About 140 organizations have given a call to initiate solidarity actions on the eve of the tenth year of the hunger fast by Sharmila Irom against the rule of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Manipur state.
Protests, one-day symbolic fasts, film festivals, posters, letters to the Chief Minister of Manipur and Prime Minister as well as solidarity poems by students in different parts are being planned in many places. The central idea behind the campaign is to support not just Sharmila Irom’s demand to repeal AFSPA in Manipur. Ultimately, there is a need to remove such repressive laws wherever they are in place, in the entire north east, Jammu and Kashmir, Chattisgarh, etc. We believe that collective action by all organizations who have come forward to support Sharmila Irom’s demand has the power to change the authoritarian character of the Indian state.
Many groups have expressed an interest in organizing film festivals on human rights in solidarity with Sharmila Irom during the period November 2-6, 2009. We have put together a package of relevant films which can be made available to any group that is interested in organizing such an effort.
For getting copies of films, place a request on firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with your programme details. Packages will be couriered to you from following address:
INSAF national secretariat 124-A/6, First Floor, Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi-110016 Ph: +91-11-65663958, Telefax:+91-11-26517814 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send your announcements and reports of your actions to email@example.com so that they can be viewed by a larger audience.
The following documentary films are available:
Soldiers in Sarong: By Lokendra Arambam. Duration – 45 minutes Abstract – “sarong” -women traditional wear. Manipur, a small state in north east India is in deep political and social turmoil. The impact of armed conflict and the confrontation between the State and Non state actors were most acutely felt by the women. Their lives are testimony to the impact of violence on traditional societies forced into the painful threshold of modernity.
Tales from the margin: By Kavita Joshi. English. Duration - 23 minutes Abstract – A travel to the remote, strife torn corner of India. It documents the extraordinary protest of Manipuri women for justice. The film also focus on the everyday lives of women and human tragedies in Manipur ( India) .
Sharmila – the iron lady: CNN- IBN A 30 minute story on Iron Sharmila. Her struggle and the cycle of violence in the State of Manipur by a Delhi based national media – CNN- IBN
True lies in Manipur: CNN- IBN 30 minutes story on the fake encounter in July 23, 2009 and the aftermath of the expose.
Redefining Peace: By K.P Sasi Duration – 58 Minutes Abstract - 1000 women were nominated for the 2005 Nobel peace prize by net work of women movements and organizations across the globe. Of which 91 women were from India. The film tells the story of the struggle and contribution of these 91 women, who in their own ways redefine the definition of Peace. Sharmila Irom is one among the list.
Jashn-e-azadi (How we celebrate freedom): By Sanjay Kak Duration - 138 minutes Amidst the everyday violence and ever-present fear in Kashmir, there are no easy answers to such questions. Where truth has been an early victim, all language, speech, poetry, even cinema, becomes inadequate to describe what we know and feel here. So we reshape our curiosity, and point ourselves at what we can see, what we are allowed to see
Development flows from the barrel of the Gun: By B. Toppo and Meghnath Duration - 55 miniutes. This film presents and examines orchestrated state violence against indigenous and local peoples when they protest against development projects on their lands. The film strengthen their thesis by documenting examples from all over India – Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.
Prisoners of Conscience: Zameer ke Bandi (1978, 45 mins, B&W) On political prisoners in India before, during and after the State of Emergency in 1975-77.
An important historical record of a traumatic period in India's recent political history, PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE focuses on the State of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi from June 1975 to March 1977. During the Emergency the media was muzzled, over 100,000 people were arrested without charge and imprisoned without trial. But political prisoners existed before the Emergency, and they continue to exist even after it is over.