THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Disheartened by her disastrous performance in Manipur Assembly polls, rights activist Irom Sharmila said the people of Manipur were hypnotised by the politics of money and muscle power
Participating in a meet-the-press programme organised by the Kesari Memorial Journalists’ Trust here on Monday, Irom Sharmila reiterated her resolve to quit politics, but added she wanted her political outfit - the Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance - to survive.
“When people let me down, I felt really shattered. If you don’t want me to involve in politics and don’t want to use your right to choice correctly, then let it be,” she said reflecting on her electoral debacle in the recently-concluded Assembly polls where she got only 90 votes.
“And I myself want to get free of it if they don’t want it,” she said. She termed the lifting of the economic blockade in Manipur, imposed by the United Naga Council, as ‘positive.’
Sharmila, who arrived in the state capital by rail on Monday morning, met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the afternoon. She said the Kerala Chief Minister assured her of his support in her struggle against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
On her post-election plans, the ‘Iron lady of Manipur’ said she wanted to ‘lobby the whole world’ against the draconian AFSPA. She also met CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
On her status as an icon recognised across the globe, Sharmila said she did not prefer to be kept or seen on a pedestal. Rather, she wanted to be treated as a human. “What I really want from the world is mutual sharing of life, worries and happiness; mutual dependence, mutual respect, enjoying together the beauties of the universe,” Sharmila said.