There seems to be an invisible wall between the Northeast and the rest of India. Yes, as much as we deny it, the barrier certainly exists. That is the only rational explanation for the ignorance of the rest of India about the seven sisters.
When it comes to women too the impression is alarmingly appalling. The typical idea seems to be that women from that part of India are nothing but bimbettes since they appear well dressed always. Narrow minded you say? I vehemently agree! Speaking from personal experience, my classmates in my engineering college in Uttar Pradesh were shocked when I passed out without a single back inspite of hailing from the north east.
I mention here about the women from north east for there is one among them who is worth applauding but more often than not forgotten just as the region she belongs to. Irom Chanu Sharmila – a civil rights activist.
The ‘Malom Massacre’ which happened over a decade ago altered her life forever. On November 2000 when 10 civilians were allegedly shot and killed by the Assam Rifles, Irom Chanu Sharmila began her fast in protest of the killings. It has been over 500 weeks since but she remains undeterred. Can you imagine doing something of the same scale for your fellow human beings?
I don’t know whether her way is right or wrong. I don’t even know whether in a country like India fasting is a solution since there is no value for life, especially of the common man. But what I do see in her is a strong-willed and selfless female. How else would her fast have lasted so long?
I don’t think I can ever do it. I need food, there’s no way I can spend a day without it let alone a decade. We all can't, can we? And when I can afford it, I don’t think I can bring myself to fast for people I don’t even know. A few days perhaps but more than that I don’t think that is humanly possible for me. But she has been doing the exact same thing for a cause. Now if that doesn’t make her great and worth emulating then what does? If that doesn’t make her beautiful then what does? A couple of movies and awards? Certainly not!
Here’s a lady who deserves the attention of the country but she lives in oblivion. She is ignored for she is not worth being part of breaking news or water cooler discussions. But that too hasn’t stopped her. All I can say is, she is extraordinary. All we need to do is try being passionate about civil rights in our capacity too and add to her voice. No we don’t need to fast, just create a stir; for the voice of one person can be subdued but not of millions of us!