Activist Irom Sharmila will spend a month in solitude in search of “peace and tranquillity” in Kerala’s tribal-dominated Attappady region after a humiliating poll defeat that saw her garner just 90 votes in the recently concluded Manipur elections.
Sharmila, who celebrates her 45th birthday on Tuesday, had made it clear that politics was not her cup of tea and she would leave to a southern state for a peaceful living. It is not immediately known whether she would be permanently settling in Santhi Ashram, run by well -known philanthropist Uma Preman.
Known as the ‘Iron lady of Manipur’, Sharmila won international acclaim for a 16-year-long hunger strike seeking the abolition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the northeastern state. After ending her fast last year, she had floated a political party and fielded candidates in three seats. But all three, including her, forfeited their deposits.
Sources close to the ashram said there was a meditation and Ayurveda centre associated with the centre where many patients come for yoga and meditation. However they refused to divulge details of her stay and itinerary, saying she would there for a month. In her earlier interviews she had lauded Kerala and expressed gratitude for love and support extended by its people to her long struggle.