The noted writer Mahasweta Devi was not allowed to meet the human rights activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on fast for the last nine years demanding revocation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. Ms. Mahasweta Devi left Imphal on Thursday disappointed. She came to Imphal to participate in the ‘Festival of hope, justice and peace,’ organised by Justice and Peace Foundation to mark the occasion of Ms. Sharmila’s struggle entering the tenth year.
Talking to journalists in Manipur University, on the sidelines of a function held there, Ms. Devi said that to add insult to injury, the high officials, including the chief secretary, asked who Mahasweta Devi was. “This is shocking and insulting,” the Jnanapith recipient said. Even the President and Prime Minister know me nobody ever restricted her visits. The eminent writer and activist said she understood the campaign of Ms. Sharmila and she would spread the campaign through out the country. She said she would write on Ms. Sharmila’s struggle in all her future books. Earlier, Ms. Mahasweta Devi inaugurated a film festival on human rights organised by the Anthropology department of Manipur University. She also watched a short film “My body, my weapon” made by Kavita Joshi based on Ms. Sharmila’s campaign.