Today, any TV channel or newspaper is all and only about Anna Hazare and his fast. While the initiative and venture is definitely laudable and much required, there are a couple of unrecognised heros who have, in their own ways been trying to make an impact.
One among them is the 38 year old "Iron Lady Of Manipur", Irom Chanu Sharmila. Since November 2000, she has been on an indefinite fast demanding the withdrawal of the AFSPA (Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958) which allows the armed forces full right of action, with full immunity for their actions in the "disturbed areas" (states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Jammu & Kashmir).
Irom Sharmila started her fast on November 2nd, 2000. She is under arrest and is being force fed by the Manipuri Government in a hospital in Imphal. Every year, she is released, and re-arrested.
Manipur, like other disturbed areas is a war torn land, with arm carrying militants and the army having the final word. the AFSPA act might be a necessary evil in Manipur. Not living there, it is difficult to judge. Though opinions vary about the effectiveness and the necessity for the AFSPA act, Irom Sharmila's courage and determination is something to be applauded and respected.