The Hush Post|01:00pm| 2-min-read
Irom Sharmila, the Iron Lady of Manipur know for her 16-year hunger strike against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state, gave birth to twin daughters on Mother’s Day in Bengaluru.
After breaking her fast in August 2016, the 46-year-old had moved to Kodaikanal. Last year, she had moved to Bengaluru’s Cloudnine hospital for the pregnancy. Sharmila and her husband, Goan-born British national Desmond Coutinho, have named their daughters, Nix Sakhi and Autumn Tara.
Nix Sakhi has been named after her mother, Irom Sakhi. She died few months ago. “My husband chose the name Nix, which is Latin for snow. He wanted our daughter to be cool and calm like the snow,” she said.
The other daughter has been named after “a Buddhist goddess, the female reincarnation of the Buddha”.
“I am missing my mother terribly. I wish she could have known. I wish I could have picked up the phone to tell her,’’ she told The Indian Express.
“My daughters have been born on Mother’s Day and I am doubly happy because of that. I feel that is significant,” she said.
The 16-yr fast
She began her fast in protest in November 2000. Sharmila was lodged as an undertrial at Imphal’s JNIMS hospital where she was force-fed by a Ryles tube, which later became a symbol of her struggle. At that time, Sharmila and her mother had vowed not to meet each other till AFSPA had been repealed.
After ending her fast, she unsuccessfully fought the assembly election in 2017 garnering a bare 90 votes. She was defeated by Chief Minister Ibobi Singh. She had said then that she had felt humiliated on being let down by her people, for whom she had fought for 16 years.