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Gorkhaland, a demand whose time has come

5:12 PM
Gorkhaland, a demand whose time has come: Demand of the sons of the soil and the myths that tarnish the movement

When Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of Ladakh gave one of the most passionate, factual and heart-breaking accounts of how Article 370 had kept the people of Ladakh deprived, discriminated against and treated as a second class citizens, he forced people across India and the world to take note. Far away from Ladakh from where he belongs, or Delhi where he was giving his speech, people in the Eastern Himalayan region of Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars were glued onto their TVs. For us here in Darjeeling region, Jamyang wasn’t just describing the pathos of Ladakh, he was resonating each and every sentiment that we the people aspiring for Gorkhaland statehood have felt and lived through in West Bengal.
Gorkhaland
Gorkhaland 

‘Gorkhaland’ the very name evokes strong sentiments – from a motley crew of passionate supporters to very dedicated gang of opposers, to a vast majority of well-meaning but clueless neutrals who irrespective of their understanding of the issue or absolute lack of it, comment on it passionately.

Trying to explain the nuances of the demand for a ‘Gorkhaland state’ individually is very difficult, which is why it is imperative to explain the finer details of Gorkhaland demand in detail.

I am basing this article on a Q and A format so that everyone reading the article will find it easy to understand the issue in depth.

Everyday Identity Blues:

Curious stranger: Hi! You look a little strange…Where are you from? Nepal?

Me: India

Curious stranger: Let me guess… North East

Me: Darjeeling

Curious stranger: Oh! It’s in Nepal no?

Me: No, it’s in West Bengal

Curious stranger: Nice! So you are a Bong? Do you speak Bengali?

Me: No, I am a Gorkha, and our lingua franca is Nepali.

Curious stranger: Huh! So you immigrated to India?

Me: No, I was born here

Curious stranger: When did your family come to India?

Me: We didn’t immigrate, we came with the land. We are indigenous to the land.

Curious stranger: Like… seriously?

Me: Yeah! Like very very seriously.

On and on, every day we the Gorkhas have to face one set or other of these series of questions. Our children and youth who have to leave home for study and work grow up with this “crisis of identity” where we have to assert and reassert our Indian-ness day in and day out.

In the plainest of terms, the demand for Gorkhaland state is an attempt on the part of people from Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars to do away with this “crisis of identity” that Gorkhas across India have and have had to face and to assert our Indian Identity. So when Jamyang spoke of the people of Ladakh wanting to become Indian for over 70-years, we here in Darjeeling absolutely understood what he meant. He was, in more ways than he knew to narrate our plight.

I hope the following series of Q and A will help many of you understand the demand and its implications.

Is ‘Gorkhaland’ a demand for separation from India?

Foremost, let us all be clear about one thing – the demand for Gorkhaland is not a demand for separation from India. It is a demand for the formation of a separate state within the constitutional and geographical contours of India. Much like how Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chattisgarh, Telangana were formed, people living in Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars have been demanding the formation of a separate state called Gorkhaland, away from West Bengal.

What areas are being demanded as Gorkhaland?

The aspired Gorkhaland region comprises of the districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and parts of Alipurduars and Jalpaiguri.

Is there any historical context to these particular areas being demanded as Gorkhaland?

The History of Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars is distinguished by one peculiar aspect – it has always been in a state of flux. Given its geostrategic location, this region was a hotly contested landmass between Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Tibet. For centuries the dominant kingdom among these four took control of this region.

From 1662 until 1777 this region was under the Kingdom of Sikkim; however, in 1777 Nepal Army had defeated the King of Sikkim and established their dominance in this region. In 1816 the British Army defeated the Nepal Army, after which they took over and handed over these lands to the King of Sikkim as a gesture of friendship.

In 1835 the Brits took these lands on lease from the King of Sikkim to establish a sanatorium but ended up establishing their military garrison here. By the year 1866, the British had annexed the present day of Kalimpong and Doors from Bhutan following the defeat of Bhutan in the Anglo-Bhutan war of 1865, they then added this newly annexed area to the existing Darjeeling district – which we today know as Darjeeling Hills, Terai and Dooars.

It is these areas that never shared any history with Bengal, which the people here are demanding to be formed into a state called Gorkhaland.

Who are Gorkhas in the Indian context?

The ‘Gorkhas’ in the Indian context are Indian citizens of Nepali ethnicity, who live across the length and breadth of India. The term ‘Gorkha’ in the Indian context is used to differentiate the Indian citizens of Nepali ethnicity from the citizens of Nepal, who prefer to be called ‘Nepalese.’

Did the Gorkhas immigrate to India?

Majority of the people who identify themselves as ‘Gorkhas’ in India are sons and daughters of the soil, and their forefathers ‘came with the land.’ They did not immigrate to India. However, it is well recognized that there are many immigrants from Nepal, who have also settled in India, post-independence.

What do you mean by ‘came with the land’?

The Nepali kingdom in the 17th and 18th Century was spread all over the Himalayas. In the year 1777, Nepal had appropriated the Kingdoms of Sikkim, Kumaon, Garhwal and Kangra. However, following the Anglo-Nepal war of 1814-1816, Nepal agreed to cede most of the Terai region, the lands of Sikkim, Kumaon, Garhwal and Kangra to the British through the Treaty of Sugauli (Sugauli Sandhi), which was signed on 4 March 1816. After the Anglo-British war of 1865, the British appropriated the lands that are today known as Kalimpong and Dooars. Therefore, all the people of Nepali, Sikkimese, Tibetan and Bhutanese origin who were living in these tracts automatically came under the British and subsequently under India (after the British left), hence the term – ‘came with the land.’

Were there ‘Gorkhas’ in Darjeeling region prior to the British coming to India?

Recorded history shows that the region was inhabited as early as the 9th century. When Guru Padmasambhava had passed through this region in the 9th century, he had established Buddhism in the region – which indicates the presence of people living in the areaway, before the British ever landed in Asia.

In the Indian context, the word ‘Gorkha’ is an umbrella term used to identify a varied group of people, as one unified entity. In terms of Darjeeling communities such as the Róng – Lepchas, the Tsong – Limbus, the Kirat – Rai, the Dukpas, the Bhutias and the Magars are the aboriginal/ethnic/native people of the region, who constitute a large chunk of the ‘Gorkha’ people living in the Darjeeling region. Hence, it can be safely said that the majority of the ‘Gorkhas,’ who belong to these communities and are living in Darjeeling, ethnic to the region.

In addition, other groups of people such as the Gurungs, Thapas, Chettris, Newars, Sunwars, Bahuns, Kamis, Damais, Sarkis, Bhutias, Thamis etc, traversed these lands for trade or settled here following wars. For instance, the establishment of the Kingdom of Sikkim in 1642 brought in a large Bhutia population from Tibet and Bhutan into the region. Similarly, the Nepali incursions starting from as early as the 1700s brought many present-day Nepalis to the region.

While kingdoms changed, the people remained.

Over centuries the people from this region could be broadly categorized as – Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Dukpa, Tsong, Rai, Magar of the hills, and Nepali, Dukpa, Koche (Rajbanshi), Meche, Rabha, and Toto of the plains.

Later Adivasis were brought in from Chota-Nagpur plateau to work in the tea gardens of Dooars, then Bengalis and another mainland Indians gradually came and settled in the region.

Around the 1890s the dominant Nepali-Bhutia-Lepcha groups subsumed the rest of the hill tribes into their fold and a unified identity “NeBuLa” was used to define the hill people. In Darjeeling, this gradually metamorphosed into the term “Gorkha”.

Hence, one can safely concur that the ‘Gorkha’ presence far supersedes the British arrival in the region.

It is important to note that today, the term ‘Gorkha’ is used to indicate people who are from this region – which today includes everyone from Bengali Gorkha, Bihari Gorkha to Marwari Gorkha etc.

When was the demand for Gorkhaland first raised?

The first demand for a separate administrative unit for the Darjeeling-Dooars region (a la Separate State in today’s term) was first raised by the Hillmen’s Association in 1907, making the demand for a separate state constituting the Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars region the oldest demand for statehood in India.

Why did the British not entertain this demand?

The only reason as to why such a demand was not entertained by the then British Government is because the Darjeeling and Dooars region was a highly contested geographical region which they had taken on lease from Sikkim and Bhutan. The British had declared our region to be a “non-regulated area”, which meant that the rules and laws developed for the rest of India would not be automatically applied to the region.

What historical claims does West Bengal have over the Darjeeling-Dooars region?

Ironically None! There is no shared history between the Darjeeling-Dooars region and the rest of West Bengal.

Historically, the district of Darjeeling never formed a part of Bengal and no King who ruled the plains of Bengal ever had any suzerainty over those areas. Ethnologically, the Mongoloid and semi-Mongoloid races inhabiting the Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars have more affinity with the Hill tribes of Assam than with the people in the plains of Bengal. Geographically the district of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar are completely cut off and distinctly different from the rest of West Bengal. Linguistically, the people residing in this region have a greater affinity with Hindi, the Lingua Franca of India, than with the state language Bengali

Why is Darjeeling a part of West Bengal?

Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars were forcefully included into West Bengal without any consultation with the local populace using two flimsy acts enacted by WB Legislative Assembly:

The Requisitioned Land (Apportionment of Compensation) Act, 1949 (51 of 1949). Darjeeling District – transformed to the Absorbed Areas(Laws) Act, 1954.

The West Bengal Raw Jute Futures Act, 1948 (West Bengal Act No. 25 of 1948)

Why are people in Darjeeling demanding Gorkhaland?

The demand for a separate administrative unit (a separate state in today’s term) for the Darjeeling region had started as early as 1907. However, the influx of Bangladeshi refugees starting in 1965 and later state-sponsored illegal immigrants from Bangladesh post-1971 for vote bank by subsequent West Bengal governments led to the marginalization of the ethnic Gorkha, Kamtapuri and the Adivasi communities of the region. The demand for Gorkhaland is a demand to protect the identity, culture, history, traditions and the rich bond of people from the Darjeeling region, which they share with their land.

Furthermore, the Gorkhas from the Darjeeling region have continued to be labelled by the fascist and state-sponsored Bengali organizations such as Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Samity, Amra Bangali, Jan Jagaran Morcha, Jan Chetna Morcha as illegal immigrants and the demand for Gorkhaland illegal. They have rendered the ethnic Gorkha people as an intruder in his/her own ancestral lands. This has caused widespread socio-economic and political marginalization of the Gorkhas. All these factors have resulted in the Gorkhas being under-represented, stereotyped and communally discriminated in almost all sectors.

Moreover, Bengal has always been colonial in its approach to this region. The large revenues collected from the Darjeeling region have been used to develop other parts of Bengal while neglecting even the basic infrastructure in the region.

Case in point: Since the year 2002, over 3000 malnutrition-related death (death due to starvation) have been reported from the tea gardens of this region and yet the West Bengal government has not taken any steps to alleviate the sufferings of the people in the region. Instead, they have continued to deny the tea garden workers minimum wages.

Is the proposed Gorkhaland region economically viable?

The proposed Gorkhaland region is rich in bio-diversity, scenic views, hydro potentials, tourism, NTFP, Tea and numerous other resources, making this a resource-abundant region.

Currently, the aspired Gorkhaland region contributes to the least 20-23% of the total revenue collected in West Bengal. Even the most conservative estimates put the revenue potential from tea, tourism and hydro from the proposed Gorkhaland area at over 20,000 Crores per annum. In return, West Bengal only spends around Rs 5000 crores in the region annually (including salary paid to Govt officials). Thus, draining off a large portion of the revenue collected from the region.

It is estimated that the revenues from Tea and Tourism alone will make the proposed Gorkhaland region a revenue surplus state.

The revenues collected from hydro development, NTFP, cross-border trades and other resources will make the proposed state of Gorkhaland as one of the most economically vibrant states in India.

What is Chicken Neck region and how will Gorkhaland impact the National Security or our nation?

Darjeeling district is home to the proverbial “chicken neck” region, a roughly 200-km stretch which borders four nations — Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Tibet — in distances varying from 25 kms to 60 kms. It has seen a large-scale influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, which started as a trickle in 1965 and turned into a gushing torrent post the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, that lead to the creation of Bangladesh.

The ‘Siliguri Corridor’ has today become one of the most porous border regions in the world, and Pakistan’s ISI has used this to operate its agents freely. In fact, in 2002, the writer Pinaki Bhattacharya had highlighted how the ISI was using the ‘Siliguri Corridor’ as a supply route to provide arms and ammunition via Bangladesh to insurgents in the North East. Following investigations into the Burdwan bomb blast, in May 2015, the National Investigating Agency released a report that explained how Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) had networks in West Bengal and lower districts of Assam, and that JMB had been using West Bengal as a safe sanctuary.

Given all this, if there is one state in India which is actually a safe haven for terrorists, it is West Bengal, and if the state government was capable of addressing national security concerns, it would have done so a long time ago. The presence of ISI modules and terrorists of the various ilk in Bengal actually prove that the state government in Bengal isn’t able to protect the vulnerable “chicken neck” area.

One possible reason for this could be that the state capital and its power centre, Kolkata, is located too far away from the region, because of which the state administration isn’t able to focus much on the north Bengal districts.

A state of Gorkhaland, including the hills of Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars, would, therefore, help ensure better safety and security for the “chicken neck” area. Smaller states are also easier to govern and the presence of the entire state machinery being in one region would help keep close tabs on infiltrators, unlike what is possible out of Kolkata.

Why is West Bengal opposed to the formation of Gorkhaland?

The state of West Bengal is one of the most economically backward states in India. Even though it is the 5th largest in terms of its size, but due to the high debt burden of over Rs. 4.35 lakh Crores, West Bengal is practically bankrupt and is highly dependent on the Central Government and the revenues generated from the proposed Gorkhaland region for its sustenance and economic survival.

So despite all the rhetoric stating, “Darjeeling is Bengal’s Abhinno Aanga,” Bengal is scared of losing its hen, which is currently laying the golden eggs. It is scared of losing the cash cow that has continued to discount the development of Bengal’s other regions over and over since independence.

Further, Bengal has always held a parochial, colonial and discriminatory attitude towards the proposed Gorkhaland region and continues to do so. Every time the Gorkhas have demanded justice or our rights, we are labelled as intruder, terrorists, and foreigners in our own land.

Hence the urgent need for Gorkhaland state to be formed.

We are hopeful that someday soon, our Member of Parliament from Darjeeling will also be able to speak with the same passion and emotion that Jamyang Tsering Namgyal did and tell the nation how the formation of Gorkhaland state or Union Territory will benefit mother India.

** This article was written by Mr Upendra Mani Pradhan, a Darjeeling-based Political Analyst [Twitter: @jorebungley] and co-authored by Dr Vimal Khawas, an Associate Professor in the Dept of Peace and Conflict Studies, Sikkim University [Twitter: @vimalkhawas]

[ Via: https://www.opindia.com/2019/08/gorkhaland-a-demand-whose-time-has-come-demand-of-the-sons-of-the-soil-and-the-myths-that-tarnish-the-movement/ ]

MP Raju Bista Presses I&B Minister for the Upgradation of Kurseong Radio station

10:06 AM

Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met Prakash Javdekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting today regarding highlighted the issue regarding the Kurseong Radio Station and need of its upgradation. MP office has issued a press statement informig about the meeting.

Heres the full press release by Office of MP, Darjeeling.

Today, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met with Hon’ble Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar ji to inform him about the significance of Kurseong Radio Station, and the need to upgrade the existing SW Transmitter to DRM transmitter.

On the 30th of July, 2019 a notice had been issued by Directorate General, All India Radio ordering the shutting down of 21 non-functional Short Wave transmitters, among which SW Transmitter in Kurseong was one.

Following this, staff members from AIR Kurseong had approached MP Bista through GJM Working President Shri. Lobsang Lama and had shared with him their concerns regarding the impact such an order could have on India’s only fully dedicated Nepali language AIR Station.

MP Bista informed the Hon’ble Minister that AIR Kurseong is the only radio station in the country that runs most of its program in Nepali, a language listed under the VIIIth Schedule of our constitution. MP Bista impressed upon Hon’ble Javadekar ji that while he supported the need for shutting down non-functional SW transmitters, however Kurseong’s SW Transmitter was fully functional and was providing service among the listeners from remote rural areas to listeners spread as far as Australia.

He also highlighted how shutting down of the SW transmitter will not only hamper the relay of information but given that our region is right next to China, in terms of National Security too it could pose a risk to remove the SW Transmitter without putting any alternatives in place.

He requested the Hon’ble Minister to:

• Put a stay on the shutting down of SW Transmitter in Kurseong, till the new DRM transmitter is put in place.

• Replace the existing transmitter with a new and modern 300KW DRM Transmitter, instead of merely removing the existing SW Transmitter.

• Develop Kurseong as an Earth Station, so that all the programs in Nepali language is can be created and broadcast nationally from there.

The Hon’ble Minister listened to the requests made by MP Bista and made a note of all the issues raised. He assured MP Bista that Kurseong Radio Station will continue to broadcast programs.

Reacting to the development, MP Bista said, “Since its inception in 1962, Kurseong AIR has contributed immensely to integrate the Nepali-speaking people with the rest of the nation. In our region, people consider AIR Kurseong station as part of our cultural heritage and this station has huge sentimental value and goodwill among the Nepali-speaking communities around the world. This station played a vital role in relaying information and keeping people updated during the 1962 Indo-China war. So we need to make sure that this station continues to broadcast at its full capacity.”

He added, “Because Darjeeling is a high mountain region, the reach of an FM transmitter is very limited, whereas SW transmitter helps reach all important information to the masses. Most of the people in rural Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts listen to all important information and programs, including PM Narendra Modi’s Maanki Baat using SW radio transmission. I have therefore requested Javadekar ji to replace the existing SW transmitter with a new and modern 300KW DRM Transmitter, this way AIR Kurseong will be able to reach a much wider audience internationally.”

He added, “I will do my best to work towards converting AIR Kurseong into an Earth Station, this way their programs can be broadcast via all digital platforms, and it will help our Nepali language singers, song writers, dramatists, artists, poets, story tellers and others to reach a much wider audience internationally.”

Office of Raju Bista
Member of Parliament, Darjeeling"

Fellowship for Nepali Language Research Scholars and Artists

12:46 PM
Ministry of Culture Initiates Fellowship for Nepali Language Research Scholars and Artists

Ministry of Culture has included Nepali and Santhali languages for Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) fellowship after a delegation led by  Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met and requested for so. The delegation included the members from Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha (ANSS). Informing about the meeting and thanking ministry about the swift action taken by Ministry of Culture, Office of MP, Darjeeling has sent out a press release. Here is the full press release:
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista and Delegation with Cultural Minister Prahlad Singh Patel
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista and Delegation with Cultural Minister Prahlad Singh Patel

"Office of MP, Darjeeling
Press Statement, 31st July 2019

On the 18th of July 2019, the Darjeeling MP Raju Bista had led a delegation of Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha (ANSS) members to meet with Hon’ble Prahalad Singh Patel Ji MoS (IC) for Culture and Tourism.

During the meeting with the Hon’ble Cultural Minister MP Bista highlighted how Nepali, despite being one of the National Languages of India under the VIIIth Schedule of our Constitution, had not been accorded due respect and support from the Central Government.

Among other things, MP Bista and the delegation informed the Hon’ble Minister that there was a need for support from the Ministry of Culture to our Nepali scholars and artists, and how Nepali had been kept out of the purview of languages that were receiving Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT).

Today, the Hon’ble Minister announced that the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training Fellowship will now be given to scholars and artists from Nepali language. Speaking to the Press, he said, ‘Under the Ministry of Culture there are provisions for fellowships and scholarships, a discrepancy had been brought to my notice. It had been brought to my notice that Nepali language had not been included under this fellowship and scholarship initiative. We have 22 Scheduled Languages in India, and despite English and Khasi not being a part of the Scheduled Languages Fellowships were being given to scholars in these languages, but despite Nepali and Santhali being part of the Scheduled Languages they were not included. Today, we have included both the languages (Nepali and Santhali) to be included under these Fellowships and Scholarships.”

Reacting to the development, MP Bista said, “ANSS executive members Dr. Khagen Sharma, Durga Khatiwada, Rudra Baral, and Dhaka Ram Kafley had brought to my attention some very important issues concerning the preservation and propagation of our mother tongue. Together, we had requested the Hon’ble Minister to look into our issues, Prahalad Singh Patel ji had assured us that he will take necessary action at the earliest. I am most thankful that the action has been very swift. I remain grateful to the Patel ji for this.”
MP Bista added, “We have raised many other important issues, which requires inter-Ministerial collaboration, with the Ministers concerned, and in due course of time, I will continue to follow up on the issues we have raised.” Among the issues, MP Bista is pursuing are:

1. Establishment of National Council for Promotion of Nepali Language

2. Establishment of Centre for Nepali Language Studies in Central Universities - JNU, DU, Himachal Pradesh Central University, Baba Sahab BR Ambedkar University Lucknow, Nalanda University, Visva Bharati (Santiniketan).

3. Appointment of at least two permanent Nepali language faculty members in Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIL)

4. Greater emphasis on Nepali language publication from National Book Trust

5. Establishment of dedicated Nepali Language channel in Doordarshan and All India Radio

6. Publication of Central Government Notifications and Advertisements in Nepali.

Office of Raju Bista
Member of Parliament, Darjeeling"


प्रणय प्रधान को मृत्यु - गोर्खालीहरुलाई भारत भरी हेपेको कुरा

8:07 PM
गोर्खालीहरुलाई भारत भरी हेपेको कुरा कुनै नया कुरा होइन तेस्मा हामी गोर्खाली जाती डटेको नै छैनौ, "तेस्तो त भै रहन्छ" भनेर टाली दिन्छौ तर हिज आज यो हेपाइ ले रेखा पार गरेको के मलाइ अनि केही जागरुक जन्ताहरुलाई मात्र आभास भएको हो? आज प्रणय प्रधान को मृत्यु भयो अस्पताल मा जो हिजो अस्ति दिल्ली को गुण्डाहरु ले कुटेर मर्नु र बाच्नु हुने स्थिती मा फ्याकी दिएको थियो। 

एति मात्र कहाँ हो र निकै छ नि एस्ता हरु अनि यो सब घटना भै सकेर के गर्छौ र फेस्बुक मा दुई तीन वटा पोस्ट हालेर शोक मनाउछौ, आफू ले मात्र देख्ने बजार को भित्ता मा पोस्टर टाल्छौ अनि बाँस! काम टर्यो मैले गर्ने कर्तव्य निभाए भनेर ठूलो श्वास फेरेर आफ्नो परिवार सङ रमाउछौ तर त्यो मरौ परेको परिवार मा के हुँदै होला अनि त्यो मरौ कस्ले गर्दा परेको हो? हामी आफै ले गर्दा, हो! हामी ले गर्दा त्यो घर मा मरौ परेको हो अरु बेला अरु ले हेप्दा हामी दरो भएर डटेर युद्ध गरेको भए आज त्यो मरौ पर्थेन होला फेस्बुक र त्यो कोसै ले पत्तो न गर्ने भित्ता मा हावा हावा को पोस्टर न टालेर खास रण भुमी मा ओर्लेको भए आज त्यो मरौ पर्थेन।

खुकुरी उठाउनु भनेको होइन, लडाइ गर्नु भनेको होइन खुन खराबा गर्नु भनेको होइन, मानव्ता हराएको सन्सार मा यो हेपाइ खानु परेको स्थिती मा राज्निती ले अलिकती पनि काम गरेको छैन ईतिहास साक्षी छ अनि बर्तमन पनि। के फाइदा करोड करोड को बाटो बनाएर जब हेपाइ मा हिड्नु पर्यो भने, के फाइदा पावर र पोजिसन को जस्ले आफ्नै घाँटी मा बाध्धिएको लुगा सिलाउने धागो पनि चुट्टाउन सकेन भने?

नचिनिने भएछौ भन्ने कविता त भुतकाल मै लेख्नु भएको थियो तेति बेला त न चिनिने भएको थिएछ हाम्रो जाती अब झन के भै सक्यो सबैलाई थाहा छ। प्रणय प्रधान त सबै हेपाइ को एउटा एक्जाम्पल मात्र हो तेस्तो एक्जाम्पल त कति छ कति जो मर्न पनि सक्दैन बाच्न पनि सक्दैन। अनि हामी के गर्न सक्छौ? केइ न केइ, अह! एति गर्न सक्छै फेस्बुक मा एउटा पोस्ट हाल्नु अनि नेताहरु ले कसै ले पत्तो न गर्ने भित्ता मा पोस्टर टाल्नु।

स्कुल कलेज मा एन्टि रेग्गिङ सर्टिफिकेट बनाउनु लगाउछ एड्मिस्सन गरि सकेर रेग्गिङ्ग न होस भनेर, यदि भएको ख्ण्ड मा जस्ले गर्छ तेस्लाइ प्रसासन ले डन्ड दिन्छ हामी गोर्खा जाती पनि त स्कुल भित्रै छौ अनि स्कुल को नाउ हो भारत। किन हामीलाई मात्र छुट्टाउछ? किन हामी मात्र हेप्पिन्छौ?हामी मिलेर किन बस्न सक्दैनौ?हामी डटेर किन लड्न सक्दैनौ? के हामी न बिकि बस्न सक्दैनौ?

आदत भै सक्यो आदत निहुरेर हिड्ने हेपाइ खाने कस्ले जिम्मेवारी उठाउछ हामी हेपिएको? को जिम्मेदार छ हाम्रो हेपाइ को? के हेपिएरै जीवन बिताउने आज प्रणय प्रधान को मृत्यु भएको छ यदि हाम्रो जाती हेपाइ न खाने भए अरु जाती सम्मान भए कसैले आँखा उठाएर हेर्न सक्दैन थियो तर भयो होइन? भोलि हाम्रो जाती को पनि एसरी अस्पताल मा मृत्यु न होस जोगाएर राखौ, यो जन्ता ले याद राख्नु पर्छ नेता ले याद राख्नु पर्छ अनि सर्कार ले याद राख्नु पर्छ।

अनिकेश प्रधान

Darjeeling MP Raju Bista elected as a member of the Tea Board

5:16 PM
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista has been elected as one of the members of the Tea Board of India. When he was asked by a journalist about his further course of action after being elected, he responded as follows:

"As you are aware the Darjeeling Hills, Terai and Dooars along with neigbouring Assam produce some of the finest tea in the world, yet this industry is gradually dying.

Numerous gardens in our region have shut down, the tea garden workers and their families are suffering, and at the same time our tea industry is facing increasing competition internationally.

 My role will be to bring together all the stakeholders – workers, government, and industry representatives to develop a possible road map for the rights of the workers to be protected, rejuvenation of the tea industry in India, and create a healthy win-win situation for everyone.

I will be pushing for a comprehensive review of the Plantation Labours Act 1951, and implementation of the Minimum Wages Act. I am sure other members also share similar sentiments, so we will all work together to make this happen."

Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa - unsung Sino-India war hero

7:55 AM
Remembering forgotten Sino-India 1962 War hero Late Hav. Shere Thapa is no less a martyr than Anyone.

                      ‘Punya Smaran
   Swargiya Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa
                 2 J &K RIF “Bodyguard”
   
       Is veer ne 1962 mein Chiniyo ki chakke udaye
Inka naam yahan ke bacche bacche ke zaban par hain
       Deshvasiyo ki aur se tumhe sat- sat pranam.’

Itanagar , Fri, 19 Oct 2012 ANI
By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)

Itanagar, Oct. 19 (ANI): His light machine gun boomed relentlessly, like a roaring tiger. One after another unsuspecting Chinese soldiers were killed and fell into the Ngo River without anyone to count. The day was October 18 half-a-century ago.

A brave Shere Thapa of the Indian Army's 2 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, hiding in a very advantageous position, fired non-stop as his lone soldier-mate continued changing the carbines.
Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa - unsung Sino-India war hero

The People's Liberation Army of China had sneaked through the Tama Chung Chung Ridge. Thapa had positioned himself on a vertical slope - invincible high mountain ridge on one side, steep slope down to the Ngo stream, the source of the Subansiri River, on the other side. He had located the most strategic place, either to stop or kill the advancing Chinese soldiers.

Thapa did not notice anymore Chinese after emptying all magazines with the fired brash khokas lying scattered. He confidently came out of his bunker for a recce. Death was waiting for him. He peeped towards the heap of corpses with great satisfaction. A wounded, but alive Chinese soldier, lying on the heap along with his colleagues fired, killing him instantly.

The corpses of the Chinese soldiers were piled up so much that the river failed to carry them. This is the folklore. The great soldier is highly revered in the area for his gallantry act.

Comparatively, brave Thapa was no less a war hero than subedar Jaswant Singh Rawat (No. 4039009 of the 4th Garhwal Rifles Bn), who had fought a lone battle against the invading Chinese in Eastern Sector (Tawang). He was conferred the highest military honour, the Param Vir Chakra, for his bravery. Jaswant Garh, a few km ahead of the pass, stands tall today as a testimony to his heroism.

Political interpreter Chader Mangha along with many villagers, who carried supplies, arms and ammunition for Thapa's Army section, were witness to his bravery. Mangha, who died in 1994,was given a commendation certificate by the GoI in recognition of his service to the nation and promoted to the rank of political assistant. He had also narrated the entire episode to his daughter Yating Byaling a resident of Gosing Taying village under Taksing circle, wife of RD Minister Tanga Byaling. Byaling also vouch of the bravery of Thapa and the village folk.

Even the Chinese had respectfully buried him and left a small note praising his bravery. Why none ever bothered to honour his brave act, even posthumously is intriguing? I have high respect for Rawat as he was a great martyr, but Thapa deserves equal honour.

Villagers inhabiting the Indo-China border claim that the PLA had sent its troops through passes, including Taksing, Mechuka, Anini, etc where the forces camped waiting for orders. Had the war prolonged, Chinawould have launched a multi-pronged attack but withdrew its forces after cessation of firing, following 29 days (Oct 18 to Nov 16, 1962) of fierce battle, leading to the humiliating defeat of the Indian Army.
Supply line was cut off following retreat order which never reached the duo. Left with no food and insufficient ammunition, they feared any eventuality and decided to fight till death. Thapa sacrificed his life in Middle sector (Upper Subansiridistrict) while protecting Mother India. His mortal remains were brought to Lemiking, last rites performed and a grave built there. The neglected grave and a bridge named after him are evidences of his heroism.

"The first bridge, named after soldier Shere Thapa, with a 600m steep climb...." is the reference about him with picture of his grave found in 'Secrets of Subansiri, Himalayan Club, recoding the 2005 expedition report by a group of trekkers to famous Buddhist pilgrimage Takpa Shiri; Arunachal Expedition - Takpa Shiri; In Search of Old Pilgrimage Route to Takpa Siri 2005 and India 2005 - Alpine Journal.
Thapa knew well that without any road and communication then, expecting any support from the base camp was well neigh impossible. He decided to face the enemies as a brave soldier of Mother India. Shouldn't he be recognized, albeit late, and due honour given by bringing his heroic story before the nation.

I presumed that martyr Shere Thapa,  might not have a god father or a senior Army officer to recommend their brave act. But with facts surfacing, it is still not late to honour them. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI).

We appreciate and grateful to Hon’ble Minister Tourism Shri Nakap Nalo for rediscovering buried  story of our True Hero, a Martyr of 1962 war Late Hav. Shere Thapa.

 Via All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Welfare Youth Association
 
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