Irom hasn’t willingly ingested food or water for 11 years, in protest of a law granting legal immunity to the armed forces for human rights abuses.

Now insular Manipur has been rattled by a complication in the lonely crusade of a woman who is the symbol of its battle against the Indian government: Irom, who is single, has received a marriage proposal from a man she has met only once, during a brief court appearance. …

As for Irom, even as she vows to continue her fast, she also dreams of a normal life, and love.

“I’m an ordinary human being,” Irom said during a brief visit, with tears in her eyes and her nose tube slung behind her ear like a grocer’s pencil. Some of the activists are “very mean,” she said. “After fulfilling my demands, I want to live just as other common people.”