(A report on the speech made by Shri Pawan Chamling during Gorkha Mahotav 2015, Dehradun )
Shri Pawan Chamling congratulated the people of Uttarakhand and the Gorkha community across the nation for the Mahotsav to mark the glorious 200 years of the Gorkha history in Dehradun. Highlighting the contribution of the Gorkha community towards nation building of India, the Chief Minister pointed out the role Gorkhas have played in shaping the history of India from the days when Buddha marked his journey seeking and spreading knowledge from Nepal to India. Citing the example of the Khalanga he said that the Gorkha community have been natives of the land for time immemorial and are spread across the country like Sikkim, Darjeeling, Assam, and across the North Eastern region.
Reading out a list of Gorkha freedom fighters and martyrs, Shri Pawan Chamling added that right from the Independence struggle of the country, to the currently serving Lieutenant Generals from the community Lieutenant General (Retired) Shakti Gurung PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM (Previously Military Secretary of the Indian Army) and Lieutenant General (Retired) Ram Pradhan AVSM, SM, VSM, the commitment shown by the Gorkhas towards the security and defense of the nation remains unparalleled. The list of people he read out consisted of Gorkha people from different parts of the country driving home the point that the community has been spread across the country, and no matter where we are we have always given our best towards nation building.
People often ask me ‘were you born in India, are you from Nepal, Your family migrated to India’?
I tell them “Yeah, perhaps they came along with Lord Buddha.”
While congratulating the people from Uttarakhand for the glorious 200 years, he also highlighted the fact that the Nepali speaking Gorkha community in India is also an example of peace in the country. Citing the example of the peaceful Sikkim merger, he added that the Gorkha community had been committed to peace in the nation and have worked with the government towards solution of issues facing the community within the constitutional framework of India. He also added that the identity of the Indian Gorkha is pan-India as the community is spread across the country.
While every Gorkha community settled in different states of India must work with their state government seeking the welfare of the community, the Identity of the Indian Gorkhas must be worked in close collaboration with the central government. The community is today facing identity issue due to the similarities of Gorkha ethnic identity of the Nepali speaking population across India and Nepal. We are often mistaken for citizens of Nepal. Thus, he emphasized that we need seek center’s intervention and urge the government to recognize the Gorkhas as an ethnic minority community and seek support under ethnic minority provisions of the central Government. He stated that there is a bigger need for us to work for the welfare of the community as a whole and beyond states and territories in India.
Even in changing times and economy, the Gorkha community continues to bring in innovation and quickly adapting to the changing needs of the nation. Citing the example of Sikkim as the first state in India to introduce and promote 100 percent Organic farming, he urged upon the Gorkha students to wake up to the rising call of the nation. He accentuated the point that India and the Gorkha community needs highly educated students in service oriented professional studies and Information Technology, top Central Government bureaucrats, IAS, Foreign services, and other top decision-making positions.
"We must explore entrepreneurship in different fields and create jobs for the people, encourage students for higher studies, aim for the top level decision-making positions of the government bureaucracy, research on history of the people, culture, and art. The youths need to be ‘producers’ and not just ‘consumers’."
The Chief Minister called upon the youth to acquire and develop entrepreneurship skills and venture into promoting tourism, and become producers and not just consumers. He suggested the youths to venture into business and market tourism, handicrafts, art, culture and create jobs and ideas in the society. While our regions have huge tourism potentials, our youths must excel in service sector and find innovative ideas to market the places.
After the speech, the Chief Minister humbly placed himself in the service of the community. He said “Malai Kaam Araunu hous, ke garnu parney bhannu hous, mo jailey pani taiyar chhu.”
Gorkha Youth and Students' Association of India - GYASA (represented by Rajen Chhetry and Dinesh Sharma) and Run with Roshni , VK Kunwor (6th Generation descendant of Capt. Balbhadra Kunwor along with other Gorkhas being honoured during Gorkha DWI Shatapdi Mahotsav 2015 and felicitated by Honourable Shri Pawan Chamling , Chief Minister of Sikkim.
By, Dinesh Sharma