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Sons without a Soil: Bhoomi is the Issue, Not Putra

8:19 PM
‘Bhoomiputra’ has become the latest catchphrase for political parties in Darjeeling Hills. CPRM was the first to announce former MP RB Rai as its candidate for 2019, soon followed by ‘bhoomiputra’ candidates from TMC-GJM (Binoy faction), Congress, CPIM. The lone ‘putri’ (daughter) in the fray is Reseeka Chhetri who has announced her candidacy as an independent contestant.

A New Catchphrase

Bhoomiputra or the son-of-the-soil theory is not new to Indian politics and have brought about sea change in the social narrative of our nation. However, for Darjeeling Hills, Bhoomiputra has never been an issue of asserting identity and have historically elected political representatives both from within and outside the region. After the Gorkhaland issue became the mainstream of Darjeeling Hills politics, people have always for the issue, notwithstanding party or leaders. The core philosophy of local politics has been aptly described in the words of Subash Ghising: “Party bhanda Jati thulo, Jati bhanda Maato thulo”

The whole jingoism about Bhoomiputra is only an attempt to divert public attention from the core issue of Gorkhaland. For every voter, Gorkhaland has always been the core political issue and the current generation have witnessed several dramas unfold around the statehood movement in their lives. After having made all efforts to divide the people through boards, councils, and administrations, the son-of-the-soil rhetoric is another ploy to crush the statehood movement and its supporters. This Bhumiputra debate is a classic case of using the ’US’ vs ‘THEM’ idea as a political tool.

The Friendship Treaty Bogey Call

The alliance of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and the Hills parties have conveniently shifted the goal post for Gorkhaland. In an article published by Economic Times, Binoy Tamang states “we must demand a review and revision of the India-Nepal Friendship treaty, and there should be a clear demarcation of borders between these two countries. This is the reason why people still call us Nepalese and treat us like foreigners. If this isn’t done, no way can we remove the foreigner tag. Gorkhaland has become a tool for politicians. Before every election, they sell us the dream of Gorkhaland. If we fail to correct the basic issues which are stopping us from getting Gorkhaland, Gorkhas will continue to die and we will never achieve our goal”.

The Government of India formed an Eminent Person’s Group (EPG) in 2014, comprising of experts from both India and Nepal to examine the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty 1950 and modify its provisions to reflect the realities of current times. This committee has taken representation on Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty from various sections of the society from both India and Nepal, and already submitted their final report in July of 2018. The Government of India is expected to renew the treaty in the later half of 2019. With or without TMC-GJM(BT) group making it an election issue.

The sudden realization that the India-Nepal Friendship treaty is the obstacle to the identity and statehood movement to be led by TMC is highly doubtful. If we remember, this is the same government which hounded Gorkhaland movement supporters for months and even killed 13 innocent protestors in broad daylight.

A new beginning for hill politics

Be it the first memorandum submitted by Hillmen Association in 1907, the violence of 1980s, or the recent 2017 agitation, the demand has been a separate administration and self-rule within India’s democratic union. The Anglo-Nepal treaty is an international treaty between two nations and are being discussed at the level. The Gorkha statehood movement is a demand for state protection for Indian Gorkhas who have been left out in the constitutional process. It is a desire for the recognition, respect, and integration of Gorkha peoples in the Indian nation-state

Now as GJM (Bimal faction) and GNLF have come together to fight the elections and carry the Gorkhaland issue forward, there is a chance that Gorkhaland will not be decimated from the central politics. If the primary objective is to push forward the Gorkhaland issue, then the goal should be to find the right person to do it. There is no point harping on ‘Bhoomiputra’ where there is no ‘Bhoomi’ in the first place.

To have one Gorkhaland supporting MP in the Lot Sabha is to have a voice in the parliament. With the coming together of the two parties, the TMC led alliance is startled. Mainstream media is already abuzz with digging out the violent history and personal differences of leaders to create a rift. In coming days, there could be more incidents reported to fuel the differences of the past.

As voters, we can only hope that GJM and GNLF remain true to the cause because it is Gorkhaland issue had brought them to the position they are today. They must realize that the core issue for which they have fought is much bigger than the rewards of local politics.

For the voters, we must realize that five years is a long time, long enough for one generation of kids to forget about the issue. The solution might take time, but voting the right candidate is the only way we have to keep our issue alive in political discourse in the center. To lose that voice for 5 years will take us back further.

Leaders and parties are free to campaign and promise anything as long as we know what we want.

[Originally Posted here https://thedarjeelingchronicle.com/darjeeling-elections-bhoomiputra-issue/]

What Gorkha Youth Thinks

9:14 AM
Writes: Dibya Chhetri

Gorkhaland has again become the most popular topic for discussion with the upcoming Elections in April. At every corner, you can hear people discussing whose fault was it the last time and who is to be blamed. Having failed so many times, we have even stopped learning lessons from the past mistakes. We always find an excuse to blame someone and continue repeating the same mistakes time and again.

However we may want to believe, it has always been our lack of unity and integrity that is to blame.  It is us who split out because of petty differences and aspirations compromising the larger cause of the community. The sacrifices of the martyrs who died believing in Gorkhaland have been reduced to mere stories today. Blaming ‘THEM’ has become our culture today simply because it is easy. ’THEY did this to US’ is easier than saying ‘WE did it ourselves and rectify our actions.

Our refusal to introspect our actions have made it difficult for us to learn from the mistakes and take corrective measures. I certainly don’t believe that only protests and shutdowns Darjeeling or Delhi should be the first and easy alternative for us use. What we lack is honest people to represent our voice at all levels, a vision for the youth, and a willingness to change for better.


Let us look around us for a while, the youths are leaving the place for a better life outside in bigger cities. Hundreds others are neck-deep in alcohol and drug addiction. Those who want to work, don’t have the knowledge or resources to start something. With such situation at home, the only option we have left is to work in service of others. Perhaps we are happy doing the *ji saabji* and even used to it now. Of course, we sometimes get sentimental and cry victim when something unfortunate happens; but happy to narrate our glorious history when all other excuses fail.

Dear Gorkhas ,
Make sure people will know you by your present action and not by your history .
Be the sun that shines everywhere
Be it education, entertainment, sports, or politics
Business or social services
From dash to dash


Via thedarjeelingchronicle.com


‘A Jewel of the Himalayas’ - Pratiman Singh Lama

10:50 AM
Some great people with extraordinary mind and characteristics have walked the face of the earth since time immemorial. Many of them became divine masters, legends and heroes and their stories have been told and listened incalculable number of times primarily because people did not forget them, neither did their nation nor the era. Even after they are long gone and their mortal remains turned into dust, their names and their deeds are eternally inscribed in the history of mankind.

Alongside those great men, many other heroes sacrificed their lives for the same cause or motive as their superior counterpart engaged in altogether but sadly they were forgotten in the course of time. Perhaps some of them are the ones who made those legends’ tales told. But their inglorious contributions were never mentioned or valued as they might have gone unnoticed, uneventful or unheard. Or for the matter, their magnificent role was conspicuously hidden in the darkness for one or multiple reasons.
Pratiman Singh Lama
Pratiman Singh Lama 

The fame of their valiant role might have resonated for a brief period but eventually became unknown as though they never existed. Amongst them some might even have turned out to be just a myth and some, as we, the modern human and intellectual people politely classify as the Unsung Heroes and permanently concealed their identities in the dark dungeons of history.

Being human and possessing humanly instinctive behavior, we often tend to commit such errors but on the other side we also do identify and realize our wrong doings henceforth make effort to rectify them to the best of our abilities. Being forgetful is not a sin but being ungrateful is indeed an immoral act.

The following illustration is also a historical factual of an extremely courageous, diligent and patriotic personality who loved his people and country more than his own existence yet generous and humble.

Historical Fact:

We have heard and read umpteenth times that our fathers and grand fathers have immensely contributed to our great nation in various avenues and has set prominent milestones in the history of pre and post independent India. Those valiant sons of our motherland contributed to the society and country as a whole through their specific line of expertise in different arena such as; art & culture, education & literature, medicine, sports, business but most importantly for nation’s independence and national security. Those great souls most painstakingly and courageously sacrificed their lives for the betterment of our society and people. Their remarkable stories of heroism and patriotism have been repeatedly told end number of times over a period of more than two centuries. However, every one of those great men are not remembered and revered today as our society and government forgot their roles in building our modern society and furthermore ignored their exceptional deeds as if they never existed. One of them was Late PRATIMAN SINGH LAMA.

Born in the year 1895 to a moderate family of Late Mangal Singh Lama and Jethi Tamang of Tekbir Busty, Kurseong, Darjeeling, Late Pratiman Singh Lama was exceptionally smart and intelligent person since his boyhood days. He acquired his primary education from the then Middle English School, presently known as Puspa Rani Higher Secondary School, Kurseong and later received secondary education in Darjeeling Government High School where he was given a monthly stipend from the government at the rate of Rs.3 as he always stood first and few times in second position among his fellow classmates.

In 1910, he completed his matriculation which was known as Inter Examination during that period, securing first position. On his glorious success in passing tenth standard, the entire Darjeeling District rejoiced and celebrated and was even carried around the town on a palanquin. He was conferred such an honour by the people because it was indeed a matter of great pride and triumph for the whole region and Gorkha community in particular as there were very few who could achieve educational qualification up to tenth standard. The jovial news also reached the ears of the then District Collector and he immediately called on to the boy’s father Mangal Singh Lama and congratulated him He then offered his best possible help for the boy’s further studies and for opting a government job. Highly obliged father thanked the DC and expressed his desire to make his son a forest ranger as his son could wear a hat, a full-length uniform and ride on a horseback and would not have to get down while passing by a British officer - as in those days any Indian riding a horse would have to get down and greet the passing British officer (as quoted by Shri G.B. Bal in Sunchari nepali newspaper on 05/05/2004).

Subsequently, Shri Pratiman Singh Lama was sent to Dowhill Forest School for few weeks to undergo basic training and later to F.C. College, Jalpaiguri. Then onwards, with the help of government he was sent to study and undergo training at Forest Research and Training Institute, Dehradun. He studied and received the training for two years. There also he accomplished his education and training in first division. During those days such commissioned forest official was given a title of DDR (Dehradun Rangers) hence he was also awarded the same. After his return to Kurseong he was appointed as a Ranger in Dowhill Forest Office.

A few years later, he married Phulmaya Tamang, daughter of Pakhrin Sardar of Longview Tea Estate. His father-in-law was highly respectable personality who was a contractor of Saat Ghumti Tea Estate during those days. As years passed by, they had five children (2 daughters and 3 sons) out of them the eldest son died at an early age. They were namely, Tekendra Kumar Lama (died at an early age), Manorama Lama, Narendra Kumar Lama, Mahendra Kumar Lama and the youngest daughter Tilotama Lama.

Pratiman Singh Lama
Pratiman Singh Lama 
In the meanwhile, he was temporarily posted at various forest offices of the region – Kalijhora, Teesta, Tarkhola and eventually in 1918 he was given a promotion and became a Divisional-Forest-Officer (DFO) and was transferred to Baikunthapur Forest Office. This office used to be located near present day 2nd Mile, Siliguri.

Political Life:


Despite his highly respectable government service and ample future securities he was somehow more concerned and inclined towards the national issues, social condition of his fellow-citizens. Deep within his conscience he wanted to seriously work for the betterment of the society. In short, he did not want to work under the British Government because of its corrupt and malicious policies and rules. He could analyze and understand vividly the cruelty and suppression against Indians. Thus, he affirmatively decided to dedicate his time and knowledge for the greater cause of the country, its social reforms and fight against British Raj’s dominance as in those days the British authorities deprived our peoples’ civil and fundamental rights and were discriminated in varied ways. Racism and oppression against native Indians were the most common tribulations. 

Late Pratiman Singh Lama was not just an ordinary man employed as a forest officer but he was also a versatile writer of that era. He was a brilliant writer, a poet, a columnist, and an editor. He possessed incredible sense of humor and replicated this quality in his writings. One of his greatest masterpieces was novel titled, ‘Mahakaal Jasoos’ a political satire based on Indian Gorkhas. It is said that; His Majesty’s Royal Nepalese Government demanded and received tax as ‘Royalty’ from the British Government imposed on bona fide Indian Gorkhas while joining Indian Army and in that book Pratiman Singh Lama had strongly condemned and criticized the practice/law. Through this book he disgraced both the governments of such mal-practice and dared to reveal their dishonorable practice in front of the society. The novel immediately drew attention of British and Nepalese Government and consequently within a day all the books were seized from bookstands and other sources and were practically burnt and destroyed by the officials of both the Governments. Afterwards, some said one survived piece of the aforementioned book was seen in one of the libraries in Kathmandu, Nepal but there is no evident proof. Many scholars/intellectuals including Pratiman Singh Lama’s younger son, Late Mahendra Kumar Lama anxiously searched for its existence in India as well as in Nepal but sadly no one have ever succeeded in finding one.

Some of his highly celebrated books are:

1. Mahakaal Jasoos:
This famous controversial book was printed at Hari Printing Press, Kurseong in 1919. This book is regarded as the first Nepali Novel written outside Nepal by many researchers and Nepali writers.

2. Should Hillman join Politics:
The articles of this book were published in ‘Young India’ a very famous news paper of that period which was established by Gandhiji.

3. Khukuri Vs Kripan
This book was written on the basis of ban enforced by the government on carrying ‘Khukuri’ (a traditional dagger) to the then nepali residents of Assam and created problems as carrying one at all times was like an integral part of daily life and symbolic to male Gorkha/Nepali. This article was also published in ‘Young India’ and ‘Amrita Bazar Patrika’ and thereafter compelled the government to lift the ban.

4. Paak Parimal
A remarkable Nepali book on culinary art and its variety, recipes and some special cuisine prepared during special occasions, festivals and religious ceremonies.

During his life time he wrote many articles, books, short-stories and poems. He was also a correspondent for Amrita Bazaar Yugantar News paper and by understanding all these facts it would not be inappropriate that through his publications he, thereby immensely contributed valuable treasures in the field of literature too. He was also an executive member (Editorial Section) of Gorkha Public Library of Kurseong. This library has its own brilliant significance and is a symbol of Gorkha heritage in the country. He was also elected twice as the Chairman of Kurseong Municipality.

Late Pratiman Singh Lama was a very simple and ordinary looking man who mostly wore plain white khadi clothes. He was kind hearted and docile natured. He loved his countrymen and would often go to interior areas of tea gardens located in the surrounding hills and valleys to meet them. He was also fond of his family and loved his children but he was disciplined and well-mannered. He would often tell other people and his folks to stay away from alcohol and social vices like drinking, domestic violence, gambling.

While still serving in the Forest Department, he constantly remained unhappy and hated the vile system of the British government and the way the Indians were treated with humiliation and were subjected to disgraceful punishments if anyone dared to raise a voice against the atrocities. Simultaneously, he seriously thought that it would be ethically wrong to rise against the British government and yet work under the same. Hence, he decided to resign from the post of Divisional-Forest-Officer (DFO) eventually and leaped towards the National Freedom Movement of India.

India’s Freedom Movement:

Because of his extreme affection and respect towards the society and its people and nation as a whole, he began to work extensively for the sole purpose of National Movement for Freedom, its importance and urgency. He most dedicatedly emphasized to bring the sense of awareness in people and necessity to unite to fight against the foreign dominance. He went on meeting townsfolk and visited rural tea garden areas for the same. Later, during his days of prohibition to meet local people and hold meetings, he used to quietly sneak behind the police disguised as a blind old man and went on meeting people from rural tea gardens. He was often addressed as ‘Andha Bajey’ – blind old man by those village children and followed him around. Somewhere around late 1980’s one of those children had grown old narrated this story himself to the family members of Late Mahendra Kumar Lama.

In the year 1919, he joined Gandhiji’s National Movement ‘Satyagraha’. He became the President of National Congress Committee, Darjeeling, (District Level) after Late Dal Bahadur Giri. Then onwards he became a serious threat to the government and as a result he was enlisted as an unlawful citizen in police and administration records. He was frequently detained and interrogated by the police and numerous times his house was searched and countless papers and documents were seized. After his father’s demise, he moved to Tekbir Busty where he built a house and named it ‘Polyview’ which still exists. He became even more determined and insistent on doing work for India’s Freedom Movement after meeting Gandhiji in 1925 when the great leader – father of Nation had come to Darjeeling to meet legendary politician of West Bengal Late Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das who had fallen ill and was recuperating in the hills. During Gandhiji’s visit congress delegates came to meet him from all four sub-divisions of Darjeeling. Pratiman Singh Lama also met Gandhiji heading the Congress delegation from Kurseong.

At Kurseong, his close associates were Late Sita Ram Agrawal, Late Keshar Bahadur Gurung, Late Trichandra Gupta, Late Suraj (Sarju) Prasad Poddar, Late Savitri Devi (Helen Lepcha) and many others. Those great souls also have unique and huge contribution towards National Freedom Movement.

Late P.S. Lama relentlessly wanted to bring social and political awareness in the society and travelled extensively to educate people and make them understand the Gandhian philosophies and principles on national movement for freedom of our country. He even ran a secret printing press where he could print important papers, journals and books. Those days, he was financially very strong as he owned over three hundred fifty-five acres of land near present day Champasari which was known as Madlaguri Joth during that time and another equal measure of agricultural land in Naxalbari region namely, Bhelku Joth and Lohar Singh Joth which produced huge amount of rice, mustard and other cash crops were cultivated by his tenants/caretakers. The income generated from these fields was considerably high.

Apart from these agricultural territories, he owned several landed properties in Tekbir Busty, Merry View Tea Estate, Sukna Army Cantonment area and even a piece of land in the heart Siliguri town (present location Kurseong Medical, Hill Cart Road). His source of income was reasonably sufficient for him and his family’s survival but altogether he could also spend huge sums of money for the political cause which indeed was circumstantial necessity and were recurrent too. During those days he also travelled far and wide to various parts of the country like Banaras, Allahabad, Kanpur, Calcutta, Bombay, Lahore, Delhi to meet eminent political personalities and attend various national level political conferences and meetings. He spent his valuable time and resources for the good cause of the society in all possible support, for the higher objective of the country – India’s Freedom from British Rule.

It is said that during the famous ‘Great Trial’, Gandhiji was sentenced to six years imprisonment and consequently the entire country became agitated and rose against the court’s verdict. The fire of resentment spread throughout the country and also caught Darjeeling Hills in its flare. Under the chairmanship of Pratiman Singh Lama, several protest gatherings/meetings took place. The people of Darjeeling took to the streets in revolt and protested against the injustice done to Gandhiji. During one of such secret meetings, the police was secretly informed and while the meeting was taking place the police raided the gathering where he was severely beaten up with batons and even one of the policemen merciless fractured his nose with a heavy torch-light. Thereafter, he was kept under house-arrest and was not allowed to meet anyone or for that matter he was not permitted to go anywhere. The police officials raided the entire house and confiscated all the documents and journals.

In 1942, during Quit India Movement, he was completely involved and thoroughly participated at several protests and public demonstrations as a result he was arrested and brutally tortured. Following the incident his health condition started deteriorating. After his wife’s death his condition worsened further as there were only children at home who could not take proper medical care and give necessary attention. As a freedom fighter he not only sacrificed his family, a government service, his youth but he had also contributed and donated huge sums of money and wealth. He generously utilized so much of cash and valuables for the cause of national freedom that he literally became penniless and spent his last days in sheer misery and poverty and finally his mortal body could no longer endure the pain and agony of his ailment. Ultimately on the darkest day of Gorkha history Shri PRATIMAN SINGH LAMA died at his residence, Polyview, Kurseong, Darjeeling on 4th May 1944 at the age of forty nine. It also said that he was conferred with an honor of National Freedom Fighter and his body was draped in Indian National Flag at the time of cremation. As a result, our Gorkha/Nepali community, our country lost a great freedom fighter forever.

But it is extremely sad and unfortunate to state that such an astonishing person who was a social-worker, a political leader, All India Congress Committee President- Darjeeling (pre independence), a learned master, a writer, an author, a poet and principally a loyal citizen of India did not get any form of recognition after independence in 1947. Perhaps, our country’s famed politicians; leaders of Indian National Congress did not consider his contributions as equal as theirs. But on the contrary, on 15th August, 1947 Kalimpong Drivers’ Association constructed and inaugurated a brass plated Memorial pedestal whereon his name is engraved and it still exists at Kalimpong Motor Stand. Born on the soil of Kurseong and a pride of entire Darjeeling Hills, Late Pratiman Singh Lama was remembered occasionally by some reputed writers and consequently his articles were published in local English, Hindi, Bengali and Nepali Newspapers but till date no association, organization, politicians or state government has taken any initiative to recognize his sacrifices and contributions on a national level.

An Appeal to the Government:

Even after a person of his stature dies, his name should not be forgotten – his enormous contributions towards mankind, society and his country should be valued and respected by our people, our community and our country. I believe it is our moral responsibility and humanly duty to remember, honor and express our sense of gratification towards such an incredible person who lived for his countrymen and died for his country.

With much respect and humility I have attempted to illustrate notable facts in regard to his noteworthy both personal and political life episodes herein which may not be justifiable to have transformed into a few unworthy words yet I strongly trust in your authority and sense of nationalism that after your thorough reading and analysis you would positively grant justice and recognition to his supreme contribution to the society and nation at large.

§ National Freedom Fighter Status:

Late Pratiman Singh Lama most sincerely and dedicatedly involved and worked for the cause of the freedom movement of our country at various levels and capacities and helped and motivated other freedom fighters of Kurseong, Darjeeling and Kalimpong to spread the sense of awareness and importance among common people. He vigorously worked towards reaching and making people understand the principles of Gandhi and unite in the movement in support of the nation wide demand for country’s freedom from Colonial supremacy and atrocities. He traveled far and wide like Delhi, Lahore, Bombay, Calcutta, Banaras, Allahabad, Kanpur to meet distinguished political personalities and attend various regional and national level political conferences and meetings and also to discuss and prepare strategies of the movement in the hills and other areas. He spent his valuable time and resources for the good cause of the society in all possible support, for the higher objective of the country – India’s Freedom from British Rule.

During the movement he personally met Gandhiji in 1925 during his historical visit to Darjeeling to meet legendary Shri Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. Shri Lama had led the National Congress delegates from Kurseong to meet Gandhiji. Late P.S. Lama often visited the distant areas of surrounding tea gardens of Kurseong and Darjeeling to meet the common people and make them understand the reason and urgency of the freedom. He did so to widespread the message and motive of Gandhiji. He persistently worked towards bringing awareness to the furthest areas even to the extent of disguising himself as a blind man, a ragged homeless man during the prohibition imposed on him to meet the local people and was subjected to house arrest.

Despite of all odds and warnings from the administrative authorities and police, Shri Lama did not keep quiet and stay away from doing activities for the freedom movement rather he went on meeting people and addressed them during meetings at public places. He even organized secret indoor meetings with his colleagues. During one such public meeting police personals abruptly attacked the gathering and physically assaulted Shri P.S. Lama and severely injured him. He was then arrested and was charged as committing cognizable offence. Due these brutal assault and internal injuries and also non-availability of medical treatment he succumbed to his serious internal wounds and died at early age.

It is my most humble request to the government that Pratiman Singh Lama’s extreme affection and respect for the nation and simultaneously involving in the Freedom Movement of India and serving the nation for its great cause till his last breath, he undoubtedly deserves an honour and respect from the Government and as mark of tribute and gratification he should be awarded a National Freedom Fighter Status.

§ Conferment of Tamra Patra:

In reference to the facts about Tamra Patra Award, to the best of my knowledge this prestigious certificate/award is given to individuals for their participation in the Indian Freedom Struggle. But sadly why do most Indians know very little about the Northeastern states? Why is there very little information about these states and their role in Indian history and the freedom struggle? as quoted by Subhayan Purkayastha. A twelve (12) year old girl Aaira Goswami, originally from Assam and currently residing in Jaipur has written a letter to The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi saying “I know the history of almost whole of India; Jammu & Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, from Mughals to British, from Rajasthan to Kolkata. But where is the long lost glory of the Seven Sisters. Some students don’t even know what the Seven Sisters are. It is very difficult to find things about the Northeast in my books. If I could just read about my state, Assam, and Northeast in my book it would be like a dream come true.”

In a similar context, very few people more specifically speaking, the historians know or have written about the region within the Indian Territory – Darjeeling, Kurseong & Kalimpong to name in particular and its people who fought courageously for the freedom movement of India and sacrificed their lives for this country. Amongst those brave freedom fighters, Late Pratiman Singh Lama too participated and valiantly protested against the British Government through his writings in books & journals, illustrating in various newspapers of that period, resigning from his government service from the post of senior forest official, meeting and attending several national level conferences and meetings with illustrious politicians and leaders of the National Congress, organized political meetings and headed protest rallies against the policies and rules of the British authorities, elected and served twice as the Municipal Commissioner of Kurseong Municipality for a period between 28.04.1941 to 04.05.1944.

He was put under house-arrest in Kurseong and his books, journals, notes, important documents were seized by the British police and authorities. According to an illustration he was arrested and trialed. He sacrificed everything for the cause of the freedom struggle including his family and landed property. Even his house was captured by others (non-family members) making false and fake land papers. His minor children literally came to the streets after his death. His two sons, Narendra Kumar Lama and Mahendra Kumar Lama were practically thrown out of the school (Middle English School-present day Pushpa Rani High School, Kurseong) and their names were erased from the school register on the instruction of British authorities as because they were children of a Freedom Fighter – children of Pratiman Singh Lama. His daughters were married at an early age because there was no one to look after them and protect them. Shri Lama contributed for the good cause of the nation so much but till this very date the government has never valued his immeasurable contributions and showed gratitude in any manner.

Hence, I request the concerned authorities of the Government of India to at least pay respect and acknowledge his immense contribution in building our nation by awarding him with country’s prestigious award – ‘TAMRA PATRA’.

1. I most humbly wish to make an appeal to your gracious self that considering his immeasurable contribution to this great nation, our state of West Bengal and Darjeeling as well as Kalimpong districts in particular should commemorate a day in a year to pay tribute to this great soul – Late Pratiman Singh Lama. The day must be observed in harmony by all and should also make our nation realize that such great Gorkha citizen once lived and died for the freedom of India.

2. I would also like to courteously urge the government and administration that in the process to pay tribute and continually remember Late Pratiman Singh Lama, a ‘Memorial’ of his statue must be erected at a suitable/precise location as a mark of honor and reverence. This benevolent act will certainly convey a tremendous sense of admiration and pride amongst our people and glorify our history of nationalism and our peoples’ contributions and sacrifices for the great cause of our country and its grandeur. The statue would be a hallmark of our people, of our existence, of our history and most importantly of our role in the making of this country – a free country, an independent country.

3. Similarly I would also wish to put forward my humble submission that along with above stated prayer it would be even higher gesture if a landmark/ government premise/ road or any other important venue could be named after him. As a token of remembrance and gratification on behalf of our entire region, community, society and the government we could at least pay our homage in this manner and set an example for the forth-coming generation that we have not yet forgotten our legends’ gallantry sacrifices and will not be ignorant to value their blood and tears spilt for our today and our children’s better tomorrow.

4.
In addition to the same matter, I would also like to request you to kindly include a proposal to the relevant ministry of West Bengal to incorporate a text book or least an elaborate chapter of Late Pratiman Singh Lama either at secondary or senior secondary school syllabus. In my personal opinion it would undoubtedly boost up and motivate our children to set their goals with much determined and stronger aptitude. I ardently believe that such excellent historical facts about our own people will further strengthen their attitude towards society and help in their personality development which is absolutely necessary quality in our children. Since ancient times, people have been studying history as an essential subject as because history helps to build our future in a more superior and brilliant manner apparently the reason being we get to study about great people and their even greater deeds. Hence, I may kindly be allowed to make a strong suggestion on this matter. Since premature standards of our schooling we have read about numerous heroes and their glorious achievements and as a result we get highly inspired and desire for doing somewhat similar praiseworthy work because they teach and make us aware of our capabilities and also should learn to utilize our wisdom not just for our personal enhancement but we should comprehend on our social and national issues and interests. Therefore, when we emphasize and study on world history then why also we study about our own people, our roots simultaneously.

5.
It is my honor and privilege to humbly request you to kindly make a strong and effective proposition to the concerned ministry to introduce/initiate a Postal Stamp of Late Pratiman Singh Lama which will indeed be a greatest honor and respect to acknowledge his immense contribution towards the freedom movement of our county. It would certainly be a milestone in the history of India and make the citizens proud that such lion-hearted legend once born in India and sacrificed his life for the sanctity and honor of his motherland to which he loved and respected beyond ordinary degree. Your voice and support towards this noble cause would incredibly boost our optimism and eternally remain grateful to you.

Before I conclude this article, I would like to highlight the following matter which is of absolute mystery and injustice and ask for your serious intervention and initiative to a satisfactory conclusion. I have mentioned above that Late Pratiman Singh Lama possessed considerably a large volume of landed properties chiefly his private residence, Polyview at Tekbir Busty, Kurseong, agricultural lands around Mallaguri and Champasari, Loha Singh Joth & Bhelku Joth near Naxalbari. It is also stated that after his demise his four surviving children who were barely teenagers and did not have adequate knowledge about assets and rightful inheritance. In fact, after their father’s untimely death they literally became orphans and were neglected by relatives and other known people in every possible manner. They were practically plundered and became homeless and were denied reasonable help due to fear of British authorities since their father was red marked as an activist, a freedom fighter and tagged as anti-national. Their situation turned out so pathetic that even a decent meal of a day became a futile dream and their reality turned into a horrific nightmare. It is said that whosoever gave shelter to a family of a person who dared to struggle for freedom would be seriously dealt by the law even to the extent of physical torture and imprisonment. Alas, they ran helter-skelter and were ultimately disintegrated from each other for over twenty years. The youngest daughter never ever met any of her siblings. Only once she could meet one of her brothers during his last days.

Now the mystery is, who took all the assets and how? Was it his family, his colleagues? Or for that matter the government itself? And how did this all happen?

On this matter I would like to amplify a fraction of truth.

Late Mahendra Kumar Lama, younger son of Late Pratiman Singh Lama years later came back to Kurseong and attempted to find out his father’s lost possessions and pursued to retrieve through legal and conventional official procedures. Despite of several legal documents obtained from various departments and sources, he was only made to run from pillar to post but not a single square inch of property was ever given back to him. It was learnt that majority of his father’s agricultural land situated in the plains was taken by the government and vested it and other properties including his family home – Polyview had already been taken by other people on the basis of fraud and manipulated documents. In the process of fighting to reclaim for what was lawfully belonged to him and his surviving family, he spent rest of his life desperately knocking at every relevant door of reigning politicians, government departments and authorities. But he was only sympathized verbally and advised to keep meeting countless officials and approach accordingly. He was corresponded a few times through some letters of government nature but none helped him to recover his family assets.

He vigorously researched and collected legal documents to prove his rights and submitted before the pertinent officials. He was also assured of some government compensation but all his trust and hope never turned to reality. He always cherished his memorable days with his parents and treasured his father’s dignity but sadly, he could never set his foot on his own land and eventually passed away in 2007 at the age of sixty seven at his residence in Salbari, Siliguri.

Even during his last few days before his demise he called on to his family and instructed them to carry on with his unfinished work and request the government to recognize his father’s contribution to the country as a genuine patriot and a valiant freedom fighter and bestow justice to his soul even if it takes time. He fought for justice all through his life but not just for wealth and assets but principally for recognition by the government of his father’s deeds and he strongly wished and expressed his desire to donate some for social cause if any of his ancestral home/ property ever returned to him. His tireless effort till the very end of his life was for justice.

Researched & Compiled by Jeetendra Lama, Salbari, Siliguri, West Bengal





Indian Air Force struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC

11:37 AM
Surgical strike 2

Indian Air Force struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it. Twelve Mirage 2000 jets of the IAF are said to have crossed the LoC and destroyed a major terrorist camp, the ANI news agency reported today. According to sources 1000 Kgs Bombs have been dropped in 3 bases of  JEM in Pakistan destroying terrorist camps in the area.
Indian Air Force struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC

Indian Warplanes Cross Line of Control, Drop 1000 kg Bombs to Destroy Jaish Terror Camps in PoK: AIF Sources

Air Force Jets Cross LoC, Destroy Terrorist Camp With 1000 kg Laser-guided Bombs.

"Pakistani F16s were scrambled to retaliate against IAF Mirage 2000s that bombed terror targets across LoC but turned back due to size of Indian formation" a report says.

Meanwhile  high alert has been sounded in Gujarat, according to State DGP Shivanand Jha. "Three border districts have been put on alert, with the Indian Air Force on high alert at its air defense systems across western border with Pakistan."

Indian Air Force violated Line of Control, claims Pakistan. Pakistan's claim comes in the wake of tense relations between the two countries in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.

"Indian Air Force violated Line of Control (LoC). Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow." - the Spokesperson for the Pakistan Armed Forces, Major General Asif Ghafoor, tweeted

We are bombing our own territory called PoK, no international laws broken: Subramanian Swamy

PM Narendra Modi Holds Security Meet Hours After IAF Mirage Jets Bomb JeM Camps In PoK. Top officials of the PM’s office and the security apparatus were present at the meeting.

Priyanka Lama murder case, family seeks justice

8:11 AM
Priyanka Lama Murdered -  Family and Friends Demand Justice

Special Report: Nand Poudel

Nagarkatta police have found a blood-drenched dead body of Priyanka Lama(24) on Saturday evening. She is the resident of Chadar Line near Hindi High School under Nagarkatta Block.

Priyanka's family has suspected her death as a murder and police has said it will be confirmed only after the post mortem of her dead body.
Priyanka Lama 

According to the report in the evening of the incident, Priyanka had just crossed the gate of her house talking over her phone when there was a sudden loud noise.

Her neighbour, a lady who came out hurriedly hearing the loud noise spotted her fallen on the ground drenched in a pool of blood. She informed Priyanka's mother about the incident who fainted seeing the condition of her daughter.

Priyanka was rushed to Sulkapada hospital by local people where she was declared dead.

Sources from her family said she died of a big wound over her head from a sharp weapon. Excess flow of blood from her ears is also spotted which is believed to claim her life. The reason behind the murder is unknown to the family and the police have resumed the investigation.

Police have assured the culprit to be brought to justice as soon as possible. After the brutal incident, local people in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity have demanded the police administration to bring the culprit to justice within 24 hours.

Priyanka Lama was the only daughter of late Chandre Lama a resident of Chadar Line, Nagarkatta. After her father's death 15 years ago she was brought up by her mother a widow, Aruna Lama who was bearing Priyanka's education.

Her mother's only future recourse Priyanka was working in a private bank in Kurseong branch after completing her graduation. She had come home on two day's leave and was supposed to join her duty the following Monday but met her mysterious fate on Sunday evening.

Her relatives and neighbours who are grieving her suspicious death are not ready to take it as a natural death. Her uncle Mr Ganesh Aley mourning her death has demanded a deeper investigation in the murder case.

शनिबार साँझ नगरकट्टा पुलिसले रक्तम्बे अवस्थामा एक युवतीको मृतदेह उद्धार गरेको छ । मृत युवतीको नाम प्रियंका लामा (२४) जो नगरकट्टा खण्ड अन्तर्गत हिन्दी हाई स्कुल छेउ चादर लाइनका स्थानीय वासीन्दा हुन । परिवारले प्रियंकालाई हत्या गरिएको आरोप लगाएको छ भने यता नगकरकट्टा पुलिसले मृत्युको कारण पोष्टमार्टम पछी जान्न सकिने बताएको छ । घटनालाई लिएर नगरकट्टामा शोकको लहर छाएको छ ।

घटनाको प्राप्त जानकारी अनुसार शनिबार साँझको समय प्रियंका मोबाइलमा बात गर्दै घरको फाटक मात्र पार गरेकी थिन । अचानक केही आहट सुनेपछी छिमेकी महिला वाहिर आउछीन र प्रियंकालाई रक्तम्बे अवस्थामा भूइमा लडी रहेको देखछिन । यस्तो दृष्य देखेर महिला चिचाउदै प्रियंकाको आमालाई बोलाउ छिन । केही क्षण अघि मात्र संघै बसेर कफी पिएको छोरीलाई रक्तम्बे अवस्थामा देखेपछी आमा अरुणा आले त्यहीनै मुर्छा परछिन । गाउलेहरुले तुरन्तै सुलकापाडा अस्पताल पुराएता पनि चिकित्सकले प्रियंकाको मृत्यु भई सकेको बताउछ ।

परिवार सूत्रले जनाए अनुसार प्रियंकाको मृत्यु कुनै धारिलो हतियार प्रहार गरेर भएको बतायो । कारण प्रियंकाका शिरमा गहिरो चोट रहेको छ र कानबाट धेरै खुन गएको पनि देखिएको बताएको छ । प्रियंकाको मृत्युको कारणबारे परिवार पनि अनभिज्ञनै रहेको छ । पुलिसले छानबीन शुरु गरेको छ । पुलिसले चाँडै दोषीलाई चिन्हित गरेर कानूनी सजाय दिने बताएको छ । तर यसरी एक जना युवतीको साँझपखनै हत्या भएकोले नगरकट्टावासीले असुरक्षित महशुस गरेका छन । र पुलिसले २४ घण्टा भित्र दोषीलाई प्रकाउ गर्न पर्ने माग गरेको छ ।

प्रियंका लामा नगरकट्टा चादरलाइन निवासी स्वः चन्द्रे लामाका एकलो छोरी हुन । चन्द्रे लामाको आज भन्दा १५ वर्ष अघिनै स्वरगारोहण भएको थियो । त्यपछी विद्यवी असाहय आमा अरुणा लामाले छोेरीको पालन पोषण अनि शिक्षा दान गराएका थिन । आमको एक मात्रा जीवनको साहारा छोरी प्रियंका थिन । जसले रा्रोसित शिक्षा आर्जन गरेर गत दिसम्बर महिनामा मात्र कुनै एक बेसरकारी व्यांकमा खारसाङ शाखामा नौकरी पाएकी थिन । दुई दिन छुट्टि हुँदा घर आएकी प्रियंका सोमबार काममा जानु थियो । तर आईतबार रातीनै प्रियंकाको रहस्मय मृत्यु भयो । प्रियंकाको परिवार आफन्ता लगायत छिमेकीहरुले यस घटनालाई कुनै पनि अवस्थामा मान लिन सकेको छैन । प्रियंकाका मामा गणेश आले भने, हामी धेरै मर्माहत छौं । यो हत्यो हो । पुलिसले गहराईमा गएर घटनाको छानबीन गर्नु पर्ने तिनले माग गरेका छन ।

Via thedarjeelingchronicle.com

Assam Gorkha Sammelan demands ST status to Gorkhas of Assam meet HM and TAM

8:35 PM
Writes Nanda Kirati Dewan 

A delegation of Assam Gorkha Sammelan (AGS) led by its President and Tezpur MP Shri  R.P. Sarma met union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at Parliament house today and submitted a memorandum demanding ST status to 11 Gorkha Communities of Assam and inclusion of a member from Gorkha community in the high power committee formed by the Home Ministry of India for implementation of clause 6 (six) of Assam Accord .
Assam Gorkha Sammelan demands ST status to Gorkhas of Assam meet HM and TAM.

Yesterday, the same delegation met union tribal affair minister Jual Oram at his residence and submitted a memorandum demanding ST status to the eleven Gorkha communities of Assam. They also reminded Mr. Oram about the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had quoted that “Gorkhas’ dream is my dream”. “He has already started the process of granting ST status to the thirteen Gorkha Communities of India,” they said.

Both the ministers assured the delegation that the Govt. Of India is very serious about granting ST status to the thirteen Gorkha communities of India. The delegation comprised of working president Krishna Bhujel and central office bearers Bikash Subedy, Dahal Sanjiv and Kharga Rawat.
 
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