The Other Half - Another India, another protest

By Kalpana Sharma

, by The Hindu

While the farcical drama around Anna Hazare’s protest and arrest has hogged the limelight, Irom Sharmila’s indefinite fast since 2000 to get the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) repealed continues to be ignored by the nation and the media…

A day after Indians ‘celebrated’ Independence Day by following the annual ritual of hoisting the flag, singing the national anthem and patriotic songs and listening to politicians, including the Prime Minister, talk about the strengths of Indian democracy, the police cracked down on a much-celebrated campaigner against corruption, Anna Hazare and his team.

[...] Yet even as Hazare’s anti-corruption crusade gained momentum with hundreds courting voluntary arrest, in another part of India, a protestor who has used a similar tactic, of going on an indefinite fast, continues to be ignored by the rest of the country and by the political leadership.

Given the issue — rooting out corruption — and the mobilisation of groups in big cities across India, as well as the concerted media attention, some might consider it irrelevant to talk about a corner of the country where a lone woman continues her fight against the truly undemocratic Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) imposed on Manipur that has made life a living hell for the ordinary people of that State.

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