Irom Sharmila is an activist from the North-East state of Manipur in India. She has been in news and kept on making headlines for her hunger strike which lasted 16 years from 2000 to 2016. She created a world record by keeping hunger strike for over 500 weeks. By a poll done by MSN India, she was voted as the leading woman icon from India. Her hunger strike was in protest against the removal of AFSPA from all north-eastern states. She also tried to commit suicide during this period, so was arrested several times.
The reason why she started hunger strike was because of “Malom Massacre” in 2000. 10 innocent civilians were accidently killed by Assam Rifles. She immediately started fasting after this incident. Her fast made her one of the biggest civil rights activist and also made her famous worldwide. During her fast many other activists like Anna Hazare came in support of her. Political leaders like Mamta Banerjee too came in support of her.
For raising her voice against a strong cause, she has received several international awards. She has been named as the “Iron Lady of Manipur”.
After ending her fast after 16 years, she decided to become a politician. She established her own political front named Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance. She contested for the 2017 state elections but badly lost by winning just total of 90 votes in her favour.