The Indian press heaved a collective sigh of regret when Malala Yousafzai did not win the Nobel Prize for Peace. Every newspaper and TV channel loves a good story, and Malala’s offered everything. A courageous girl ready to fight to death for her right to education, and a chance to gloat over Pakistan’s abysmal human rights record. All was well, except for one tiny matter that was washed over. One of the contenders for the Peace Prize was Indian, and surely as deserving to be called an apostle of peace. She was Irom Sharmila, who had been nominated for her twelve-year long fast to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, a draconian law that gives the armed forces immunity from prosecution in “disturbed” areas.
Kavita Joshi’s documentary ‘My Body My Weapon’ (2007) on Irom Sharmila’s relentless struggle for repealing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. Ms. Sharmila is currently in the thirteenth year of her fast.