Rights activist Irom Sharmila today advocated adopting nonviolent methods to fight for any cause saying “nothing can be changed when politics remains impure and violence continues in the system.” Sharmila was interacting with reporters here on the sidelines of the 11th Global Youth Peace Festival, an event organised by an NGO here which was attended by delegates from many countries, including the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan. When asked whether she continues to favour repeal of the contentious Armed Forces
Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Sharmila said: “In this regard, those from the Government side, (those) from the (rights) activists (side) or what you call the terrorists’ side, for any cause it needs to be based on non violence…Why should we depend on violence in governance. “We all people are humans with valuable minds, everything is valuable. With a bit (of) kindness, every problem can be solved just like family matters,” she said.
“Society is the extension of every family…Real need is intervention in the administrative system which is governed by the democratic representative in the society. We can’t remain negligent about the systems in the society. Any problem (solution to problem) which has to be solved, would come from political arena,” Sharmila said. “Nothing can be changed when politics remains impure and violence continues in the system. Real need is to have the power of people in governance,” she said. Replying to a question, she said, one will always support people who protest for “right thing” and do it with dedication and sincerity. When asked how can youth bring about the change which world actually needs, she said: “We really need to know ourselves, who I am ?, why ?, how ? Self realisation, self consciousness should be there.” Sharmila who had expressed her desire to contest Manipur Assembly election next year, on Monday met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi and sought his advice on how to defeat “major political parties” in Manipur.
On August 9, the 44-year-old ‘Iron Lady’ broke her 16year-old hunger strike, the world’s longest such campaign, and declared that she wants to become the Chief Minister of Manipur so that she could press for repeal of the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Sharmila has already announced that she would soon float a new regional party under the banner of which she will contest the polls.