Why Irom Sharmila lost out : the dark side of NGOs

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Strangely, an icon of Manipuri resistance against State suppression, lost out big in the state assembly elections. Why? | आश्चर्यजनक रूप से, एक दमनकारी राज्य-व्यवस्था के विरूद्ध मणिपुरी विरोध का प्रतीक बन चुकी इरोम शर्मिला चुनाव में बुरी तरह हार गयीं। क्यों?



Why Irom Sharmila lost out : the dark side of NGOs


Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur, the lady who fasted for 16 years asking for removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), finally ended her fast in 2016 and decided to enter politics, forming her own party [People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA)]. She contested the March, 2017 assembly elections against the incumbent Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh of the Congress party. Sharmila lost very badly securing just 90 votes, less than even NOTA, which polled 143 votes. Analysis : Sharmila was not merely a social activist who was fighting for a cause for 16 years, but she became an industry, much larger than her personality. Her failed political endeavour  may as well have caused a huge dent even to her stature of a strong social activist, fighting for a cause. 

What went wrong? (1) A section of the Meiteis (the majority ethnic group of Manipur, mostly Hindus) feel that her vanity and dependence on a small group of people let her down. (2) Meira Paibis – the women torchbearers – who camped outside Sharmila’s hospital during her fast – disapproved of her decision to end her fast and enter politics. (3) Her love for NRI Desmond Coutinho, which people feel was a reason for her giving up her cause, damaged her stature. (4) Coutinho declared himself as her sole spokesman, which rendered the NGOs jobless. A more important reason for her loss, however, was that Sharmila had become a global brand and an industry in her own self. Many NGOS were benefited by her fast, collecting global funds in the process.  J Neither Sharmila nor her family, nor even the Meira Paibis might have received any benefit though. However, Sharmila’s decision to end her fast and enter politics was a threat to the livelihood of these vested interests. Indian politics has now probably become cynical where there is no place for people who fast for a cause (in contrast to the pre-independence politics, which made a fasting saint, M K Gandhi, the architect of India’s independence). View many video analyses on social issues, on Bodhi Shiksha channel, here.

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इरोम शर्मिला क्यों पराजित हुई : गैर-सरकारी संगठनों का श्याम पक्ष



मणिपुर की इरोम चानू शर्मिला, वह महिला जिसने सशस्त्र बल विशेष शक्ति अधिनियम (एएफएसपीए) को हटाने के लिए 16 वर्षों तक उपवास किया, ने अंततः वर्ष 2016 में अपना उपवास समाप्त किया और राजनीति में आने का निर्णय लिया, जहाँ उन्होंने अपनी स्वयं के राजनीतिक दल का गठन किया - पीपल्स रिसर्जेन्स एंड जस्टिस अलायन्स (पीआरजेए) , मार्च 2017 में हुए विधानसभा चुनाव में उन्होंने विद्यमान मुख्यमंत्री ओकराम इबोबी सिंह के विरुद्ध चुनाव लड़ा। इस चुनाव में शर्मिला की भारी पराजय हुई जिसमें उन्हें केवल 90 मत प्राप्त हुए जो नोटा को मिले 143 मतों से भी कम थे। विश्लेषण : शर्मिला केवल एक सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता ही नहीं थीं जो एक प्रयोजन के लिए पिछले 16 वर्षों से संघर्ष कर रही थीं, बल्कि वे एक ऐसा उद्योग बन गई थीं जो उनके अपने व्यक्तित्व से भी कही अधिक बड़ा था। उनके असफल राजनीतिक प्रयास ने एक सार्वजनिक प्रयोजन के लिए संघर्ष करने वाली उनकी मजबूत सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता की छवि को भी गंभीर क्षति पहुंचाई होगी। 

क्या गलत हुआ हो सकता है? : (1) मैइति (मणिपुर का बहुसंख्य संजातीय समुदाय, जिनमें से अधिकांश हिंदू हैं) के एक वर्ग को लगता है कि उनका अभिमान और लोगों के एक छोटे समूह पर उनकी निर्भरता उनकी पराजय का कारण बना, (2) मेईरा पेबिस - महिला ज्ञानप्रचारक - जो निरंतर उनके उपवास के दौरान अस्पताल के बाहर डटी रहीं - को उनका उपवास तोड़कर राजनीति में आना अच्छा नहीं लगा। (3) अनिवासी भारतीय डेसमंड कुटीन्हो के प्रति उनका प्रेम, जो लोगों के अनुसार उनके उपवास तोड़ने का कारण था, उसने उनकी प्रतिष्ठा को क्षति पहुंचाई। (4) कुटीन्हो ने स्वयं को उनका एकमात्र प्रवक्ता घोषित कर दिया जिसके कारण अनेक गैर-सरकारी संगठन बेकार हो गए। हालांकि उनकी पराजय का एक अधिक महत्वपूर्ण कारण यह था कि शर्मिला स्वयं में एक वैश्विक ब्रांड और एक उद्योग बन चुकी थी। उनके उपवास से अनेक गैर-सरकारी संगठनों को भारी लाभ हुआ था, जिन्होंने इस संपूर्ण प्रक्रिया के दौरान भारी वैश्विक धनराशियाँ संग्रहित की थीं। हालांकि इस बात की प्रबल संभावना है कि न तो शर्मिला, न उनके परिवार और न ही मेईरा पेबिस को इसका कोई आर्थिक लाभ हुआ होगा। फिर भी शर्मिला द्वारा उपवास समाप्त करके राजनीति में आने का निर्णय लेने से इन निहित स्वार्थ वाले संगठनों के अस्तित्व के लिए खतरा उत्पन्न हो गया होगा। भारतीय राजनीति अब कुटिल हो गई है जहाँ ऐसे लोगों के लिए कोई स्थान नहीं है जो किसी प्रयोजन के लिए उपवास करते हैं (स्वतंत्रता-पूर्व की राजनीति के विपरीत, जिसने उपवास करने वाले एक संत, एम. के. गाँधी, को भारतीय स्वतंत्र का शिल्पकार बना दिया था)। सामाजिक मुद्दों पर अनेक विडियो विश्लेषण बोधि शिक्षा चैनल पर देखें, यहां।

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Bodhi Saar: Why Irom Sharmila lost out : the dark side of NGOs
Why Irom Sharmila lost out : the dark side of NGOs
Strangely, an icon of Manipuri resistance against State suppression, lost out big in the state assembly elections. Why? | आश्चर्यजनक रूप से, एक दमनकारी राज्य-व्यवस्था के विरूद्ध मणिपुरी विरोध का प्रतीक बन चुकी इरोम शर्मिला चुनाव में बुरी तरह हार गयीं। क्यों?
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