Burning Bright Irom Sharmila

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Penguin UK, Jul 8, 2009 - Political Science - 240 pages
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Irom Sharmila has been on a fast unto death for eight years, demanding a repeal of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Manipur. Ten innocent people were mowed down by security forces in Malom, a village near Imphal, in November 2000. The perpetrators were not punished, protected under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which empowers military and para-military personnel to arrest, shoot, even kill, anyone on the grounds of mere suspicion. In response to this tragedy—one among many such atrocities—Irom Sharmila, a young Manipuri, began an indefinite hunger strike. The government arrested her and force-fed her through nasal tubes. She has been released and re-arrested innumerable times since then, but has stood by her demand, steadfastly refusing to eat until the Act is repealed. Burning Bright is a hard-hitting account of a people caught between the crossfire of militants and security forces; of a once- sovereign kingdom whose culture has been brutally violated; of the many voices of dissent— from underground groups to the Meira Paibis, a women’s movement opposed to all forms of violence whether by the state or insurgents and a moving portrait of ‘the Iron Lady of Manipur’.

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