National Seminar on “Small States and Gorkhaland”

Two Days Nationl seminar on Smaller States and the Issue of Gorkhaland was held on 13th and 14th of April 2015 at Darjeeling. The seminar was organized by study forum under the aegis of GJM apart from members themselves the key spokesperson were Nar Bahadur Bhandari, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Shri. Keshav Rao, Shri. Kashi Singh Airy, Shri.Tapi Gao, Shri. Ahbhijit Majumdar, Shri. Mahesh Chadha, Shri. O P Shah, Shri. Ashok Chaurasia, Shri. John Barla and Shri. S N Pradhan.

National Seminar on “Small States and Gorkhaland”
National Seminar on “Small States and Gorkhaland”

Dr. Subramanian Swamy 
Dr. Swamy thanked Darjeeling for supporting BJP and told "Gorkhaland is now only a question of when and not why" . he further said "I will now support you untill we get Gorkhaland ... the same support I extended to Uttarakhand and Telengana" further he added "I will ask Prime Minister Modi, when will he fulfill his words - the dream of gorkhas are my dream"

Kashi Singh Airy
Uttarakhand Kranti Dal president Kashi Singh Airy asked the GJM leadership to be dedicated and committed to their goal and not to compromise for temporary set-ups and to keep aside party flags and unite for Gorkhaland

Uttarakhand Kranti Dal president Kashi Singh Airy who spearheaded the separation movement for Uttarakhand was forthright in his suggestions when he asked the GJM leadership to be dedicated and committed to their goal.

Two of the most important points raised by Mr. Airy were:

1. Don't compromise for temporary set-ups. "When we were struggling for Uttarakhand... the government tried to make me a Minister so that I would back down... I didn't... they offered us Hill Council... we Delhi they arrested he and put me in a hospital... I didn't give in... We had to face several obstacles in our agitation. However, we never made any compromises in our struggle. The leadership heading the present movement for Gorkhaland must bededicated and committed."
He added, "if need arises than we will agitate for Gorkhaland in Uttarakhand but the movement in the Darjeeling Hills should be democratic and non-violent.

2. "When call was given to unite for Uttarakhand statehood agitation... I set aside my flag of Uttarahand Kranti Dal, and I handed over the leadership to Uttarakhand Sanyuta Samiti... after that all the people of Uttarakhand joined in... from traders to students... from politicians to social workers... everyone united... and we attained our dream of Uttarahand statehood... Why can't you all unite for Gorkhaland? You should"

Via - TheDC

Shri. Kesvah Rao Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Telengana Rastra Samiti

MP Keshav Rao started his speech by quoting Field Marshal Sam “bahadur” Manekshaw “if anyone says he is not afraid of dying, either he is lying, or he is a Gorkha.”

He then recounted the history of Darjeeling, and said that “India should e accommodative of every class, and people…” and asserted that, “Gorkhas, like others, have a right to have their grievances be heard…”

He drew parallel between Gorkhaland and Telangana situation and talked about how the minority Telangana were dominated and discriminated in the hands of majority - Andhra Pradesh. He stated the fact that, “democracy is all about majoriataranism... So since Gorkhas are in minority, it's easy for others to easily dominate Gorkhas.”

He said that, “For long time, there was no one in Parliament to raise the issue of Gorkhaland and people didn't know except the people who kept themselves updated with newspapers...” however he said, “situations are changing now...”

Making reference of SS Alhuwalia and Dr. Suramanian Sawmy who are really heard in the Parliament, he said that, “you have sent a ruling party member to parliament... so you need to work in close cooperation with others seeking their own support.. for state..”

He disagreed with Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari on the issue of privat member bill, and said “The situation is different in the case of Gorkhaland...” and asserted that, “Every parameter - culture, development issues and others - supports the formation of Gorkhaland

He said that even Congress is in support of greater autonomy to Darjeeling, and so is other parties like undivided left... Hence, he said, GJM should get along with others for Gorkhaland... He cautioned that, “doing so is not easy..”

He emphasized that “The parliament should be made aware of Gorkhaland... Then just like the representatives of Telangana in Parliament, the representative and supporters of Gorkhaland should take over Parliament.”

On behalf of the people of Telengana and Telengana Rastra Samiti, he pledged support of TRS to GJM on Gorkhaland issue.

He told GJM to, ”Start with a voice… Get others to join you and slowly the PM will have to think on the solution of Gorkhaland”

Mr, Rao concluded on a very strong note and said, “Nation has to give Gorkhaland... The Parliament has to give Gorkhaland...”

He added, “the general conditions of people, labor in tea garden are suffering under Bengal... you all need to make people in the Parliament aware, because of the number problem in parliament, the people are suffering lot... And will continue to suffer if Gorkhaland doesn't come through...”

BJP National Executive Member Tapi Gao

Former Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh and BJP national executive member Tapir Gao termed the Gorkhas as nationalists and advised the GJM to organize similar seminars in other states to garner support for the statehood demand. “Unlike previously, the modality of Gorkhaland now has a broader sense. It is a necessity and of importance for the Gorkha identity in the country. This should be presented and projected properly before the people of the country,” he said.
He advocated for the GJM leaders to expand their influence in Delhi. “Don’t only depend in your MP but expand your influence and contacts in Delhi where it matters. You have 45 elected sabhasads, besides the party’s office bearers. If one is able to catch hold of two MPs in Delhi and is able to convince them about your demand, the Gorkhaland bill will definitely be placed in Parliament. This I am saying as a Gorkhaland demand sympathizer and not a BJP leader,” said Gao.

Via - TheDC

Former Sikkim CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari

Mr. Bhandari started his speech by recounting Darjeeling's relationship with Sikkim. and how Darjeeling is a part Sikkim.

He reminded the audience that in 1987, the West Bengal government had issued a White Paper in Gorkhaland where they have acknowledged that Darjeeling was never a part of West Bengal.
He stated that the book is a "remainder to other politicians of Bengal who doesn't agree with the demand of Gorkhaland... that Darjeeling was never a part of Bengal to begin with."

Mr. Bhandari traced his close ties to Darjeeling and said, that he was "grateful to Darjeling for teaching me how to read and speak.. and for my love [Mrs. Dil Kumari Bhandari] who is also from Darjeeling only.." He stated that because of such an emotional connect, Darjeeling is therefore too personal to him to ignore.....

Making an important observation, Mr. Bhandari blamed the current state of Darjeeling on the "historical blunder" made collectively by Britain, the then Indian leadership, and the Raja of Sikkim.
He infomed the audience that Sikkim had always stood by Darjeeling and Gorkhaland statehood.
However, he said that "even though Sikkim Legislative Assembly did pass a resolution in favour of Gorkhaland, resolution was never sent to the Indian parliament...As per the RTI filed by me"
So in a way he blamed the present leadership Sikkim for eye-washing the people ..

He called upon the gathering not to keep their leaders on head, and to "respect them only when they are true to their commitment or else the people shouldn't mind kicking them off the posts..."
Mr. Bhandari asserted that communal goodwill is a must if Gorkhaland is to become a state...
He then told the GJM leadership, that they "shouldn't forget Terai, and Dooars as well as the different people living in there."

He said that now is the time to work sincerely for Gorkhaland and since there is a BJP government is at the Centre... and given BJP's record, the present Darjeeling residents can feel optimistic about Gorkhaland.

The most important part of Mr. Bhandari's speech was that he advised GJM to "set up a Rashtriya Samity that should include representatives from different walks of life, region, religion and others, and said that the Samity, however, should be led by Bimal Gurung.. The samity, much like the fight for Nepali language when NB was able to secure the support of a whopping 309 members by pushing in pvt member bill and seeking the support of 309 members, must follow the same lead... The Rashtriya SAamiti should meet the MPs of different parties, approach them, plea the case, and seek their support..."

Via - TheDC

Dooars‬ Adivasi Leader John Barla

Adivasi leader and one of the most influential leaders from Dooars Shri. John Barla highlighted the issues confronting people in the Dooars region. He stated that the Adivasis would support the Gorkhaland statehood demand, but he laid down the precondition for inclusion of their areas in a proposed Gorkhaland state - Gorkha Janmukti Morcha must reach out to the adivasi community and make them feel secure, to begin with, under the Gorkhaland Territorial Authority

“The GJM must bring those opposing their demand closure and reach out to the adivasis to make them feel secure through the Hill council. If you want such a big area than you must take the initiative,” Adivasi leader from the Dooars John Barla said in Darjeeling on Monday, speaking at a seminar on ‘Creation of Gorkhaland and Smaller States’ in Darjeeling on Monday,

It may be mentioned that GJM had been demanding the inclusion of several mouzas in the Dooars inhabited by the adivasi community for the inclusion in the GTA. There had been violent protests from a section of the adivasis, too, against the idea.

While Barla is not the only leader representing adivasis in Dooars, he is definitely one of the influential ones and his opinion would carry a weight.

Via - TheDC

Following was Posted on Bimal Gurung Official page on Facebook.

“Gorkhaland” represents the aspirations and dreams of every Gorkha living across India, to belong and accepted as equal in each and every respect.

The two day seminar on “Small States and Gorkhaland” was organized to bring in experts and National level leaders to Darjeeling, so that we could have a healthy exchange of ideas, share information and to learn from them as to what the possible roadmaps for Gorkhaland could be.

I am most grateful to all the esteemed panelists and participants who took out their time to be with us and to share their vast experience and knowledge, and for encouraging us on our quest for Gorkhaland.

I thank all those who have worked very hard to make this seminar a success especially our study forum member, Shri Swaraj Thapa who took the initiative for this seminar.

The presence of national leaders here in Darjeeling, and their willingness to support Gorkhaland statehood is a testament to the fact that, I have never gone to Delhi to seek funds or power, but have always worked for the cause of Gorkhaland.

I am certain that all of those who were present here in the past two days, not only came here to speak on the creation of smaller states and Gorkhaland, but to extend their support and show their solidarity with our cause. We look forward to their continued guidance, in moving our main goal – Gorkhaland forward.
This seminar was historic, as this is the 1st time that such a seminar involving national leaders from all over India was held in Darjeeling. Now it is our responsibility to ensure that the discussions held in this seminar and the issues raised here are converted to document forms and conserved. I request the intellectuals to do so.

The fact remains that we should not indulge in clashes, be it amongst ourselves or even with Bengal for that matter. Time has come for us to rise above the mundane, and work with higher ideals. Bengal has already agreed to the spirit of Gorkhaland, by accepting the name, now we have to convince the Central government, and request our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji with folded hands to kindly do justice to the aspirations of the Indian Gorkhas.

We have been associated with BJP for over 6 years now, and we are honored to be a constituent of the National Democratic Alliance and we will have continuously fulfilled our duties of a junior alliance partner. The Central government is in favour of smaller states, and I am certain that our dreams will be fulfilled by Prime Minister Modi ji, under whose able leadership our nation is reclaiming its glorious past.

Gorkhaland is for everyone, Bengali, Bihari, Marwari, Adivasi, Kamtapuri all alike and not just the Gorkhas. Gorkhaland is for Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and everyone else. I assure our non-Gorkha friends you will have an equal stake in the new state. Equality and Justice for all will be the defining characteristic of Gorkhaland, which is sorely missing in Bengal. All of us have to be United and work diligently towards fulfilling our collective dream

In the past two days we have learned lot about possible roadmaps to Gorkhaland, and we will do our best to take full advantage of the suggestions provided by our esteemed experts.

Once again, I thank Shri. Nar Bahadur Bhandari, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Shri. Keshav Rao, Shri. Kashi Singh Airy, Shri.Tapi Gao, Shri. Ahbhijit Majumdar, Shri. Mahesh Chadha, Shri. O P Shah, Shri. Ashok Chaurasia, Shri. John Barla and Shri. S N Pradhan for reigniting the hopes of all the Gorkhas living across the length and breadth of India. I thank them all for providing us the wealth of their experience and for the solidarity extended to our cause.

via: Bimal Gurung Official

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