She arrived in an ambulance, thin and ghostly pale, a tube dangling from her nostril. Flanked by police officers, she was ushered into the judge’s chambers for a fortnightly ritual she has repeated hundreds of times. Was she ready to end her fast?
Irom Chanu Sharmila, a 39-year-old poet and activist, gave her usual reply: no. With that, she was taken back to the hospital room where she spends her days in isolation, force-fed a sludgy mix of nutrients though the tube in her nose. This routine has gone on, remarkably, for 11 years.
A recent 12-day fast by the social activist Anna Hazareparalyzed India’s political system, captured the nonstop attention of its hyperkinetic 24-hour cable news media and inspired hundreds of thousands of people across the country to rally in his crusade against corruption.
In New York Times, Lydia Polgreen meets Irom Chanu Sharmila who has been on a hunger strike for the past 11 years and is force-fed through a tube more