Who am I?

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I am not religious, but I don't mind calling myself spiritual. Religion, I believe, has, over the millennia, been used as a prop to perpetrate a lot of human suffering. Faith is what matters. I don't believe in the definition of God as a creator. According to me, my God resides within me. Some call it conscience, some call it the sub-conscious, some call it the soul. I don't mind calling it God. So by definition I am not an atheist or an agnostic, but by essence, I may as well be. My God does not reside in a temple, church, mosque or gurudwara. It is right here, within me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

9 Years And Counting..

Who does not like to support causes? We all do. In fact, it is one thing which makes us all feel good. In fact, when we support a cause, we feel as if we have turned into a better human being. Today, I had a similar feeling when I read about someone, and strongly supported that person. I read about Irom Sharmila, the courage she showed to put her own life on the back burner to support a ‘cause’ – the repeal of the macabre Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that has been in effect in Manipur and other north-eastern states since 1980.

What do we normally do when we feel strongly for a cause? We think about it for a while. Or we may go a step further by googling it to find out more about it. Or if we really want to change things, we discuss the matter with a friend who is most likely to understand and relate to what we have to say about the cause. An affirmative nod by him, with a hint of pride, is enough to slake our ego. It satisfies us, more often than not. And that is that. This is the upper limit to which we usually go. It is only the very few of us who actually do something about it. What Irom Sharmila has been through is inimitable and epitomizes the paragon of super-human strength - both physical and mental. And what’s her request? Please repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). This controversial Act allows the armed forces to use force, arrest or shoot anyone on mere suspicion, with blatant impunity. Irom started out on her quest for justice on November 2, 2000. The previous day, an insurgent outfit had bombed an Assam Rifles column. The armed personnel shot down 10 innocent civilians at a bus-stand in Malom on the pretext of retaliation. That was the fateful day when she decided to step on and support a ‘cause’ – in her special way. It has been more than 9 long years and not a morsel of food or a drop of water has entered her body through her mouth. She is being forcibly fed with a drip thrust down her nose by the Indian State, which cannot let her die too.

I read the article about her in the magazine Tehelka and felt compelled to do my bit. I salute the unblemished bravery Irom has shown in the face of adversity meted out by the very state for whose growth she is waging this unsung war.


  1. NDTV did a story on Irom Sharmila a few weeks back :) The lady prompted me to read more about it... I echo your thoughts on this like million others.

  2. I was not aware of it. I am glad the media is finally waking up and taking cognizance of her effort. :)