Kodaikanal activist submits petition against Irom Sharmila’s marriage

Says her activism on behalf of tribals could be a threat to peace on the hills, mar tourism

July 13, 2017 09:27 pm | Updated July 14, 2017 02:10 pm IST - Kodaikanal

  Facing obstacles:  Irom Sharmila  has announced her intention to settle down in Kodaikanal after marriage.

Facing obstacles: Irom Sharmila has announced her intention to settle down in Kodaikanal after marriage.

Within 24 hours of human rights activist Irom Sharmila filing the papers for her marriage at the Sub-Registrar’s office here, a local activist has filed a petition against it.

Ms. Sharmila and her British partner Desmond Coutinho submitted their papers for their marriage at the Sub-Registrar Office on Wednesday. A 30-day notice was served as her marriage could be registered under the Special Marriage Act.

V. Mahendran, a social activist from Pethuparai, submitted a petition to the Sub-Registrar on Thursday morning, protesting against Ms. Sharmila’s marriage proposal and appealing to the government to deny permission to them. “When I met Irom Sharmila in Kodaikanal during her visit to Bodhi Zendo near Perumal Malai, she said that she came to Kodaikanal to lead a peaceful life. I welcomed her then, as she was a renowned activist,” he stated in the petition.

Sources said Mr. Mahendran was among the first to receive Ms. Sharmila and honoured her with a shawl when she came to Kodaikanal.

However, he changed his mind after she, in a recent television interview, hinted that she would raise her voice in support of tribals on the hills. Moreover, her British fiancée Mr. Coutinho was in-charge of a website engaging with activists all over the world. Mr. Mahendran cited these as threats to peace on the hills of Kodaikanal.

A tourist haven

Many foreign and Indian tourists come to Kodaikanal to enjoy their holidays as it offers a calm, safe and peaceful setting. If the government granted permission for their marriage, they would permanently settle in Kodaikanal, the activist said. Hence, the Sub-Registrar should not grant permission for her marriage, keeping in mind the interest of the people and safety of Kodaikanal, he insisted.

Mr. Mahendran told The Hindu that keeping a constant watch on Ms. Sharmila would take a toll on the police. If she sat on the street for tribal rights, it would become an international issue, he said.

Meanwhile, the police have reportedly advised registration officials to intimate them before granting permission for her marriage.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.