Making the first move towards a new life that will include politics and marriage, Sharmila said: “I am not a goddess, I want to be a human being. I want to be Chief Minister of Manipur to make a positive difference.”
This morning, the frail, meek 44-year-old left, for the last time, the prison hospital in which she spent years being force-fed through a plastic tube after being arrested for attempted suicide.
With her first taste of food, she winced, then wept for several moments.
For a section of her supporters and family, the end of the long fast is a big, disconcerting change.
Bombarded with questions about her plans, she said, haltingly but defiantly: “This is my life. I want equality… I am called the Iron Lady of Manipur and I want to live up to it.”
She wants to contest the Manipur election next year as an independent candidate.