Gorkhaland and Contractor Raj

Any person who has observed the Gorkhaland movement closely will tell you that the biggest stumbling block before any party that fights a Gorkhaland movement has been the "financial reward" its cadres/fighters seek from the party leadership. GNLF fought an armed struggle in the first Gorkhaland movement and almost all those who were part of the 1986-88 movement were rewarded financially. Since the DGHC that was formed after the movement had no authority to give permanent government jobs, it offered these men and women casual employment (~6000 in number today). But a majority of these people got "contracts" - short-term financial reward that would come in the garb of "development" of the area but was actually a "payout" for the erstwhile fighters and party supporters. The journey from revolutionary fighters to petty contractors was a plunging fall in dignity and self-respect. Even hardcore GNLF supporters agree that there was practically no development in the ~20 years of its rule in the hills. And Gorkhaland still remained a distant dream.
Gorkhaland and Contractor Raj
Cartoon on Gorkhaland and Contractor Raj
Then came the second Gorkhaland movement after the ouster of Subhash Ghisingh. People had hope that the GJM would learn from the mistakes of the past movement and take a better road to Gorkhaland. It turned out that it took an even more treacherous road! The "financial reward" scheme came into full force immediately, even before the movement had ended, and ultimately the GTA was established - a DGHC-like body that did the "payout" job for the Morcha supporters. Contract again became a coveted profession in the hills. The situation came to ridiculous proportions - a contract of building a new public office worth a few lakh rupees was "shared" by 10-11 contractors with a certain percentage to be handed over to the "party" as commission. The few years of GTA's existence has been a nightmare to people who wished well for the hills. Corruption is at its peak today. And there seems to be no end to this nightmare going by what Mr. Trilok Dewan has just revealed - contractors and drivers control the party, take all decisions, and take part in meetings with government.

When the GTA was formed, against all wishes, I had requested the top GJM leaders to curb contractor raj, stating that it later would lead to the downfall of the party like that of the GNLF. But perhaps no one was listening. Madan Tamang spoke about this contractor raj openly. He was killed in broad daylight and it was revealed that most of his attackers were petty contractors or goons of contractors of GJM. Today, these contractors “make” top decisions in GJM. No wonder they have little interest in Gorkhaland and more interest in GTA – their payout system.

Via Gorkhaland Premi

Share this:

Post a Comment

Copyright © Indian Gorkhas. Designed by Darjeeling Web Solutions