Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Support Irom Sharmila, Show Your Solidarity

This post is for those young people who watch Tales from the Margins and ask what they can do to support Irom Sharmila:

In November 2011, Irom Sharmila Chanu’s epic fast demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will complete 11 years.

In these 11 years, the government has done everything in its power to isolate Irom Sharmila. It has kept her under arrest by claiming that her fast is an attempt to commit suicide, and therefore punishable by law. Though she is an under-trial and therefore entitled to visitors as per law, under the guise of her own security the authorities make this process very difficult. Special permission has to be sought from the state to meet Sharmila, and it comes after a wait of many days, if at all. Activists, eminent citizens and people close to her are often not given permission to meet her. All this, in an attempt to break her indomitable spirit.

When I had met Sharmila for the first time, she'd told me that one thing she missed was people - human contact. Show Irom Sharmila your solidarity - write to her. Let her know that you stand with her in this struggle for justice. Each letter is also a sign to the government that people across this country are against AFSPA. Send your letters, cards and messages of solidarity to:
      Irom Sharmila Chanu
      c/o Security Ward
      Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital
      Porompat, Imphal – 795001

Or you can also send your messages by email to:

A compilation of the emails is periodically printed and delivered to Sharmila as a book, by the Pan Manipur group.

NOTE: There is a more that each of us can do to support Sharmila and the campaign against AFSPA.  Watch this space, we will be updating this with more info. You can also watch My Body My Weapon, a short film on Irom Sharmila and the AFSPA available on this blog. The film is free to view, share on FB and embed on your webpages.