Imphal, July 15: Like all mother-daughter relationship, iconic Manipuri civil rights activist Irom Sharmila too shares a special bond with her mother, Irom Shakhi.
As the 45-year-old “Iron Lady” from the hill state of Northeast India is all set to tie the knot with her longtime beau, Desmond Coutinho, in Tamil Nadu’s hill town of Kodaikanal, in mid-August, mother has a special message for her daughter.
While Irom is away from “home” in Imphal since March this year, the mother wished her daughter a “successful and happy married life”.
Her elder brother Irom Singhajit Singh told The Telegraph on Friday, “My sister informed my mother about her wedding plans over the phone through a contact a few days ago. My mother talked to her for some time and wished her a successful and happy married life.”
In all probability, the 87-year-old mother of Irom is unlikely to be present at the wedding venue in Kodaikanal, but the blessing of her mother is an assurance that the family approves of her latest decision.
Not many in Manipur wanted Irom to end her 16-year-old fast against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) last year and lead the life of a “normal woman”.
For them, Irom was a “goddess” as she sacrificed her youth for a cause that is so close to their hearts. The whole thing of “marriage” does not fit in their scheme of things.
The first time when a popular English daily from the Northeast region reported about Irom’s love life several years ago, when she was still on her fast, massive protest broke out across the state, as the people who are against her decision of sharing her “heart” with a man, alleged that it was a conspiracy to derail Manipur’s struggle against the AFSPA.
Over the years, the topic of Irom’s love life was discussed in whispers in Manipur, as many of her fellow activists did not approve the “transgression” she dared to commit.