It was deeply upsetting to read this news. Irom Sharmila had been pursuing fast for the last 16 years, for a better society for her fellow people. Here I do not debate or argue the rationales or merits of her objectives and approach; however, it suffices to say that she did identify with the problems of her people. She is an icon, and called an iron lady. After 16 long years, she gives up her fast and is released by court. She had vowed not to meet her mother unless she attains her objective, and now has nowhere to go. Her own people, whose cause she had been pursuing all these years, refused to take her in, and simply turned her away. In their opinion, she had let them down by giving up her indefinite fast. Of course, she is shocked and disappointed, and presently staying in the hospital where she had pursued her struggle all these years. Whether she would be able to eventually become the chief minister of the state, or whether she would be able to attain her objective with this new approach, only future would tell. As of now, she has invested all her youth years struggling and fighting for the security and dignity of her people, none of whom identifies with her now. As long as she was working as per their desires, she was a goddess; as soon as she finds a different way, they refuse to have anything to do with her.
Such is the human nature. We want friends who would always say ‘yes’, fulfill all our demands, spend all their lives for us, and take care of our welfare. As soon as they are found unable to complete that task, we turn them out, and replace them with someone else.
The whole episode reminds me of the prophecy by Sri Ramakrishna, “The tongue that praises you today will abuse you tomorrow”.
1- Irom Sharmila ends 16-year fast, The Hindu, 11 August, 2016. LINK
2- Her own people don’t want her back, Irom Sharmila is back in Imphal hospital, The Indian Express, 11 August, 2016. LINK 3- No more on fast, Manipur now shuns Irom Sharmila, The Indian Express, 10 August, 2016. LINK