Lifestyle & Belief

World's shortest hunger strike lasts until lunch


Indian food.


Dibyangshu Sarkar

What started out, according to some reports, as a "fast unto death" (just like Gandhi) quickly morphed into the "fastest fast in the history of fasts."

Indian politician Vinod Kumar Binny initially said he would refuse food in protest of his expulsion from the the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which took control of Delhi's local government after state elections last month.

He started fasting after breakfast on Monday. By tea time he had called it off. 

Cue Twitter ridicule: 

Apparently anti-corruption crusader and veteran hunger striker Anna Hazare had advised Binny to put an end to his fast. He told Binny he should give the AAP more time to meet his demands, which include passage of an anti-corruption bill.

Hazare theoretically knows what he's talking about, having launched a successful fast in 2011.

After refusing food for 12 days, the central government acquiesced to Hazare's demand for an anti-corruption ombudsman.

In India, you hear "hunger strike" and you think "Gandhi," who frequently refused to eat for long periods of time during British rule.

But none can match the record of Irom Chanu Sharmila, a civil rights activist from Manipur who has been on a hunger strike for 14 years to demand the repeal of an internal security law.

She survives only because she is being force-fed through a tube attached to her nose.

Watch a mini-documentary in which Sharmila tells what it's like to fast — and be force-fed — for more than a decade:

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.