Manipur Elections: Irom Sharmila - The Long Distance Cyclist

PUBLISHED ON: February 25, 2017 | Duration: 18 min, 44 sec

   
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The Iron Lady of Manipur is making a debut in politics on a bicycle and is single-minded about her objective: "I want to be chief minister". Irom Sharmila became iconic for her fast for 16 years for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, imposed in the state to counter insurgency. But her party, PRJA, has fielded just three candidates in the state that has a 60 seats. So the math doesn't quite add up. Also, her personal life is turning into a poll issue. Her Goa-born British boyfriend who lives in Ireland has abused her friends, supporters, in fact all Manipuris, in such terms on social media, she has had to apologise. She doesn't like the focus on her personal life. When she was an activist, people would tiptoe round it. Now, as a politician, her love life is in the public eye. How will both the personal and the political play out for Irom Sharmila? Is she risking her place in history?
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