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Ten innocent people were mowed down by security forces in Malom, a village near Imphal, in November 2000. The perpetrators were not punished, protected under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which empowers military and para-military personnel to arrest, shoot, even kill, anyone on the grounds of mere suspicion. In response to this tragedy-one among many such atrocities-Irom Sharmila, a young Manipuri, began an indefinite hunger strike. The government arrested her and force-fed her through nasal tubes. She was released and re-arrested innumerable times, but she stood by her demand. In July 2016, Irom brought her sixteen years of hunger strike to an end, and decided to contest the elections.
Burning Bright is a hard-hitting account of a people caught between the crossfire of militants and security forces; of a once-sovereign kingdom whose culture has been brutally violated; of the many voices of dissent-from underground groups to the Meira Paibis, a women's movement opposed to all forms of violence whether by the state or insurgents and a moving portrait of 'the Iron Lady of Manipur'.