Irom’s isolation: no marriage in Manipur
By By Prasanta Mazumdar | Published: 13th May 2017 10:40 PM |
GUWAHATI: Activist Irom Sharmila will soon marry her long-time boyfriend, Goa-born British national Desmond Coutinho in Kerala, but there is little excitement about it in her home state Manipur.
The anti-Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) activist lost her popularity when she ended her 16-year hunger strike in August last year, and contested elections. Manipur has over 1,500 cases of alleged fake encounter killings, and political parties and social organisations want AFSPA to go.
Sharmila faced protests in Imphal the day she ended her fast. Her decisions to contest elections and marry Desmond piqued people, who suspected Desmond to be an agent of “government of India” sent to distract her from her movement. Sharmila’s People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance contested all three Assembly seats it contested. She polled just 90 votes in Thoubal constituency. She then quit politics and moved to Tamil Nadu.
Sharmila and Desmond, who have known each other for eight years, will marry in Kerala as they believe the marriage will not go down well if solemnised in Manipur.
“I don’t want to interfere in her affairs. I didn’t say anything to her 17 years ago when she started her movement and when she decided to end her fast, contest elections and get married,” her brother Irom Singhajit said.