“I am just an ordinary person engaged in an extraordinary struggle,” said Irom Sharmila who has been released after 16 years of hunger strike with a mission to fight in elections against government in India. An ordinary woman who never saw the face of college but was educated in terms of tailoring, typing, poetry and worked as an intern with a human rights group in Imphal, Manipur. She is a fierce soul with a very simple and graceful appearance who never missed a day at work and was committed to the cause of humanity which led her to the 16 years struggle which has finally ended this year. Forcefully fed with medicines and liquids through a nose tube, she was kept alive. Her struggle is against the India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which allows soldiers to arrest without warrant and kill in certain situations. She serves as an example of determination, consistency and persistence who despite all odds reaffirms of her protest every two weeks in the high court. 

Her struggle is a shout-out to all the violent killings in Indian-held Kashmir where innocent people are murdered and humanity has become a mere phenomenon. Her continuous struggle for humanity has won her the title of, “Prisoner of conscience.” 

Mahum Shah, 

Lahore, August 9.