When LOVE strikes, even iron melts – Irom’s Love Story
The 44-year-old civil rights activist had announced that after breaking her fast, she would join politics and also get married!
Here are a few facts about Desmond Coutinho who allegedly influenced Sharmila to end her fast:
- Desmond Coutinho, a writer and an activist, first read about Irom Sharmila’s struggle in `Burning Bright`, a book by Deepti Priya Mehrotra.
- Desmond wrote a letter to Sharmila in 2009. Since then, the two have been exchanging letters regularly.
- The 52-year-old proposed to Sharmila in a letter without even meeting her.
- Desmond came to Manipur’s capital Imphal for the first time in February 2011 and managed to meet Sharmila on March 09 at a court.
- Sharmila’s room is full of gifts from Desmond. According to India Today, the gifts include a wooden statue of Krishna and Radha, a calendar, a wall-hanging, a tablecloth, a diary, Santa Claus cap and bells, and a laptop.
- Desmond visited Manipur again in 2014, and eventually landed up in jail for “disturbing the peace” in the hospital. He was later released on bail.
- In 2011, Sharmila was quoted as saying by Indian Today that Desmond is of Goan origin but a British citizen. Desmond, however, has posted on a website, “Goan origin she said, but I was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, as were my parents. I am a second generation African travelling with an EU passport.”
- In a blog post, Desmond wrote: “I am like Yoko Ono. Or Gandhiji’s wife. I will enable her to do her thing, which is give witness to the oppressed. I am marrying a mahatma and I have a rough idea that it’s not going to be an easy-going life.”
- Sharmila’s supporters do not like her union with Desmond.
“If you’re okay with lots of failure,” Irom Sharmila’s fiancé says human rights defense is rewarding