Recently during a TV debate, Congress Leader Pawan Khera had gone on to make a shocking comment on the Gorkhas calling them separatists and anti nationals.
The comment didn't go very well with the Gorkhas and thus Pawan Khera had received a huge backlash on twitter over the issue. Following the incident, he had issued a tweet where he had apologised over his comment.
Mr. Khera has today issued a formal written apology in over the issue where he writes,
"Respected Gorkha Sisters and Brothers,
In the loud cacophony of the studio debate, there was a misunderstanding caused due to some words, definitely not caused for valiant Gorkhas, I regret that.
I apologize for any inadvertent misunderstanding caused to my Gorkha sisters and brothers.
I salute the sacrifice of Veer Shaheed Major Durga Malla, as the bravest example of what Gorkha Community has done for the motherland. They are patriotic and as Indians as the rest of us.
I salute your courage and patriotism."
Where we believe that as humans we do make mistakes, we also believe that owning up our mistake is the first thing we can do to make things right. We appreciate Mr. Khera for admitting his mistake and coming up to apologize for the same. We believe that our Gorkha Brothers and sisters will forgive him, as we have always had hearts bigger anything else.
In another instance of humiliation meted out to the Gorkhas, Pawan Khera senior Congress spokesperson and former Political Secretary to Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit clubbed Gorkhas with Khalistan Separatists and went on to label the Gorkhas as “separatist and anti-nationals.”
The offensive comment was made by Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera in NDTV debate program Left Right and Center.
Reacting to the BJP accusation of Congress joining hands with Popular Front of India, which has been deemed to be a militant and extremist organization, Congress leader Khera started to count the alliances that BJP had made, and counting his fingers claimed, “Bodo, Naga, Gorkha, pro-Khalistan elements, IPFT in Tripura – six states in which you have joined hands with separatists, anti-Nationals, traitors, anti-India.”
This slur on the Gorkha community was immediately condemned on Twitter, by @BiswadeepTamang who wrote, ” @Pawankhera how irresponsible of you to equate the entire #Gorkha community with Khalistanis and Naga rebels. You are totally ill informed by Jyoti Basu and his brigades on what #Gorkhas in India stands for. Educate yourself, before you speak rubbish. @Nidhi”
He also uploaded the following screenshot to inform the ill-informed Congress spokesperson.
” @Pawankhera Read what Congress and the former PM Rajiv Gandhi had then said on Gorkhaland. October 15, 1986 India Today https://bit.ly/2wumvqc”
Another Gorkha twitteratti Dinesh Sharma who tweets under the handle @OyeKeta wrote,
“Dear @INCIndia, please clarify what your official @PawanKhera means by calling #Gorkhaland #Bodoland #NagaIssue anti-national conspiracy. Your politics of #appeasement and #MongoloidPrejudices has pushed democratic movements in the #NorthEast to the brink of extremism #Apologize”
Taking strong exception to the lies spewed on national TV, one of the most followed Gorkha twitterattis @DipendraDipzo wrote a series of tweets, among which he asked Pawan Khera to apologize,
“Hello half-informed idiot @Pawankhera APOLOGIZE ASAP. Since when Demanding statehood within the UNION of INDIA became Anti India?? Hello, @INCIndia @RahulGandhi make this moron @pawankhera to APOLOGIZE ASAP. You are a traitor, not us. Idiot.”
The outrage felt by all Gorkhas on twitter, is gradually turning into a gradual movement to ensure that no one throws Gorkha name to muck again, as this tweet by @VaniraKhati states,
“In a moment of absolute brain freeze @Pawankhera labels Gorkhas as anti nationals. He cannot get away by tampering with our reputation thus. #CongressMustApologizeToGorkhas”
Following the intesne pressure put forth by Gorkha twitterattis, @Pawankhera issued an apology, in which he clarified, “Highest regard for Gorkhas and their valour. The words were dedicated to the RSS/BJP for their double standards on electoral alliances.”
However, Gorkha twitterattis want Pawan Khera to issue an unconditional apology for slurring the name of our community. As this tweet by @GorkhaCheli explained,
“U drew parallel with anti nationals. Named us along with Separatists. Called us Traitors. FYI, there is dedicated regiment of Gorkhas protecting our nation at the borders and thats why you are able to raise your voice in Studios with comfort.”
Another leading Gorkha twitteratti @sudlimbu tweeted,
“On what ground this ill informed ignorant @Pawankhera labelled us separatists and antinationals? Is demanding a separate state under UNION OF INDIA antinational? We condemn his malicious statement maligning our repute and seek his Apology ASAP”
Another twitteratti @mamathaparoy1 added,
“These kind of lies are misleading, and makes ones blood boil. He doesn’t know what he’s saying. The right thing would be to apologise to the ever loyal Gorkha’s, who are sent, first in every war.”
The support for Gorkhas is coming from others as @MarkKumar3 writes,
“We support Gorkhas demand for their own state separate from West Bengal. This @Pawankhera won’t learn like this. Teach him some manners in Gorkha style”
Time for Pawan Khera to issue a proper apology.
In terms of migrants and immigrants, it is well acknowledged that due to the open border policy shared between India and Nepal, people from both the nations have emigrated from one nation to the other.
While immigration has continued freely post Independence, what majority of the people in India fail to realize is that prior to the British invading various parts of India, Nepalis were already living in across the length and breadth of India. Places like Darjeeling, parts of Sikkim, Kangra, and Garhwal were actually parts of Nepal until 1816 when these tracts of lands were handed over to the British. The land which were usurped by the British also contained a healthy population of Indigenous Nepali speaking population – today these people who did not cross the border, but for whom the borders crossed them back in 1816, are recognized as GORKHAS in the Indian context.
The term "Gorkha" is used in India to identify the Indian citizens of Nepali ethnicity including the indigenous Lepchas and Bhutias (in the Darjeeling and Sikkim context), from the citizens of Nepal who are referred to as "Nepalese."
Due to Indo- Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, 1950 (INFT) – the term "illegal immigrants" does not apply to people from Nepal entering India or Indian citizens entering Nepal. Every Indian citizen who moves to Nepal or every Nepali who moves to India does so legally and is protected by the INFT of 1950.
Article 6 and 7 of the INFT – 1950 state the following
Article 6: Each Government undertakes, in token of the neighborly friendship between India and Nepal, to give to the nationals of the other, in its territory, national treatment with regard to participation in industrial and economic development of such territory and to the grant of concessions and contracts, relating to such development. Article 7: The Governments of India and Nepal agree to grant, on a reciprocal basis, to the nationals of one country in the territories of the other the same privileges in the matter of residence, ownership of property, participation in trade and commerce, movement and other privileges of a similar nature.
Sadly it is these two clauses which were written to safeguard citizens from India and Nepal in each other's country, which creates misunderstanding and problem for Indian Gorkhas.
Most of the people across India naturally assume that all "Nepalis" are from Nepal, and start calling us "foreigners," "immigrants," and "outsiders" in various parts of India, and particularly so whenever we have demanded our rights to a separate state – Gorkhaland here in Darjeeling.
Via Hamro Manipur
अहिले घरी सामाजिक संजालहरुमा कतिथ रुपले रोहिङ्या मुसलमान पहाडँ(कालेबुङ) भित्र पसेको भिडियो चर्चाको बिषय बनेको छ।
यदि साच्चै नै ती सबै ब्यक्तिहरु रोहिङ्या मुसलमानहरु हुन भने यो समग्र पहाडँ अनि गोर्खा जातीको निम्ति मात्रै नभएर देशको सुरक्षा ब्यवस्था माथी नै हमला हो।के भिडियोमा देखिएको ब्यक्तिहरु भारतीय मुसलमान हुन अथवा पहाडँ घुम्न आएका साधारण पर्यटकहरु मात्र हुन?कहाँ छन् उनीहरु अहिले? के गर्दैछन्?
पुलिस प्रशासन अनि गोर्खाल्यान्ड क्षेत्रीय प्रशासनका अधिकारीहरुले झट्ट यो बिषय माथी ध्यानसंग छानबिन गरि सत्यता के हो जनता सामु ल्याउन नितान्त आवश्यक छ।कारण यस्ता घटनाहरुले पहाडँमा फेरि अशान्ति शृजना गर्न सक्छ भन्न सकिन्दैन। गोर्खाल्याण्ड क्षेत्रीय प्रशासनको प्रवेस द्वार सुकुना देखि केही मिनेट टाडो सालबाढीमा पनि बिगत दिनहरु भन्दा धेरै संख्यामा अवैध बंगलादेशीहरुको प्रवेस भएको कुरा प्रकाशमा आएको छ अनि उनिहरुले हेर्दाहेर्दै एउटा नयाँ गाउँ नै बनाएको लेखक स्वयं लाई अनुभव छ।तब प्रश्न उठँछ यहा,के यस्ता घटनाहरु प्रशासनको जानकारी बिना घटन सक्छ?के राज्यको खुफिया विभागलाई यस बारे जानकारी हुदैन? प्रश्न गम्भीर छ।अनि त्यो भन्दा गम्भीर कुरो यस्ता कुराहरु प्रकासमा आएपनी प्रशासन किन मौन? राज्य सरकार होस अथवा केन्द्र सरकार दुवैले यो बिसयमा चासो न राखेको झै देखिन्छ।
केन्द्र सरकारको एक रिपोर्ट अनुसार पश्चिम् बंगालमा मात्रै २ करोड अवैध बंगलादेशीहरु बसोबास गर्छन्।
आसाम राज्य पनि अवैध बंगलादेशीहरुको समस्याले ग्रसित छ भने उडिस्सा पनि अछुतो छैन।सन १९७९ सालमा अल आसाम स्टुडेन्ट युनियनले अवैध बंगलादेशीको मुद्दा सरकार सम्मुख उठाएका थिए।तर सरकारले गम्भीरता पुर्वक लिएन,फलस्वरूप वर्तमान समयमा आएर केन्द्र सरकारलाई हस्ताक्षेप गर्न कर लाग्यो अनि असली भारतीय मुसलमान अनि अवैध बंगलादेशी छुट्टाउने प्रक्रिया आसाममा चलिरहेको छ।यी तीन राज्य मध्ये अवैध बंगलादेशीहरुको निम्ति पश्चिम् बंगाल राज्यमा प्रवेस गर्न सबैभन्दा सजिलो रहेको पनि बिगतका कतिपय भाइरल भिडियोहरु अनि घटनाहरुले स्पष्ट बुझाएको छ।
अन्तमा कालेबुङ शहर भित्र रोहिङ्या प्रवेश गरेको कतिथ घटनालाई कुनै राजनीतिकरण नगरी गम्भीरता पुर्वक छानबिन गरि सत्य कुरा उजागर गर्न अहिलेको परिवेशमा आवश्यक छ।
जय हिन्द जय गोर्खा
Meet Aqui Thami from Darjeeling, whose travelling library is putting the spotlight on women’s books
‘Sister Library’, founded by the artist and activist, is going to several cities and sparking conversations around the representation of women in literature.
Aqui Thami is an artist and activist from Darjeeling, currently based in Mumbai, who is known for work that brings together both of those worlds. She put up one hundred posters with the words, “A woman was harassed here,” or “You aren’t giving me a compliment. You’re giving me the creeps,” in places around Mumbai where she and people she knew had been harassed. She has been working in the Dharavi Art Room with the founder, Himanshu, since 2012 to provide women and children in the community with a place to express and heal themselves through art.
In Bombay Underground, they promote and publish zines – a low-cost artistic production that allows them to, in Thami’s words, “break the epistemological hierarchy.” One of her zines about periods featured women’s reflections and stories about menstruation. Her latest project is the Sister Library – a travelling library of one hundred books from Thami’s own book collection that focuses solely on women’s writing. The library will tour Mumbai, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Goa, and Cochin with accompanying talks and discussions. She spoke to Scroll.in about the role of libraries, the desire to share books and zines that took her a long time to find, and what a permanent collection of these works might look like. Excerpts from the interview:
I want to start by asking about your personal connection to libraries. Did you have access to libraries growing up? Can you tell us about a library experience that has been meaningful for you?
The project comes from an absence of spaces like these in my life. From longing to find books written by female authors at the roadside bookwallahs to fancier bookshops in the city – a variety of books, not just that token bestseller. Also, Sister Library is not a conventional library, it is an evolving and generative artwork that engages with the visual and reading culture of our times.
Underground Bookhouse (a bookshop-cum-library with books on art, culture and activism) was an experience like no other when it came to reading and writing. As an artist, activist and a scholar it was the only space that triangulated my interests. It was from this place of syncretism that I started to reflect on a possibility of a space just like that but one that celebrates women.
Is there a criteria besides female authorship for inclusion in the library? What would you say drives this curation?
It is a curated library of a hundred works by women writers, artists and zine makers. I have curated a mix of things that I really enjoyed. It came from a place of sharing. Having scouted numerous places in search of these works and knowing how difficult it is to procure them, I feel like it is only fair that I share them with everyone that thirsts for them like I did.
Is the role of a librarian a political one to you? You’re choosing to focus on women’s literature. When the size of the collection is still relatively small, every book or zine becomes a reading recommendation.
I wouldn’t call myself a librarian. Sadly, in our times libraries have become places of exclusion, not only in the sense of who might have access to these high walls and gates but also whose works are celebrated, cited and awarded as the most valid and credible.
Sister Library is more an act of reclaiming libraries – celebrating works that don’t find mention in the mainstream media and re-examining the idea of what a library could be. The fact that this project is an interactive work that will be travelling in all its DIY spirit and glory is a step towards redefining what a library could be.
At Sister Library, we will also be celebrating orality. Being an indigenous person, I feel a sense of restriction that writing has brought about amongst us. While we cannot ignore the importance of written text, I also look at it as a colonial legacy. Our libraries were our ancestors. Oral literatures were not just a cultural heritage but also a way of teaching language, rituals and knowledge.
I have over 1000 books in my collection but since it is a travelling library it limits me to a certain number. I have decided on 100.
The books featured on the project’s Instagram include a lot of non-fiction, graphic novels, zines, and poetry. Could you talk to us a little about why the library is drawn to those genres, what it gains from them?
It is curated mix of fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, zines and periodicals.
I am a zinester and have been drawn towards their straightforwardness. Content is the only thing that sells a zine. How nice the paper is, how great the print is are all secondary. Since these works are produced independently, they are so very refreshing, from their themes to deconstruction of language. Zines made by women talk about things that we never really get to read about anywhere else.
Non-fiction works of women are harder to find in my experience. Historical factuality from a woman’s perspective is not considered important, but to understand and reflect on where our world stands it is important that we read non-fiction. Reading nonfiction helps unlearn and deconstruct that internalised male gaze you know we all have after years of consuming male perspectives of everything.
And I do enjoy non-fiction as much as I enjoy fiction. But because women were historically denied epistemic validity when writing non-fiction, I was moved to reading more and more non-fiction which in turn enriched my work and life processes.
I can’t ignore the relationship between women’s movement and poetry. Poetry has been medicine to me at various points in my life. I wanted to share it with the visitors of Sister Library too.
The library is set to tour from the end of April to Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Goa, and Cochin with accompanying talks and discussions. Do you expect that the different personality of each of these places will affect how they interact with the library?
I cannot predict how each city will interact with the SL. I can only say that it will be constantly modified by its interaction with the people.
At the moment, the library draws from your personal book collection. If people are interested in the project and want to donate books written by women, how would they go about it?
All contributions are welcome. There have been zinesters sending their zines from all over the world, there have been authors wanting to send their books and there have been older feminists and activists who want to share books that drove them in the struggle that paved a way for us. It has been such a blessing.
At every venue, there will be a collection booth for interested people to drop their books. They could also ship books to this address in Mumbai: Art Room Foundation, Flat No 1, Shangri-La Apartments, Khandeshwari Mandir Marg, Mount Mary Steps, Bandra West, 400050.
The goal, I’ve heard you say in another interview, is to have a permanent collection if enough support and interest is generated by the tour. What would this permanent collection where people can borrow books look like?
I have dreamed of a feminist library, it’s true. It will be everything the travelling Sister Library is but in a permanent space. Open to people to come and read, as well as become members and borrow books. It will be a new place to see and understand the world – providing a unique experience to be immersed in works created by women exclusively thereby creating new narrative, providing the space to ask questions, and to look and to think about the answers. It obviously must be community-owned, volunteer-run and a safe space. It will all depend on how much funding I will be able to raise to make the permanent space happen, but ideally, it should be a big enough space for the books, zines and other publication as well as other activities such as story telling, reading circles, book clubs, and zine making. It should be accessible to people with disabilities. People can get in touch with me if they are interested in supporting Sister Library with money, space or books.
Source - Scroll.in
Honourable President of India Ram Nath Kovind presents Shaurya Chakra to Lance Naik Deepak Ale, 1st Battalion, 3rd Gorkha Rifles. He displayed courage, selfless devotion and gallantry beyond the call of duty in killing four militants in Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir.
Watch the Video here.