Irom Sharmila, Manipuri poet’s protest against Armed Forces Special Powers Act

Irom Sharmila, Manipuri poet, described by Mahasweta Devi as the woman set to be the iconic figure of the twenty first century is in to the tenth year of her fast. Released but rearrested yet again, Irom Sharmila continues her hunger strike in the Imphal Jail.


As it well known, this non violent resistance by Irom Sharmila is demanding the repeal of the five decade old Armed Forces Special Powers Act enforced in the North Eastern states under which the civilian population has practically no legal recourse or redressal possible against the excesses or atrocities committed by the armed forces. This situation contravenes the basic tenets of justice and human rights.


Our Defence Minister is a Malayalee and it is to address his conscience and through him that of our Government that we are beginning the Hind Swaraj Centenary journey from Chertala, from where he hails. It will culminate in Imphal where Irom Sharmila is jailed. The journey traverses through the major cities of India as per the itinerary below:


May 8, 2010: Chertala, Kerala

May 9, 2010: Bangalore, Karnataka

May 10, 2010: Chennai, Tamil Nadu

May 11, 2010: Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh

May 13, 2010: Pune, Maharashtra

May 15, 2020: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

May 16, 2010 Delhi

May 18, 2010: Kolkota, West Bengal

May 20, 2010: Gauhati, Assam

May 21/22, 2010 Imphal, Manipur


Noted Malayalam writer Sara Joseph leads the Hind Swaraj Centenary Journey, while Civic Chandran and TRN Prabhu coordinate the event. They will be in Delhi between the 21st and 23rd of April to impress upon the authorities the need to respond humanely and as is appropriate to a state that respects human rights and the rule of law to the ten year old struggle by Irom Sharmila.


As the noted human rights activist and Nobel Laureate Sherin Ibadi declared, if anything happens to Irom Sharmila, the Indian state, the Indian Parliament, the Prime Minister and the media that closed its eyes to this decade long struggle should be held responsible. We too, can't shirk our responsibility. Amidst the deafening noise of violence speaking to violence across the length and breadth of our country, here is a call to respond to non violence, with humility, with truth.


You could help us in organising the events in the cities as per the above itinerary, help in publicizing the event.


Civic Chandran / T.R.N Prabhu



Sunny Paikada,

Convenor, Hind Swaraj Centenary Samithi