Showing posts with label GYASA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GYASA. Show all posts

Flipkart's Relentless Racism Never End

9:58 PM

The Indian e-commerce company Flipkart which was ridiculed last year for sending a sexist email to female customers has done it again, this time with an offensive advertisement that reinforces the stereotype of Gorkha/Chowkidar. The advertisements designed to promote the recently launched “Flipkart Assured” customer loyalty service had insensitively characterized Gorkhas in the role of security guard.  Though it is true that the advertisements in question were tailored to remove the objectionable content (khukri sign from the Nepali Topi and suitably changed the voices of character) after a court case was filed against the company by Gorkha Youth and Students Association (GYSA) and Hamro Swabhiman trust. But the way Indian company has chosen to put their defense is highly questionable. Responding “In a note to our Gorkha brother and sisters” the company has argued that it has unintentionally hurt the sentiment of Gorkhas and the creation of such character was based on the fact that some of the Gorkhas are employed as the security guard. Here is what they have to say:

 “A security guard is someone we trust with our life, Every day. We trust our security guards to let the right people into our homes. We trust them with our children’s safety when they’re outdoors. We trust them to ensure that we sleep safe every night. The campaign drew from these codes of assurance to drive the key proposition of Flipkart Assured. It is with this intent that the character which the child portrayed was chosen to play the part”.

Now, where it has been written that while charting out a security guard character it has always to be a Gorkha? Also when more acceptable alternatives are present why the creators of commercial chose to reinstall the same stereotype? Perhaps there is no real reason whatsoever (there was never one) except for the fact that people who have made this offensive advertisement could see the humor in this when there is none.  The company would have done better had they not utilized their knowledge about Gorkhas, which is based on narrow and frequently incorrect assumptions picked up from the Indian cinema.

More importantly, the company should not apologise for the fact that Gorkha community was offended by the advertisements- apologies for doing it in first place by acknowledging that such portrayal was unacceptable.

However, Flipkart advertisement is not the first to stereotype Gorkhas as baton- wielding watchmen, look at this other advertisement ‘Nepali Watchmen’ by Carwale.com that came out in 2015. It uses the same set of stereotype – a guard with slanted eyes in his incorrect Hindi saying Kyun dar gaya na Shabzee. Then, who can forget Amir Khan’s popular “Coca-Cola ad” that came in 2003, where the Indian actor pulled off one of the worst stereotypes of Gorkhas ever done in the industry. Clearly, these highly unimaginative ads represent a dull reproduction of approaches which have now become a common feature of Indian advertisement.

In this whole episode what is most ironic is that when Coldplay made a music video ‘Hym for the Weekend’, many in India took to social media and accused the British rock band of reinforcing stereotype; rightly so. For days the narrative of victimhood was played over the various media portals. But in this case, when an Indian company has produced an objectionable advertisement mainstream media has failed to raise any questions, showing no interest in reporting about the issue.

Isn’t portraying Nepali people like this a form of racism and needs to be ridiculed. So much for sensitivity to the centuries of oppression.

Nepali Restricted to Clichéd Occupations
The Nepalese much like any other community makes living in a wide array of professions, but thanks to popular culture their portrayal is restricted to some clichéd occupation such as watchmen, domestic help, Gorkha Army and sex workers. Their presence in other spheres has been never seen and acknowledged.

The Indian cinema is the biggest culprit which has portrayed Nepalese/Gorkhali as either the Khukri- wielding Gorkha soldiers or the Baton- wielding guards. To start with the movie Kasauti (1974), where Pran played the role of dumb- witted Gorkha to Paresh Rawal’s portrayal of a loyal and suspicious guard in Haseena Maan Jayegi (1999) and an ignoramus Chunkey Pandey from Apna Sapna Money Money (2007). In all these movies, mentioned above Indian cinema creates a largely imaginary picture of witless Gorkha, used as a prop to evoke humor. They speak in an unrealistic Hindi accent and there vocabulary to address other people is limited to two words- Memsaab and Sahabzee. Then there are another set of movies like Tango Charlie (2005) and LOC Kargil (2003), where Gorkhas are portrayed as savage, merciless and loyal officers. In fact, in LOC Kargil there is a scene where the commanding officer is giving a speech before the Kargil war and makes a reference to Hitler’s statement about Gorkhas that “I can have the Gurkha troops… I can conquer the entire world.” This personification of Gorkhas as the lethal, loyal and obedient race is a colonial construct and some Nepalese/Gorkhali themselves propagate this gullibly and walk into the trap of colonial stereotypes about the martial recruits.

In this highly restrictive portrayal of Gorkhas in Indian cinema, there are only two narratives- Gorkhas as the loyal guard or brave soldiers that exalt obedience as the highest virtue of Gorkha community. Further, there is a common thread in all these characters that is the presentation of Nepali community stitched around their nationality.  So Nepalese of Nepal and Nepali-speaking people of India are lumped together in one nationality with no clue that there is an identity of Indian Nepalese that is separate from the Nepalese of Nepal.

The mainstream media is not too far behind in installing such stereotypes. To get a perspective, look at some of these stories that appeared in leading Indian dailies. DNA carried a story in 2013 From ‘Bahadur’ to Security Private Limited about a Nepali man who started his career as watchmen but now owns a security agency. Likewise in June 2016, New Indian Express carried a story How Nepalis came to be the world’s security guard. It makes an extremely stereotypic effort to tell you the various reasons why Gorkhas are preferred all over the world for the job of security guard.

The most offensive of all them is the article that appeared on April 2016 in The Hindu with the headline The Gorkha and his Whistle . The writer, who is totally ignorant about the life of a watchman, makes an attempt to understand why that the Gorkha who works as a night watchman in her locality is almost invisible. She writes:

Where does he (Gorkha) live? Does he go into hibernation for the rest of the month? What does he do? Is it the same gurkha who goes to houses at the other end of the city or are there many gurkhas? Do they all live in a secluded colony, far from the disease of modern life and people’s prying eyes, like Matthew Arnold’s Scholar Gypsy ?

The fact is that stereotypes are so internalized that they go well beyond the confines of media, television, and cinema. Not to be surprised if they are officially sanctioned and state-adopted. For instance in 2014 Tamil Nadu state government notifications shamelessly advertised for the post of Gorkha- Watchman. So does the state of Andhra Pradesh which has enlisted various categories for the post of guards such as watchmen, chowkidar, gatekeeper, Night Guard, and Gorkha Watchmen.

But who is to blame when even the Indian Prime Minister portrayed Gorkhas as the loyal security guards of India. This is what he has said in 2014 while campaigning for the party candidate S.S Ahluwalia (currently BJP MP from Darjeeling district) in Siliguri:

 “Gorkha work as security guards across the country, people may not trust the police, but they trust the Gorkhalis, it is not a small job, it is huge respect, when someone can go off to sleep with crores of goods lying around, just because a Gorkhali is guarding it, this is not a small respect, this is huge honour, to be trusted, you have earned this trust, you have earned this respect”..

These limited and unbalanced portrayals of Nepali as a loyal subject is constructed by the people who have little understanding of Nepalese/Gorkhali themselves- and little foresight how such images impact the Nepali-speaking population in India.

Maanvender Singh, Ph.D  Scholar, Department of History, Sikkim University, Gangtok. maanvenders08@gmail.com


Indian Gorkha Community Furious With Flipkart Ads - All you need to know

9:51 PM
Gorkha Youth and Students' Association of India (GYASA) filed Complaint against Flipkart Advertisement 

Complaint filed against Flipkart Advertisement which is defamatory, sacriligeous, communal, racist and hurting the sentiments of the Indian Gorkha community and insulting khukri emblem of the Indian Gorkha Brigade and Assam Rifles.

DETAILED COMPLAINT:-
To,
Shri Robin Hibu IPS,
Inspector General of Police (Delhi Police)
Nodal officer for Northeast
Sub: - Complaint against Flipkart Advertisment which is defamatory, sacriligeous, communal, racist and hurting the sentiments of the Indian Gorkha community and insulting the khukri emblems of the Indian Gorkha Brigade and Assam Rifles.

(Above) Flipkart advertisement dated 22 August 2016 front pages on national dailies such as Times of India, The Hindu and others.
1. In two advertisement posted online, for which we have shared the link below, as well as being shown in TV and print media,
https://youtu.be/sWWAamxP-mw
https://youtu.be/gUl00MwN9Oc

2. Description: We want to draw your attention to the racist advertisement currently being propagated by Flipkart. The ad carries a boy portrayed as a security guard wearing a belt prominently saying SECURITY along with a Nepali cap with a badge of khukris which denote that he is a Nepali\Gorkhali. Thus a security guard has been depicted as a professional icon of the Nepali community creating a stereo-type affecting all Indian Gorkhalis.

3. Their advertisement makes a mockery of the Gorkha community, and stereotypes us as being Chowkidars with overly exaggerated and highly offensive [which they may consider as being funny] Hindi accent. Stereotyping a community is the most basic forms of racism and by promoting their business using racist stereotyping; Flipkart has shown how insensitive they are and at the same time exposed the hypocrisy of our great nation. While we cry for blood when an Indian is ‘stereotyped and racially abused’ in foreign shores, we tend to silently accept stereotyping as an accepted form of comedy when it is done to the minorities in our own nation. Flipkart has insulted the Gorkhali/Nepali community of India by perpetuating across national media to 1.3 billion Indians that the Khukri bearers are a community representing mere security guards.

4. Sir, the Gorkha community holds esteemed status in the world as immortalized by the words of Late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, MC, Ex-Chief of Indian Army ‘If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or a Gorkha.’ The contributions made by Gorkhali community towards our nation building is unprecedented. In each and every sphere, the Gorkhas have always performed to the best of our abilities and contributed towards making India one of the greatest nations on earth. From Freedom Fighter Sahid Durga Malla whose statue adorns the Parliament grounds, to INA Capt. Ram Singh Thakuri who gave music to iconic INA songs like Kadam Kadam Badaye Ja and also to the current band version of our National Anthem, to Shri Damber Singh Gurung whose role as the member of Constituent Assembly in framing the Constitution of our great nation was highly praised by Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the Gorkhas have provided illustrious luminaries who have led from the front in helping get India Independence and ushering in democracy.

5. Following the promulgation of our constitution, Gorkhas have worked tirelessly in each and every sphere to make a name for themselves and our nation, as reflected in Gorkha icon Shri. Pawan Kumar Chamling the longest serving Chief Minister in India ever. Be it in the form of legendary football player Chandan Singh Rawat representing India in Olympics at the Helsinki (1952), or in the form of iconic Indian National Football Team Captain Shyam Thapa, to the current Indian National Team Captain Sunil Chettri, Olympian and this year’s Khel Ratna awardee Jitu Rai to Arjuna Award awardee Shiva Thapa, from former Indian National Hockey team Captain Bharat Chettri to Ms. Chung Chung Bhutia of the Indian National Women’s Football team,the Gorkhashave excelled in the field of sports. In the form of award winning scientists Dr. Sunita Pradhan and Dr. Sarala Khaling, to the internationally acclaimed Artist Ms. Hemlata Pradhan, to noted social worker recently felicitated by the Hon’ble President of India Ms. Rongu Souriya to Internationally acclaimed author Ms. Jyoti Thapa Mani,the Gorkhali women have made immense contribution towards our nation. In the world of arts and entertainment who doesn’t get mesmerized by the works of National Award winning actress Ms. Gitanjali Thapa, or by the works of India’s top cinematographer Mr. Binod Pradhan or Mr. Nima Namchu the Chief Creative Officer at Havas Worldwide, or by Mr. Danny Denzongpa one of the most illustrious Gorkhali sons in Bollywood. In terms of bravery and patriotism, there is no parallel to Gorkha contributions in keeping our nation safe. If we start listing the name of the Gorkha brave-hearts, it would take us at least 2 years to write them down, suffice it to say the Gorkha Regiment, has, as of today won 6 Theater Honors, 18 Battle Honors, 3 Param Vir Chakras, 5 Ashok Chakras, 28 Maha Vir Chakras, 75 Vir Chakras and numerous other honors and citations. India’s first Field Marshal Gen. Sam “Bahadur” Manekshaw was a Gorkha by creed, and so is India’s current Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag.

6. From academics to entertainment, from sports to defense of our nation, the Gorkhas despite our low numbers have contributed immensely towards nation building. Yet, Flipkart has chosen to show Gorkhas as Chowkidars with funny accent, thus sullying the image of our community.

7. Flipkart uses Gorkha religious and cultural artifact (Bhadgauley Topi/ Gorkha Hat) with Khukuri insignia as part of security personnel Uniform. The advertisement sends out a perception that the cultural Gorkha topi with Khukuri insignia is a part of the security uniform and everyone wearing it is chowkidar.

8. Much like what Pagdai and Kirpan mean to the Sikh community, the Gorkha topi and Khukuri are the biggest religious and cultural symbol for the Gorkhas, and every Gorkha, irrespective of theirstatus in the society - be it a watchman, teacher, sportsperson, or the army takes pride in wearing our topi. To use such articles of immense religious and cultural significance for derogatory advertisement and making a mockery of the accent in which Gorkhalis speak Hindi,is a deliberate act of stereotyping the entire community as only security guards and watchmen who cannot speak Hindi normally, thus establishing our community as either being uneducated or foreigners who cannot speak Hindi properly. Also This is a cheap exploitation of culture and customs for commercial gain and it is utterly offensive and unethical. Most of all, insulting the Khukri which is the sacred weapon of India’s seven Gorkha Regiments (the 1st GR, 3rd GR, 4th GR, 5th GR, 8th GR, 9th GR, 11th GR) as they are deployed in defence operations across the most hostile terrains and situations across India. Even the Chief of Indian Army General Dalbir Singh Suhag wears the khukri on his hat as he belonged to the 5th Gorkha Rifles.

9. We want to understand the intention of Flipkart in using thereligious and cultural symbol of a community to subtly depict the entire Gorkha people in a bad light. How did the ‘creative directors’ of the advertisement even think that the Gorkha Topi and Khukuri is a part of any security uniform? And that Gorkhas can only speak Hindi in a very offensive accent?

10. We have also found out that Flipkart has in an earlier advertisement depicted children with mongoloid features as being beauty parlor workers, while round eyed “Indian” [according to Flipkart norms] looking children as their rich patrons, thus stereotyping the entire NE women as being beauty parlour workers (https://youtu.be/-JpjpiC0ZpI)

11. Given the repeated instances of Racist portrayal of our Gorkha community, as well as racist portrayal of NE communities, we demand that a case of hurting Gorkha religious sentiments under Indian Penal Code section 153(A) and racial discrimination and promotion of racism under Indian Penal Codesection 295 (A) be immediately filed against Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal (Corporate Address - Flipkart Internet Private Limited, Vaishnavi Summit, Ground Floor, 7th Main, 80 Feet Road, 3rd Block, Koramangala Industrial Layout, Bangalore – 560034, Karnataka, India, Ph - 0124-6150000) (Email – ceo@flipkart.com and Virat Tandon CEO, of Mullen Lintasthe Ad agency which created these racist advertisements.

12. In addition, we demand an immediate public apology from Flipkart across various platforms - online, on TV and Print media for hurting the sentiments of over 12.5 million Indian Gorkhas and removal of these highly offensive advertisementsfrom all forms of communications immediately.

Sincerely,
Lt. Col (Retd) Sukul Pradhan
Jyoti Thapa Mani (Author – The Khukri Braves)
Rajen Pandey Chhetry – Gorkha Social Activist
General Secretary - Nepali Sammelan Delhi
President - Gorkha Youth and Students’ Association of India (GYASA)
Gorkha Autonomous Council Demand Committee (GACDC)
Hamro Swabhimaan Trust
All India Kirati Khambu Rai Association
All Manipur Gorkha Students’ Union (AMGSU)
President – All Manipur Gorkha Students’ Union, Delhi
ARNOVA
D.M College Gorkha Students Union, Manipur
Gorkha Foundation India

Copy To:-
1. Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Minister for Information & Broadcasting
2. Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble MoS Development of North East Region, MoS PMO
3. Shri. SS Ahluwalia, Hon’ble MoS Parlimentary Affairs, MoS Farmers Welfare, Member of Parliament Darjeeling
4. Shri. Pawan Kumar Chamling, Hon’ble Chief Minister Govt of Sikkim
5. Shri. Bimal Gurung, Chief, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration
6. General Dalbir Singh, Chief of Army Staff (COAS)
7. Shri. Justice H L Dattu, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission
8. Shri Naseem Ahmed, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities
9. Shri. RP Sharmah, Member of Parliament, Tezpur
10. Shri. PD Rai, Member of Parliament (LS), Sikkim
11. Shri. Hishey Lachungpa, Member of Parliament (RS), Sikkim
12. Shri. Benoy Roychowdhury, Chairman (ASCI)
13. Lt. Gen Shakti Gurung (Retd) – Gorka Kalyan Board, Uttarakhand
14. President, Gorkha Janmukti Students Union, Darjeeling
15. President, All Assam Gorkha Students Union,
16. President, Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF)
17. President, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP)
18. President, All Manipur Gorkha Students Union
19. President, Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha, Darjeeling

20. President, Gorkha National Students Front, Darjeeling

Why The Gorkha Community Is Furious With Two Flipkart Ads

Remember the last Gorkhali character you saw in a Hindi movie? Yes, the same one who played the watchman?

Isn't it problematic that the above sentences could be referring to any Gorkhali character in any Hindi film and would still be factually correct?

It is in common knowledge that mainstream Hindi films and advertisements tend to stereotype Gorkhali people as watchmen.

Indian Gorkha Community Furious With Flipkart Ads
Now, Flipkart has joined the list of offenders by endorsing the mothballed stereotype. The company recently launched 'Assured Flipkart', a campaign that seeks to apprise its customers of their extensive quality checks that "guarantee a superior shopping experience".

If you are familiar with the previous Flipkart ads, you know that they have a bunch of kids backed with adult voiceovers, making simplistic ads seem cute. The two new ads are of the same kind.

In both the ads, two watchmen try to warn the sahebji and the madamji from ordering online because one cannot trust these online portals. To this, the sahebji and the madamji say that with Assured Flipkart, there is ensured and fast delivery of the orders. Of the two watchmen, one is Gorkha and is seen wearing the traditional Bhadgauley Topi, a hat that the Gorkhas wear.

What Flipkart didn't foresee was that these ads would offend the Gorkha community. The portrayal of the watchman was not taken lightly by the community.

A complaint letter submitted to the Delhi Police by the Gorkha Youth and Students' Association of India (GYASA), said, "Their advertisement makes a mockery of the Gorkha community, and stereotypes us as being Chowkidars, with overly exaggerated and highly offensive [which they may consider as being funny] Hindi accent."

It added, "Stereotyping a community is the most basic forms of racism and by promoting their business using racist stereotyping; Flipkart has shown how insensitive they are and at the same time exposed the hypocrisy of our great nation. While we cry for blood when an Indian is 'stereotyped and racially abused' in foreign shores, we tend to silently accept stereotyping as an accepted form of comedy when it is done to the minorities of our own nation."

Speaking to HuffPost India, lawyer and Gorkha Rights Activist, Roshni Rai, said, "I stay in Mumbai and people here refer to watchmen as Gorkha. Many people from the community do not want to disclose their identity because of that. People don't know that there are Nepalis in India. They think if one is Nepali then they must be from Nepal. But we are Indians and proud to be. This kind of advertisements really hurt the sentiment of the community. So, people are filing complaints against Flipkart. We demand an apology from them."

The complaint by GYASA also mentions that the ad shows the kid-watchman wearing the Bhadgauley Topi or the Gorkha Hat with Khukuri insignia indicating that it is part of a security personnel's uniform.

Speaking to HuffPost India, Dinesh Sharma from GYASA said, "What I found personally very offensive is that a cultural artefact of my community has been used to portray that this is what watchmen's uniforms are. Like a Kirpan for the Sikh community, no one can depict the topi so derogatorily. It is very demeaning. Gorkhas have a history of defending he country. When you show that this hat in TV and pop culture as something that security guards wear, it is demeaning. This hat is our pride. We give this to dignitaries. It holds high value in my community. I would have laughed at a caricature of a Gorkha person because I don't object to the portrayal of members of my community wearing the security uniform. This is the premise of our protest."

The complaint letter also mentioned a previous ad by Flipkart that "depicted children with mongoloid features as being beauty parlor workers, while round eyed "Indian" [according to Flipkart norms] looking children as their rich patrons, thus stereotyping the entire NE women as being beauty parlour workers."


In addition to an apology, GYASA has filed a complaint against Flipkart with Delhi Police and the complaint has been handed over to the Nodal Officer for Northeast.

Why I Don't Agree with Flipkart Advertisement and will Protest?

By Dinesh Sharma

The recent advertisement by ‪#‎Flipkart‬ has drawn a new debate within the Gorkha community and the Northeast region at large. This is not the first time that Flipkart has indulged people with a subtly racist message in their advertisement. A previous ad by the same company has some NE lookalikes as massage and beauty parlor attendants. So, when I say I protest, it is not for this one ad, but the continuous trend of negative stereotype of the Gorkhas and the NE region portrayed in Indian popular media.

Many amongst my own circle of friend see nothing wrong with the ad. they question my progressiveness and broad mindedness when I say that such ads should not be encouraged. I am often accused of letting my emotions rule over practicality. That, I have no 'sense of humor' and I lack the basic progressiveness of the 21st century.

Okay, I accept and be it so. But, let me state my position clear.
A journalist friend asked me "Gorkhas have been depicted like this in popular media for a long time now. Why this protest now?"

Perhaps the very reason that we never complained about such negative stereotyping, today we see this trend of ridiculing and stereotyping culture and people. Nobody actually bothered to think about the deep repercussions such negative portrayal will bear on our today and future. Such popular media gimmick creates the impression that someone donning the ‘Bhadgaule’ hat or ‘khukri’ is a security guy, watchmen, or a domestic help.

This topi and Khukuri is something very important to my identity as a Gorkha and a cultural artifact which we proudly wear. Be it politicians, sportspersons, intellectuals, or a common man, we all take pride in wearing a Gorkha topi. It holds a cultural significance to us and we also gift the topi as a token of love and appreciation to guests in our villages, festivals, and social gatherings.

Now when these media start portraying that Topi and Khukuri are for security guys, it is a personal insult to me. This is clearly demeaning and the negative stereotyping is a wilful malice intentionally directed against us. Would these ads dare to use a 'Kirpan' or 'pagdee' as something for security? No, because their arse will burn and they know it.

When a world-class company shows this level of cultural illiteracy, it is pertinent to question their achievements and success level. They may be financial giants, but they seem to lack those basic human values of RESPECT and DIGNITY which are the pillars of any civilized world.

I protest this ad because if I don't do it today, I will lose the pride of wearing my Topi tomorrow or talking about the amazing Khukuri.

I understand that there are thousands of Gorkhas working a dignified life working as Security and domestic help around this country. I also know many more Gorkhas who are leading this nation in sports, academics, defence, art, and culture. Would you treat them as security guards when they wear their cultural artefact?

If I don’t protest, the kids will forget all our achievements and contributions to the nation saying we are all security guards and watchmen

If I don’t protest, my community stands at the risk of being labelled as security and the funnily accented Chinese momo and chowmein.

If I don't protest, they will trample all our achievements in military, Sports, art, and culture and bring it down to the level of heavily accented "Saabji, bolo Saabji"

If I don’t protest these popular media will trivialize my proud cultural heritage, and our history saying we are nothing but watchmen and guards.


Sources GYASA and huffingtonpost 


AAGSU on NRC issue for Gorkha in Assam

11:01 PM
A DISCUSSION ON NRC WITH PREM TAMANG - PRESIDENT - AAGSU

As the issue of NRC in Assam has finally begun to subside with the assurance from the CM, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal that Gorkhas will be considered as genuine citizens of the state, we (GYASA) called up to speak with Shri Prem Tamang, President All Assam Gorkha Students Union (AAGSU) on the updates.

Welcoming the move by the government to identify illegal migrants, Prem Tamang said "AAGSU welcomes the move and appreciate the government's decision to acknowledge the history and contribution of the Gorkhas in Assam."

"As a responsible organization, AAGSU will continue to cooperate and speak not just for the Gorkhas , but also for other communities and will do everything to protect the state from illegal influx. We support the proposition that all Illegal Bangladeshis must be chased out from Assam."
"Some so-called intellectuals thinks Gorkhas as Nepali of Nepal. But no, we came with the land 300-400 years ago and have our history in this land. Our language is Nepali language and hence the confusion and people make issue out of it. Many think that many migrate to India from Nepal. But the fact is many go back rather than new coming in. And AAGSU welcomes the NRC move."
AAGSU on NRC issue for Gorkha in Assam
AAGSU on NRC issue for Gorkha in Assam
"We welcome the 1971 NRC cut off date and it will include 75-80% of our population. There might be chances 25% of Gorkhas may be left out as they do not have documents, but we are saying they are indigenous. There is always a possibility of bringing a special NRC team to count their status and get it re-verified."

Acknowledging that the issue is highly political, Tamang said "some people are playing politics out of this things. But this time, it will be guaranteed that we are not foreigners. Once we have the NRC, the foreigners tag will be forever removed and we will be a permanent resident of this proud land. NRC will give us our birthright of a motherland and AAGSU supports it wholeheartedly."

There are some few few places where there are lots of program coming. We are indigenous gorkhas living since time immemorial. We are in Assam and first of all my priority is Assam, my homeland. There are many bangladeshi in Assam. And we as Gorkhas as people of the land must also ensure that NRC is our responsibility to remove illegal immigrants. We are all together in this NRC movement."

Since there are many young, old ones in social media and lot of confusion and fear factors are coming in the minds of people and so many confusion. Yet he said they are doing all the best to ensure that NRC is implemented and we as Gorkhas as son of the soil of Assam will and must be covered.
We can't oppose the system, we must work along with the system, try to reason out our stand and why. He said he became President of AAGSU in a very difficult time. Concluding our short conversation, Prem Tamang said "We drank water of Assam since birth and childhood and Assam is our land and we love our land and are equally concern of the state. Mati, Mato and Jati comes in sequential order.

Wishing GYASA the best of luck and he appealed everyone to understand the issue and not to be led by false propaganda. He says, "let us continue using social media platform to highlight Gorkhas positivity."

Also on the 19th & 20th July Gorkha Autonomous Demand Committee (GADC), a wing of AAGSU, will be taking out a a "Paidel Yatra " from Dhemagi till Dispur last gate".

Via (GYASA) 

Gorkha Students Orientation and GYASA public meeting in Delhi

9:27 PM
Report by: Sanjay and @Gautam Chhetry (DU Students)

Gorkha Youth and Students’ Association organized Orientation for New Students and Delhi/NCR Gorkha meeting at Gorkha Welfare Center, New Delhi today. Students from different colleges, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and eminent personalities from Delhi/NCR attend the event.
Opening the session, Dinesh Sharma social activist and founder member of GYASA introduced the history, objectives and activities of the association. Explaining the idea of the initiative he says “we don’t aspire to be an NGO claiming to do this and that for the community, but will make sure that the aspirations of the youths and the ordinary people are heard across social and political circle, when pursuing issues related to the welfare and betterment of the community.”

The event was divided into two sessions – ‘orientation for new students’ and ‘general discussion on issues facing Gorkha community in Delhi/NCR’.


Gorkha Students Orientation and GYASA public meeting in Delhi
Gorkha Students Orientation and GYASA public meeting in Delhi

SESSION I:
Adarsh Chhetry, Joint Secretary of NorthEast Students Society (NESS), Motilal Nehru College extended a warm welcome to the new students while motivating them to excel in their academic career. He emphasized on the importance of participating in various extracurricular activities and representing the community in every social-cultural aspect of college life. Sharing his own experiences, Aadarsh says “We are like sponges, and there is nothing different in any colleges; it depends on each student how much one can absorb from the teaching.”

Colonel (Retd) Sukul Pradhan then introduced Gorkha Football Club, a registered football society in Delhi. Col. Pradhan is a quiet activist who had raised and educated over 36 students from less privileged background in Bijanbari, Darjeeling. Starting his speech with “Moh ta Nepali ma baat garchu”, Col Pradhan emphasized on the need to build up confidence of the community. While lamenting the hesitation of many youngster in calling themselves Gorkha in public, Col. Pradhan shared his personal experience when he was asked to wash a car washer by his immediate neighbour thinking him to be another low wage labourer. After washing his neighbour’s car, Col Pradhan politely explains his neighbour how every honest job and sincere hard-working should never be looked down upon.

Urging everyone in the audience to help and support Gorkha Football Club, Col Pradhan said that “the idea of GFC is to connect to the community and youth through sports. We all love watching football and spending time with our friends and family doing something nice and positive. Let us all make every GFC match a Gorkha ‘mela’ in the coming days.”

The first session ended with an introduction of new students and address by Tshering Lepcha from JNU, who encouraged students to aspire big and extended all help from the senior Gorkha students from the prestigious university.

Session II
Shri Prem Prasad Sharma and Gopal Koirala of All Assam Gorkha Students Union (AAGSU-Delhi Leaders) opened the session by introducing the various issues facing the Gorkha community. They highlighted on the urgent need for all of us to collaborate as a community and come together for any emergency and urgent situation. Gopal Koirala emphasized the importance of Delhi Police for North East initiative and called upon everyone to work with the team at #1093 for assistance during emergencies.

Renowned social worker and poet Shri Uttam Kumar Chhettri lauded the efforts of GYASA in confidence building and slowing winning the trust of the community. “Sadly, there are still people in our community who hesitate to call themselves Gorkhas in public, or speak Nepali. Unless we speak our language, who else will? Unless we ourselves love and be proud to be Gorkha, who else will, Let us inculcate the spirit of being a proud Gorkha”, he added. Through his experience with Indian Red Cross, Uttam Chhetry also gave an overview of the mechanism behind donating and receiving blood. Requirements for blood being one of the most constant issues, he suggested that rather than donating individually, we must collective donate under the name of a community or organization, so that the blood banks can issue blood on the recommendation of the organization during any emergency.
Ramesh Singh Thakuri, eminent theatre personality, Ex-President and CEO of Dominos Pizza (India) and the son of Gorkha legend Capt. Ram Singh Thakuri mesmerized the audience with his motivational and inspirational address. “We should be confident about ourselves and never be bogged down under any circumstances. Learn good Hindi and English, and respond to the other person in the same language that they speak to you. Don’t be afraid and look into their eyes when you talk” he said. Citing his own example he says “My nickname in school was Chinku, but that didn’t bother me. I was a proud Chinky and I carried that attitude. I always respected the person before me, and that person would automatically respect me in return, without having to ask for it.” He called upon every youth to pursue their interest and not be bothered about parental or peer pressures, “but make sure you at least have a graduate degree because you may need a back-up anytime.”

Prem Chhetri, lawyer and advocate in Supreme Court while welcoming the initiatives by GYASA also focused on the need to distribute responsibilities and work with co-ordination for larger public issues. “We have too many issues to be handled by a single team – social, cultural, political, migration issues, pursuing government welfare benefits, reservations, and many more. A single team thinking about all these issues will burnout the activist on the ground. As a community, we must come forward and discuss how we can distribute responsibilities to various organizations. With a central team to coordinate and monitor the overall progresses, distribution of responsibilities will bring a proper structure and focus to our efforts.” Mr Chhetri also pointed out the as a community, we have been presenting a very confused public perception. “Organizations and individuals should stop representing the community without due consultation with all stakeholders. We must prioritize what we want - SC, ST, or OBC, but there should a consensus on the issues.”

“Today we have IGP Robin Hibu, IPS who is working tirelessly for the benefit of the entire region. What happens tomorrow if Robin sir is transferred or retires? Is it back to square one then? We must bring together all our police officials, bureaucrats, legal experts, and ‘grounded’ intellectuals on a common platform where we can discuss issues that are relevant to the community. This should be the think-tank that should determine what we should do and how, not people with hidden agendas and dubious standings,” Prem Chhetri added.

Adding to the discussion, Rajen Chhetry of GYASA asked “why a team of 4-5 members go about meeting ministers and officials and claim to represent the community?” He asked the audience if anyone of them were informed or consulted about the issues being raised in the memorandum because “seeing their reports on media and facebook, they seem to be claiming they are community representatives. Which community are they representing? Have they discussed about any community issue in a public gathering, outside of Facebook?”

Rajen Chhetry also pointed out the insensitivity of these so called leader and ‘apex organizations’ regarding issues of the North East, and Gorkha settled outside Sikkim and Gorkhaland regions. “While they go about taking names of Gorkhas across India, they don’t even seem to know the ground realities and local issues facing the community in different states.” Warning against any such moves by individuals and organization, Rajen added “Don’t think you can hoodwink and fool the people anymore. Gone are the days when the job of the public was only to clap; we have started questioning now and they don’t like it.”

The event ended with scholarship announcement for meritorious students by Haamro Swabhimaan representatives. Detailing the criteria and subjects for which scholarships are on offer, Mohan Karki, Yog Guru called upon parents and students to reach out to the organization for any such requirements. This was followed by an open forum where people asked questions and clarifications form the presenters.

GYASA would like to extend sincere gratitude to Gorkha Welfare Center Administrator and Manager Jolen Gurung for letting us use the premise for the event. We also like to thank Dipendra Basnet, good samaritan and Gorkha FC mentor, and Major Deepak Bista, NSG for financially helping us for the event. Mothers’ Group (Delhi), World Gorkha Foundation Trust, sister of legendary footballer Shyam Thapa, Gorkha FC boys, JNU community, and students for making this event a success. A big shout out to senior students for such a warm welcome to the new students. We wish you all the best.

Via GYASA

Working together to save a Gorkha brother injured in an accident in Delhi

7:02 PM
25th June 2016 Delhi: Raju Chetry (24 years), a Gorkha brother from Duliajan, Assam defeated the death after getting extremely injured in a road accident in South Delhi.

Words are not enough to explain the smile that I have seen in his face today, though the wound is still profound and painful. It reminded me a quote from Dalai Lama and I quote “When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us to develop inner happiness and peace”.

Today is the fourth day since the fateful night of 20th June, when the tragic road accident almost taken his life. God was kind enough to send IGP Robin Hibu (IPS), the Messiah in this case whose timely action and intervention make the positive difference. All Assam Gorkha Student Union (AAGSU) Delhi Unit has been constantly trying our best to provide all possible help and assistance whatever we can do with our limited resources. It is a huge encouragement and inspiration for us when we see people coming from different parts of the country extending a helping hand in this case. A special thanks to our Gorkha brothers and sisters from Delhi (Ms Rebecca Rai – Delhi Police For North East Representative (DPNER – Darjeeling), Mr Rajen Chetry (2) – DPNER – Manipur, Mr Rajen Chetry (1) – Gorkha Youth and Student Association (GYASA), Mr Sunil Tamang – Delhi Police for whole heartedly supporting and standing with us in the hour of need. It will take enough time to fully recover and heal the wound physically but our support and prayers will give him strength to overcome this darkest period of his life. A much needed support, prayer, encouragement, motivation is the need of the hour to keep his spirit high.

Following are some of the Photos from the hospital





We are very much thankful to the people who have generously contributed towards the treatment of Mr Raju Chetry and would like to update you all their name and contributions, as a gesture to acknowledge their contributions.

1. AAGSU Delhi Unit - 5500
(Gopal Koirala – 1000/-)
(P P Sharma – 1000)
(Amit Sharma – 1000)
(Keshab Tamang – 1000)
(Pratap Limboo – 500)
(Sibu Konwar – 500)
(Rahul Adhikari – 500) Delhi
2 IGP Robin Hibu IPS Delhi 5000
3 Mr Rajen Chetry (2) Delhi 500
4 Ms Ranjana Rai Hyderabad 2000
5 Mr Bhushan Rai Darjeeling 1000
6 Mr Vikash Chetry Assam 300
7 Mr S Sherpa Darjeeling 1000
8 Ms Rebecca Rai Delhi 500
9 Mr Sunil Tamang Delhi Police 500
10 Mr Mohan Rizal Assam 500
11 Mr Bishnu Karki Arunachal Pradesh 10000
12 Mr Yogsem Lama Darjeeling 1100
13 Mr Hiralal & Mrs Manju Sharma Assam 2000
14 Mr Vijay Rai Chamling Sikkim 10000
15 Ms Srijana Rai Darjeeling 2000
16 Mr Sanjeev Kr (SHO Fatehpur Beri) Delhi Police 5000
17 Mr Prem Kr Limboo Assam 1000
18 Mr Mukund Upadhyaya & Mr Varun Adhikari JNU Student 1000
19 Mr AIT Limboo 1000
Total Amount received 49900/-

We All Assam Gorkha Student Union (AAGSU) humbly request all the well wishers, brothers, and sisters to generously contribute whatever amount you can for the treatment of our brother Raju Chetry. You can deposit the amount in the following account:

Account Holder Name: Prem Prasad Sharma
Bank Name: Axis Bank
A/C No: 913010049307931
IFSC Code: UTIB0001129
Branch: Duliajan, Assam

(Note: Mr Prem Prasad Sharma is President of AAGSU Delhi Unit)
“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that”.
~ Norman Vincent Peale

Thank you!
Gopal Koirala
Publicity Secretary – AAGSU Delhi Unit
gkinstyle@gmail.com


Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh statement on meeting with Dr Jitendra Singh

5:35 PM
STATEMENT OF THE BHARATIYA GORKHA PARISANGH REGARDING THE MEETING IT HAD WITH DONER MINISTER DR JITENDRA SINGH

With reference to the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh’s meeting with Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Development of Northeast Region (DONER), and the reports on the meeting as carried by various national newspapers, including The Hindustan Times of News Delhi, The Hindu of Chennai and The Tribune of Chandigarh, certain erroneous and mischievous views are being circulated regarding the objectives of the Parisangh’s meeting. We are clarifying some points here.

1. The granting of Schedule Tribe status is state-specific. (According to the Union Tribal Ministry website: “The list of Scheduled Tribes is State/UT specific and a community declared as a Scheduled Tribe in a State need not be so in another State/UT.” http://tribal.nic.in/Con.../IntroductionScheduledTribes.aspx )

Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh logo
Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh logo
This clearly means that the demand for ST status in by the Sikkim Chief Minister and by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will pertain only to Gorkhas in Sikkim and West Bengal, and will not automatically extend to Gorkhas living in other states of India. Therefore, to infer that Parisangh’s meeting with Dr Jitendra Singh jeopardizes the move to have ST status for Gorkhas across India ignores these constitutional provisions and is based on ill understanding of such provisions. Any suggestion that Parisangh is being used to throw a spanner in the demands arising out of Sikkim and Darjeeling is erroneous, malicious and ill-conceived.

2. The demand for OBC status for Gorkhas in the Northeast is entirely in the context of the Parisangh’s meeting with the DONER minister and not any other Union ministry. When ST status for Gorkhas in Northeast states was broached to the minister, Dr Jitendra Singh said there were pending issues about OBC status for Gorkhas in these states. The Parisangh said that the demand for OBC was an old one, and it wanted ST status for Gorkhas there. However, since the issues discussed pertained only to Gorkhas in the Northeast and not to Gorkhas in general across India, the Parisangh told the minister that it knew that because the entire Northeast region was a complex interplay of tribal affiliations, various state governments and the policymakers of the Northeast were reluctant to accord TRIBAL STATUS to Gorkhas. An example is Mizoram, where the Home Department has suggest OBC status for the Gorkhas, but the state cabinet has been reluctant to accord even OBC status, deciding instead to hold a new census of Gorkhas in the state. Since ST status may not be forthcoming for some time, the best alternative for Gorkhas to derive policy benefits in the region is through recognition as OBC.

3. Even OBC status is state-specific. Gorkhas, for instance, are OBCs in Uttarakhand but their OBC status does not confer similar status to Gorkhas in other Indian States nor to all Gorkhas at the Central level. The Parisangh, in its meeting with Dr Jitendra Singh, requested that he use his influence to have the Central Government extend the OBC status, in addition to ST/SC, given to Gorkhas in certain Northeast and other Indian states to the Central level, so that Gorkhas can still derive economic and development benefits of the Central Government.

4. The letter of the Parisangh, attached with this statement, to Union Tribal Welfare Minister Jual Oram clearly proves that the only pan-India social organization of the Gorkhas wants Scheduled Tribe status for all categories of Gorkhas across India. In fact, a resolution passed in the 3rd Mahaadhiveshan of the Parisangh in 2012 called for the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh to contact the authorities to confer special category statuses, including Schedule Tribes, Schedule Caste and OBC, wherever best applicable so that the Gorkhas are not left out of the development processes of the various states in which they are resident. The Parisangh is committed to ensuring that Gorkhas across India has access to whatever benefits the Constitution can accord under various provisions, whether they by ST, SC, OBC or other social categorizations.

5. It is a journalistic practice to contact the person/persons/organization about whom the journalist is writing something. When office bearers are unavailable to clarify points that may seem inadequate, the article normally mentions the fact that no one answered the journalist’s queries. It is, therefore, against journalistic practices to assume and infer malicious motives without having tried to ascertain the facts from the organization named. No one bothered to contact the Parisangh office bearers to seek their clarification, so the Parisangh rejects such articles as individual fantasies and biased opinions.

Sukhman Moktan
President, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh.


Who is Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh Batting For? Why are they demanding OBC status for Gorkhas?

12:19 PM
The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP) which claims to be the "apex body of Gorkhas in India" seems to be trying to undo all the good work done by the Govt of Sikkim and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) who have pushed for all the Gorkhas to be recognized as Scheduled Tribes.

In a meeting with the DoNER Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, they have demanded once again that Gorkhas be included under OBC and not ST. Here is a report from the national daily The Hindu [details: http://bit.ly/1OkhO5n]

"The Gorkhas have urged the central government to give “Other Backward Class” status to the community, an official statement said on Sunday. A delegation of the community leaders and members from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand made the demand when they met union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and PMO Jitendra Singh here on Saturday.
BGP delegation to MoS DoNER
According to the release here, the minister gave a patient hearing to the delegation led by Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha president S.M. Moktan. The Parisangha is a national organisation of Gorkhas in the country, the release said. Prominent among the delegationwere V.B. Thupu from Uttar Pradesh, D.C. Poudiyal and P.P. Pradhan from West Bengal, Guman Bhoj Limbo from New Delhi, Jagannath Koirala from Meghalaya and Bhupendra Adhikari from Uttarakhand." This is the 2nd time that BGP has sent representation to Union Ministers, earlier it was to MoS Home Kiren Rijju demanding OBC status for Gorkhas.

Currently the Central Govt has formed a committee to examine the inclusion of all the Gorkha communities as ST, where as BGP is repeatedly pushing for OBC status, thus we wonder whose interest is BGP serving?

Are they getting funded by anti-Gorkha political parties to push for such an absurd demand during such a critical time?


Via GYASA




 
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