Irom Sharmila, the “iron lady of Manipur,” has invited anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare to visit her State, calling it “the most corruption-affected region in the world.”
The civil rights activist who, by some estimates, holds the world record for being on the longest hunger strike — she has been on a fast for the past 10 years demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which she blames for violence in Manipur and the Northeast — said this in response to an invitation from Mr. Hazare to join his movement.
Said Ms. Sharmila: “I would like you to be convinced of the reality of my situation, that I cannot get the advantage of exercising my non-violent protest for justice against my concerned authority as a democratic citizen of a democratic country, unlike your environment. This is the problem I cannot understand.
“My humble suggestion is if you feel seriously, please try to reach the concerned legislators (read authorities) to let me get free, like yours, to join your amazing crusade to root out corruption — which is the root of all evils. Or you can come to Manipur, the most corruption-affected region in the world.”