Indian Gorkha History

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TMC supporter who had called Jai Shree Ram a ‘call of terror’ now calls Gorkhas ‘infiltrators’ on national TV

6:20 PM
TMC
While opposing implementation of National Register of Citizens in the state of West Bengal, political analyst and TMC supporter Tanvi Das ended up terming the Gorkhas as ‘infiltrators’ during a panel discussion on a TV channel.
While addressing a rally in Kolkata on October 1, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the government will implement NRC in West Bengal. He had said that before implementing NRC, the centre will pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill first so that people who should get Indian Citizenship will get it. Amit Shah had alleged that Mamata Banerjee is spreading a lie that millions of Hindus will have to leave West Bengal if NRC is implemented. He said that people of Bengal were misled on NRC, and he wanted to clarify and clear all doubts.
TMC supporter who had called Jai Shree Ram a ‘call of terror’ now calls Gorkhas ‘infiltrators’ on national TV

In the backdrop of Amit Shah’s remarks, News channel TV9 Bharatvarsh had hosted a panel discussion on the issue on 1stOctober. Political anylist Tanvi Das present in the panel on behalf of TMC, who rejected the claims made by Amit Shah and strongly opposed the NRC in Bengal.
During the heated debate on NRC and CAB, Tanvi Das made a shocking statement saying that Gorkhas are also illegal infiltrators, and questioned BJP spokesperson R P Singh for supporting the Gorkhas. “Gorkhas are also illegal infiltrators. Deport the Gorkhas, why are you supporting the Gorkhaland”, the TMC supporter said during the debate. She said that Gorkhas entered India by crossing the border illegally.
It is interesting to note that nobody in the panel reacted to the Tanvi’s comment, as they were involved in a heated argument over NRC, and probably didn’t hear what she was saying. The anchor Samir Abbas also didn’t react to the same.
The comment of Tanvi Das is totally wrong, because Gorkhas are not illegal immigrants in India. Gorkhas are living in several states of India for several decades, before the independence of India. They are known as India Gorkhas, as opposed to Nepalese Gorkhas, and after the independence of India, they were granted citizenship by a gazette notification of government of India.
Moreover, even the Gorkhas that entered India after that can’t be deported as they are protected by the Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed in 1950. This treaty provides citizens of one country same privileges in terms of residence, property, trade and commerce, movement etc in the other country on a reciprocal basis.

Via Opindia 

Darjeeling tea Workers on a hunger strike for a 20% annual festive bonus.

5:45 PM
As you sip your favourite Darjeeling tea planning how to enjoy this festive season, tea garden workers in Darjeeling are on a hunger strike for a 20% annual festive bonus.

A 12 hour bandh has also been called in Darjeeling Hills tomorrow. Union leaders plan to hold hunger strikes 'in front of garden offices' from Thursday. Tamang, the Morcha leader, has announced 'an indefinite hunger strike' from October 6 if the bonus issue is not resolved by Friday.
Darjeeling tea Workers on a hunger strike for a 20% annual festive bonus.
Darjeeling tea Workers. 

The hills have not witnessed such a protest since the 104-day shutdown in September 2017

All seven trade unions of about 87 tea estates of Darjeeling in West Bengal have called for a 12-hour strike on Friday after the failure in talks between leaders of unions and the managements of gardens over the bonus issue. The unions have given a "bandh call" from 6 am to 6 pm on October 4, a trade union leader said. Trade Union Leaders and workers of Darjeeling Hill Tea Industry are observing hunger strike in demand of payment of 20% Bonus in Darjeeling town and tea gardens. Tomorrow will be 12 hours work off in Darjeeling hill.
Kalimpong to Join in the 12 Hour Bandh on October 4. Kalimpong has decided to join in the 12 hour bandh scheduled for October 4 in the Darjeeling Hills.

Bhuwan Khanal, Spokesperson, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha talking to media persons in Kalimpong on Thursday stated "Expressing solidarity with our garden workers Kalimpong district will also remain closed on October 4 for 12 hours. Business establishments will remain closed and vehicles will not ply. However emergency services have been kept out of the purview of the bandh."

Out of the 87 gardens in the Hills, 6 fall in the Kalimpong district. The bandh is in protest against the management failing to disburse bonus before the festive season. While the trade unions have demanded 20% bonus, the management is not willing to climb up from 15%. Multiple rounds of talks have failed to break the deadlock.


Single Gorkha mother of two from Nagaland wins national-level beauty pageants

5:37 PM
Pushpa Thatal has brought laurels to the state and also for the community of Gorkhas in Nagaland by being crowned the Mrs. Exclusive Classic Beauty 40 plus, which is a national-level beauty pageant for women above 40 years of age. The event was held on September 21 in New Delhi.
Single Gorkha mother of two from Nagaland wins national-level beauty pageants

Thatal, born to a Changki mother and a Nepali father, lost her husband in 2018 and lives in Dimapur with her two children.

She is the daughter of Bhopal Thatal, who retired as Registrar, Directorate of Fisheries, Nagaland, and her mother is from Changki Village.

She believed that the pageant gave her the platform to expose her talents and individuality. “It is not just about physical beauty, it is about strength and following your dreams,” said Thatal.

The mother of two runs a small school at Viola colony called Raindrops School and plans to expand further.

Thatal was thankful to Smart Life Gym that helped her during the preparation process for the talent and fitness rounds.

She will be representing the country in the International-level of the same pageant due to be held next year.(MExN)

Via dimapur247

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"


 
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