theoretically but in practice. She has been on ‘FASTING’ for the last 10yrs (a whole decade) in Gandhian approach. Her simple request is “To remove the unlawful Act named ‘ Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958’ which gives uncontrolled legal rights for army officers/soldiers to shoot/kill anyone without having to go through any form of reasoning/justification in the areas (i.e. North-East Indian states) wherein the ACT is in force since 4-5 decades by now”. Please promote her cause and support her nomination for Nobel Peace Prize. Please make Indian govt realise its own mistake by the global audience and help the humanity.
What does her request means? –
The Govt of India ought to treat every Indians in the North-East Indian states same as other Indians in other parts of India, because North-East Indians (having mongoloid facial look similar to Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) are not some sort of foreigners who should have a separate set of laws to be followed while within India. It’s worth reminding newly that “India became ‘Republic’ as a country by combining a diverse and numerous kingdoms in the past prior to 1950”. So, the terminologies such as country ‘India’ and the people ‘Indians’ were created / realised practically only form 26th Jan 1950 onwards. Thus, the term ‘Indians’ are similar to the term ‘Americans referring to everyone settled legally within USA (i.e. French, Germans, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilians, Spanish, British etc) ‘.
So, Indian Govt and its constitution is absolutely WRONG to treat Indians in North-East part of India as some sort of aliens/foreigners by enacting/enforcing some unethical/inhumanly laws which should never be used on India’s own people. In fact, the AFSPA is the modified version of the ‘Rawlatt Act’ used by the then British Empire to curve/control the then Indian freedom struggle. So, Isn’t it wrong for Indian govt to treat North-East Indians as if some sort of colonised people in the 21st Century via some ACTs which are not recommended for use in other parts of India, when India claimed itself to be the greatest ‘Democratic & Republic country’ globally’? Either Indian govt should declare publicly/globally that there is a WAR going on in the North-East Indian states for such radical acts to be justified, or, clarify under the Indian constitutional framework (or International legal framework) how a part of democratic and republic India can have such radical laws in-force for 4-5 decades by now. In fact, such gross mistakes of Indian govt will tear down the whole concept of oneness ‘the Indian’ and the country ‘India’, since such acts discriminates among Indians and breaks down ‘unity in diversity’.
Being a responsible Indian citizen and being a responsible human being, we ought to open up the closed eyes & ears of Indian Govt to follow the democratic norms/laws which it preaches to the whole world first within India itself. Indian Govt and people of India need to refresh the lessons of ‘what does Diversity actually mean?’ because, ‘diversity’ seems to mean different things to different people and understanding ‘what should Diversity mean to Indians’ will help National Integration and prosperity of India as a country.
Author: Shanjoy Mairembam, London (UK)
shan_mairembam (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk