Irom Sharmila must be welcomed and encouraged to join politics

Irom Sharmila, Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav, Kiran Bedi, Soni Sori, Phulan Devi, fasting, Manipur, AFSPA, India

For last 16-years Irom Sharmila was on hunger strike but yesterday she broke her fast by taking a drop of honey at 4.20 pm.

She has decided to join politics to clean it up and wants to get AFSPA removed, AFSPA is a law that gives a lot of power to the armed forces.

This many not be acceptable to some political powers and some Indians as well, but can we deny the moral authority of Irom Sharmila? Isn’t going to see her join the mainstream politics be the most spectacular victory for the idea of India; that even those who do not agree to the mainstream view choose Indian politics over violence.

Irom Sharmila has not met her mother for the past 16-years as she has been trying to get her people heard across India, she is not going to meet her anytime sooner as the struggle for her people is still going on.

She has also been talking about ‘self-determination’ as well which would again be unacceptable, but then in her own words, she is still not politically wise and not very educated either, giving her a chance won’t hurt.

Also, having her in power would give the Indians in Manipur a chance to get heard fairly across India because she is a known figure in the nation. Irom Sharmila may not know this as yet, but she is a popular female figure respected for her spirited quest across the country. The fact that she never encouraged violence has always gone in favour of her.

Remember it was her popularity that made the legendary Anna Hazare to invite her to Ramlila grounds in Delhi in 2011 when his agitation and his popularity was at his peak. Many careers in politics got launched after that agitation including the successful ones of Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav and Kiran Bedi. Irom Sharmila had at that time wondered as to why she was even invited because the purpose of their agitations was very ‘different’ but she also quietly said, and that is what endears her to many, that I am a simple woman and only want to reform society. I have no idea about social workers!

She could not join Anna then because she was in judicial custody, otherwise, who knows maybe she could have been the next big thing in the Indian politics along with Arvind, Kiran, and Yogendra? In any case, when even a Soni Sori is acceptable in Indian politics, a Phulan Devi is acceptable in Indian politics, then Irom Sharmila is more than welcome.

Many today in Manipur feel that Irom Sharmila decided to break her fast for love, but can they deny that she always had love for her people in her heart? If it weren’t love then what was it that kept her away from a ‘normal’ life that all Indian women enjoy? Let’s respect her decision and encourage her to voice her thoughts. So far, we had deduced her thoughts through her silent protest, now we will have a chance to actually see her work towards the betterment of Manipur and India as a whole. We all await what Irom Sharmila has to say!