Irom Sharmila is not Mary Kom. If you fail to understand this then you probably expect Sharmila next on billboards and television advertisements, smiling, breaking her fast by chewing a particular brand of nutritious/digestive biscuit. You will also fail to understand then that there is no difference between the yearly ritual of churning out few stories on Irom Sharmila and her personal life whenever she was released for a day or two after every year-long imprisonment for the last 16 years and doing a Bollywood movie on her. The former didn’t serve the real purpose at all, one of the reasons why she broke the hunger strike and the latter won’t serve any purpose either other than belittling and derailing her struggle which still continues as she repeatedly says in every media interaction following her breaking of the hunger strike.
When Sharmila repeatedly says that she is just a simple human being and shouldn’t be considered a super-human figure, for your kind information, she means that she wants the focus to be back on the draconian law- AFSPA and related crimes in Manipur. Making a movie on her will only idolize her further in the national as well as international consciousness taking the focus away from the ground realities. I would like to inform you that Sharmila is even mulling over taking legal actions against you people, if that helps in making you realize the seriousness of the whole thing. This is not your typical Bollywood movie, the sooner you realize this is the better for you and for us.
Do you know that there are 1528 cases of fake encounters in Manipur where many innocent orphans, widows and mothers still fight for justice living under such adverse conditions that you can’t even imagine from the coziness of your privileged homes and offices? Why not then, make a movie on those families who didn’t have the money to even go and register an FIR or get a postmortem done when their family members were raped and killed by government forces in Manipur? It’s not appealing enough, I know.
For that matter, what were you doing for the last 16 years when Sharmila was silently fighting her battle? Why couldn’t you make a movie then? Is it because she was a fugitive then and didn’t conform to the greater Indian idea of a law abiding citizen? With the decision of her breaking the fast, she has suddenly become the perfect subject for the ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’ kind of chest thumping patriotic movie?
How commercialization of Mary Kom including her movie has helped her sports by the way? Also, can you please tell me in what way the ‘Mary Kom Movie’ has contributed to Manipur? You would rather want make a movie on Sharmila, I know. You know what- STAY AWAY!
Words- Anuraag Baruah