Showing posts with label Gorkhas of Uttarakhand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gorkhas of Uttarakhand. Show all posts

Anirudh Thapa captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19)

8:45 AM
After Sunil Chettri, here's our own Anirudh Thapa, born on 15th January 1998 in Uttarakhand, has given us more reason to watch and follow football, the most followed sport by our community, ever closely. The captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19) Thapa came into the spotlight when India defeated hosts Nepal to win the U-16 SAFF Championship. Anirudh Thapa is a talented midfielder whose dribbling and passing skills are a treat for the eyes.

He did his schooling from St. Stephen's in Chandigarh. This is where he started playing football at the age of 10. The 18-year-old comes from Dehradun in Uttarakhand and is currently plying his trade at the AIFF Elite Academy based in Goa.
Anirudh Thapa captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19)
Anirudh Thapa
Thapa joined the AIFF academy in Kalyani in 2012. He was also integrated in the India U15 squad in the same year.

In 2013, Thapa won the SAFF U16 Championship. He also participated in the AFC U16 Championship where he scored once in four appearances.

The attacking midfielder went to Malaysia to compete in the Asia U16 Championship in 2014.

In 2015, Thapa was the youngest member selected to be part of the India U19 squad who were runners-up in SAFF U19 Championship. Thapa scored twice in four matches in the competition.

He won the U19 I-league in 2015-2016 season when he captained the AIFF Elite Academy. He played 14 games and notched up three goals.

Thapa's family backs him to the hilt.

Football is his love, he eventually sees his growth in the world's most followed sport. Aspiring to become one of the best, he continues to dream to play for the national team in the foreseeable future.

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




Gorkha Brahmins included in OBC, Gorkhali Sudhar Sabha felicitated Ganesh Joshi

Mussoorie Dehradun, June 12 Members of the Gorkhali Sudhar Sabha felicitated Mussoorie MLA Ganesh Joshi at a function held at the sabha auditorium in Gadi Cantt for working tirelessly in getting Brahmin and Kshatriya communities again included in the Other Backward Caste (OBC) category of the Gorkhali community in the state.

The Gorkhali community was given the OBC status when Uttarakhand was formed but the state government through an order on May I6 excluded Brahmins and Kshatriyas from the OBC list. Joshi, when informed, immediately wrote a letter to the Governor on May 25, demanding quashing of the order. The Governor in his letter to the government directed officials concerned to remove the clause and include all members of the community in the OBC list. The Social Welfare Department rectified the anomaly without delay. Col BS Kshetri (retd), president of the Gorkhali Sudhar Sabha, honoured Joshi with a bouquet and a shawl during the felicitation ceremony yesterday.
Ganesh Joshi
Ganesh Joshi

He said it was due to Joshi’s efforts that injustice done by excluding Brahmins and Kshatriyas from the OBC list was rectified. Joshi also played an active role in collecting relief for Nepalese citizens last year when Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake. Joshi presented six computers and 10 sewing machines to the Gorkhali Sudhar Sabha on the occasion.

He lambasted the state government for trying to divide the community on caste lines with an intention to garner votes. He lauded the community members for staying united and countering the nefarious designs of the government.

Vice-president of the sabha Sunil Thapa, president of the women cell of the sabha Sarika Pradhan, Manoj Kshetri and Sunil Gurung Sonam Kshetri were present on the occasion.


Tribune News Service


OBC quota for Gorkhas to continue in Uttarakhand / Dehradun

1:07 PM
OBC
Uttarakhand / Dehradun, May 28 2016 Cabinet Minister Dinesh Aggarwal has said the Gorkha community will continue to get reservation under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in the state.

Dinesh Aggarwal, while addressing a press conference here today, said the state government in 2003 had put the Gorkha community in the OBC category.

He said under the Central Government guidelines, Brahmin and Thakur communities among Gorkhas were being excluded from the OBC category. Dinesh Aggarwal said the Uttarakhand Government was not bound to follow the Central guidelines. On May 26, the state government issued notification that sub castes under the Gorkha community would get OBC benefits.

 Gorkha community
 Gorkha community 
Dinesh Aggarwal said the Congress high command would take a call on the vacant RS seat in the state.

He said the country had seen unprecedented rise in inflation ever since the Modi government came to power at the Centre.

TNS

Uttarakhand Gorkhas have a choice BY Brig C S Thapa (Veteran)

5:07 PM
16 April 2016 The recent political turmoil in the state of Uttarakhand is unfortunate but opens a whole lot of opportunities.   A section of Gorkhas declaring support to the Congress may be a little premature. A couple of things have happened and the Gorkha community needs to wait and watch before deciding on what to do. The situation is very fluid and everything depends upon the judiciary and the decision to be given by the esteemed courts. Some things that are imminent, that President Rule will stay and the political class will have to come back to the kingmaker of the day, the people, that means the state will only get stable after elections. With elections due next year, the judicial judgment awaited, it becomes difficult to state any thing for sure. A few trends.

The people of the state have seen the video and seeing believes which clearly shows how deep the political rot is and linked all the way up. They see both the national parties deeply corrupt and have lost faith in a lot of leaders, how will the people deal with these leaders once they come back to the masses is yet to play out.
 Uttarakhand Gorkhas
 Uttarakhand Gorkhas
The rebels cannot or may not be accommodated in other parties. There are many waiting aspirants for a ticket who have toiled hard for the party, thus the rebels will have to chart their own destinies, by accommodating them more rebels will be created, or they the rebels if they stay with one of the two parties have to cool their heels.

If the President Rule delivers more than any government than a lot of politicians will be discredited. Currently all payments have been cleared, a new liquor policy may emerge, and a lot of revenue has been collected from mining. People are asking why did this not happen for the last sixteen years?  A longer full six months President rule with good results is an indicator for a viable third front.

A very vibrant space has been created for the third front and Gorkhas need to see this option also. The two major national parties currently in power where not very active during the struggle for the state and watched the proceeding from a distance, one of them created the state when it suited them.   It was the Uttarakahnd Kranti Dal (UKD), which was the mainstay for the struggle regarding creation of the state. There was another very active section and that was the ladies who contributed mainly to the struggle for the creation of the state.  Thus today the two main stays for the creation of the state have been sidelined and possibly the people are now paying the price. The human developments indices are very poor in the state.  Gorkhas can form the much needed cutting edge of the third front if such an option emerges.  Gorkhas also have good bargaining chips with the main line political parties. The community needs to stand united.

Political analyst the world over will agree that the ideal combination for any mature democracy is having two parties. In the state currently there are two main national parties and only seventy elected MLA. Yet in sixteen years the state has seen eight CM and the nineth CM waiting in the wings, where is development?  Two parties with a small legislature is an ideal situation for good governance yet the state has seen the worst governance and is in the news for all the wrong reasons on account of the lust for power of its political class.

The people of the state voted for a political party and gave it majority. President rule implies breakdown of democracy and work to be done by bureaucracy.  Democracy does not function through bureaucracy or political games it works with rules of the same, and let there be a floor test. There is another school that believes that Presidents rule will allow better work to progress, as now the bureaucracy will not have to answer to any one and function smoothly. Well good luck to all, it implies that we vote politicians to create hurdles?

A question needs to be asked who has benefitted the most since the creation of the state. It is the political class, followed by the mafia, than the contractors and lastly the corrupt officials.  The people of the state are paid lip service, and have not benefitted at all.

Human memory is short and we Indians are very forgiving people. Within a few days it will be back to business.  It’s time we thought about the legacy we our generation is going to hand over to the next generation. Are we going to hand over a nation where might and money power is right, the choice is ours?  As far as the Gorkha community is concerned we need to stand united, the solution will emerge thereafter only.



Brig C S Thapa writes for various newspapers and magazines and can be reached at gorkha4821@hotmail.com


Via The Gorkhas

GORKHAS IN NORTH INDIA (PASCHIMANCHAL) (J&K, HP, PUNJAB & UTTARAKHAND)

4:58 PM
THE TERM GORKHA AND ORIGIN:
There is occasional controversy regarding the term ‘Gorkha’ or ‘Gurkha’ or ‘Goorkha’. We are mostly dependent on the definition assigned by British authors. The Britishers being the holder of colonial power, always interpreted or wrote the history in their favour. An example of mis-representation is Second Anglo-Maratha war of 1720-1740, in which Chhatrapati Shau Peshwa conquered Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajputana and Haryana area, but Wellesley’s account of “battle of Assaye” claimed British victory. Whereas, Indian archives, Peshwa History and memoirs of Patwardhan generals bring out the facts that Marathas inflicted heavy casualties on British forces and Marathas were the victorious. Notwithstanding the historical misrepresentation  by the Britishers, one has to depend on British historians/authors .

Eden Vanisttrat defines term Gorkha (Goorkha or Gurkha) “a generic name for all the Nepalese employed in Indian Army, though strictly speaking the name should apply to those who came from regions around the district of Gorkha about fifty miles West of Kathmandu” (Notes on Goorkhas, Calcutta, 1890, page 10). Further, he mentioned in his book – “The Goorkhas” (Classical Publishers & Distributor, A/91/2, Naraina, Phase-1, New Delhi 110028), that the district of Goorkha is situated in the North-West portion of the basin of Gandak, occupying the country between the Trisulganga and Sweti Gandak. The chief town is called Goorkha and is 55 miles of West of Kathmandu. This town and eventually the district is said to have obtained its name from a very famous Saint called Gorakhnath (11th Century) who resided in a cave, which still exists in the hills in which city of Gorkha is built. Gorakhpur  and Gorkhath temples in India further lend  testimony to the term of Gorkha to a particular class or clan, who resided in or around the city of Gorkha, and extended their conquest far and wide over the eastern and western hills. Baba Gorakhnath was their spiritual guide. Prithvi Narain Shah (or Sahi) 1742 – is considered first powerful king of Gorkha and founder of the Gorkha dynasty. In March 1792 Lord Cornwallis entered into commercial treaty with the Gorkhas. In 1793 the Gorkhas conquered Kumaon (Uttarakhand) and their exploit in Western and Northern India started. Azad Hussain “British India’s Relation with the Kingdom of Nepal 1857-1947, George Alen and Unwin Ltd., London 1870, page 234” wrote that “the term Gorkha is applied to the majority of inhabitants of Nepal, but strictly  speaking it belongs to those races who formed part of old kingdom of Gurkha, a comparatively small part of the Kingdom.” The oxford Encyclopedia Dictionary defines the term “Gurkhas” as “one of military people of Hindu descent and Sanskritik speech, who settled in province of Gurkha, Nepal, in the 18th century and made themselves supreme member of one of the Gorkha regiments of the British Army”.
Gorkha Rifles khukuri dance
Gorkha Rifles khukuri dance
In independent India, the word “Gurkha” was changed to “Gorkha” and it was adopted so in Indian Army in Feb. 1949 (Reference History of 5th Gorkha Rifles, Chapter 12, Page 102), while changing the designation of King Commissioned Indian Officer and Viceroy Commissioned Officer to Indian Commissioned Officer and Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) respectively.

Tracing back the history and origin of Gorkhas in India, through North-East, in brief, it dates back to many centuries. Shri B.A. Das in his book, “The Sikkim Sagar” traced the Gorkha (Lepeha) history to the year 1641. The Nagaland-Nepalese is traced to 1635 A.D. One Gorkha ‘Rai’-boy was found in a jungle near Chiechama village in Nagaland and was married to a beautiful girl of Angami class. The descendant of Rai is called Metha Trophies i.e. Non-Angami Mehtama class. Till today one of the children in the Angami class is named as “RAYI”. These facts were narrated by one Mr. Hari Prasad Gorkha Rai of Chanmari, Kohima, Nagaland and the old land-record also bear its testimony. I shall not dwell much on north-east states, since my talk is restricted to “Paschimanchal”, i.e. Gorkha dwellers in State of J&K, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

JAMMU & KASHMIR
Gorkhas settled in J&K in 18th Century and majority of them were those soldiers and families who had fought war alongwith Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, a great warrior, who fought many wars till his death. Gulab Singh a land-lord of Jammu was his Commander-in-Chief. After the defeat of Sikhs in their march to J&K after Afgan-war, Gulab Singh purchased Kashmir valley for Rs. 36 lakhs and became Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir. It was Maharaja Ranbir Signh, the ruler after Gulab Singh, who organized the Army in J&K and enlisted Gorkhas. Notable amongst them were Brigadier (General Staff) Bhagat Bir Thapa, his son Brigadier Bhagwan Singh Thapa and General Khadak Bahadur of Nepal Army who migrated to J&K and was rewarded with a post of General Officer.  Major Badri Nar Singh showed outstanding valour in battle of Chitral (Now in Pak Occupied Kashmir POK) and was awarded IOM. Gorkha troops also fought shoulder to shoulder, with Dogra troops in conquest of Chitral, Hunza, Nagar & Haveli  (Now in POK). A familiar story  is recalled in J&K of a brave Gorkha woman who swam Indus River and informed the headquarters of presence and concentration of a large force of enemy. The timely re-informcement of the troops saved the situation. She was nick-named as “Bhutni’ (devil) because of her dare-devil courage to cross Indus river at night.

Gorkha of J&K took part in Great War (1914-18) and excelled in the battle of “Beho-Beho” and “Kilmanjoo” in East Africa. Colonel (Later General) Durga Singh received gallantry award and Jagir with the honour of “Sardar Bahadur”, OBE, IOM for the bravery and extra-ordinary courage against German troops.

Gorkhas of J&K faced worst kind of communal violence in 1947-48. At that point of time, Gorkha regiments of J&K had mixed troops, and class-composition largely comprising of Mirpuri Muslims and Dogra troops. The communal frenzy and prevailing situation in 1947 made them enemies over-night. Those misguided elements (muslim troops) who joined Pakistani troops alongwith their arms and ammunition, trained their guns on Gorkha troops and completely wiped them out. Capt. Prem Singh Bist was brutally murdered at “Ban Bridge” (now in the commercial route open for trade with Pakistan) and another officer Major Ram Saran Karki was also killed while escorting Hindu refugees from Mirpur (POK). There were hardly any Gorkha  survivor to tell their tales of woes and valour. During J&K OPs, 1947-48 at another front Gilgit-Sakardo, through Zozila pass , Brig. (then Major) Sher Jang Thapa fought bravely for  six  months with his troops seiged inside at Sakardu Fort (POK) and was awarded gallantry award of Mahavir Chakra (MVC). In 1962, Indo-China War one Havildar Sire Thapa put up a brave fight with his machine gun at Rio-Bridge (Subansari Division) and met a heroic-death. The Chinese troop burried his body on the spot and left a written note appreciating his courage and fighting qualities.

The bravery of Gorkhas were sung by street singers of Kashmir and the old Cantonment (Now J&K Police Lines and Head quarters) was named as Magar-Mall Bagh (presently the army Cantonment has been shifted to Badami-Bagh). The Gorkha- Nagar in Jammu also came into existence on the bank of River Tawi in the early fifties. The Gorkhas have to toil hard and clear the dense forest to turn the entire area to a small township (Gorkha Nagar), a small identity symbol for Gorkhas in J&K. The list of first allottees of land by Govt of J&K is annexed for the convenience of readers
The Gorkhas though have made supreme sacrifices towards integrity of India and safety of J&K, but their miseries have increased mani-folds. They are economically, socially and educationally backward. They face a great problem of getting permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) or State-subject Certificate of J&K, without which, Gorkha young boys and girls cannot get any good job or admission in educational institutes. They are kept away from the main-stream.  No politician or any mainstream political party or administration care about them. Their population is about 10-15 thousand, spread over entire j&K, ncluding  Kashmir Valley. J&K Govt. should take immediate step to grant them PRC because most of the families who have not been able to purchase land or house due to their poor economic condition are considered foreigners/non-state-subject. where shall they go? Bhartiya Gorkha Parisangh has an important role to play to ameliorate their sufferings. This perspective was narrated to me by Lt  Col  Kaloo Singh Kanwar, an Ex-officer of J&K Rfles (86 years old), presently residing at Dehradun (1, Bakralwala, Dehrdun).

PUNJAB & HIMACHAL PRADESH 
I wish to club these two states because the majority of Gorkhas, who are presently living in HP, till recently, was a part of Punjab. One of the oldest associations of Gorkhas in Dharamshala (HP) was “Himachal Punjab Gorkha Association” whcih was established  on 29th October, 1916. Its first President was Madho Singh Rana  (Magan Pathik – Hamro Sanstha Pachachattri Barsa, Himachal Punjab Gorkha Association , page 11). The settlement of Gorkha in HP has a long history of nearly two hundred years. In this context, Shri Sat Mahajan, ex-minister of HP & MP of Lok Sabha, wrote: “the first regular settlement of in Dharmasala is known to have taken place sometime between 1879 and 1882, when the pensioners lines, some area in pine groves known as ‘Chilghari’ was earmarked for the poor pensioners. ……” (Bindu – quarterly magazine 1987, Page-17, article “Gorkhas : Personification of courage” by Sat Mahajan.)

About the earliest settlement, Grokhas settled near Village Sahura in Kangra during seige of Kangra Fort (1805-1809). In this context Shri Khushwant Singh wrote in the “History of Sikhs, Vol. 1, Oxford University Pres  – 1987, at Page 1”, that Sansar Chand Katoch, ruler of Kangra had approached Maharaja Ranjit singh for help against Gorkha invasion. Ranjit Singh had no love for Sansar Chand, but feared Gorkhas, as a potential threat to Punjab, if they succeeded in taking Kangra Fort (20-24 Aug. 1809). General Amar Singh  Thapa had also approached Ranjit Singh  but the later spurned his request. Gorkha troops suffered from epidemic of cholera and could not face for long the might of Sikh troops. Gorkhas  retired to Mandi (HP) swearing vengeance on Ranjit Singh and freed King of Mandi from the archaic rule of Sansar Chand Katoch. Later on, in the famous battle at Malaun Fort (14, 15, & 16 April, 1815),  under the brave commander  Bhakti Thapa (70 years old warrior), the Gorkhas inflicted heavy casualty on British Forces but succumbed to the superior weapon and artillery power of British Forces. The Gorkhas surrendered on 15th May, 1815. By then,  treaty of Saguali, between Nepal and East Indian Company was in offing . Thereafter, on 24th April, first NUSSEREE (Friendship) battalion was raised at Sabathu (hp) by the Britisher and enlisted the brave Gorkha soldiers of Gen. Amar Singh Thapa, which later on became 1st Gorkha Riffles. General (Kazi) Amar Singh was considered crownless King of States (History of Sikhas by Khushwant Singh). The Gorkhas fought with British Forces at Nahan, Subathu, Maulan, Taraarh, Nalagarh, Kangra & Jatok.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh suffered reverses in his expedition to west Kashmir from Afgans in the middle July 1814, and lost his brave Commander Main Ghausa and Afghan army pushed out Ranjit Singh forces from hills. This unsuccessful campaign compelled Ranjit Singh to recruit Gorkhas in Khalsa Army because he knew that Gorkhas are excellent in hill – warfare. Gorkhas who went to Lahore for recruitment, since then has been termed Lahure (who goes to Lahore) by the Gorkhas. However, during Anglo-Sikh war 1846, the British Gorkhas faced a battalion or two of the Grokhas in the Khalsa Army. This reinforces the peculiar characteristic of Gorkhas that they serve their master and motherland faithfully, irrespective of their temporary affiliation. In March 1823, in battle of Namshera, the renowed Sikh General Phula Singh and Gorkha Commander Bal Bhadra Thapa died (History of Sikhs by Khushwant Singh).

Himachal Pradesh is very rich in Gorkha heritage, culture and custom and has many places named after Gorkha vocabulary – such as Chanmari, Cheelghari, etc. HP has unique privilege of associating with, Martyrs Durga Mall & Dal Bahadur Thapa of INA, Musician Ram Singh Thakur, Singer Mitter Sain & Master Dalip Singh (Harmonium accompaniment of Mitter Sain hailing from Joginder-Nagar). Gorkhas who had settled in the areas around Maulan fort consists the forefathers of one of the prominent families of Arjun Singh Bist, who was a former legislature from Nalagarh.
Gorkhas of Himachal Pradesh have merged well with the customs, dialect and culture of Himachal Pradesh, without loosing their own distinct mother-tongue, culture and identity. Govt of HP has created Gorkha Kalyan Board, to help the Gorkhas economically, socially and educationally. But they also live in shadow of doubt of being labelled foreigners and equally desire for a home-land for Gorkhas in the map of India, to end the identity crisis.
Dharamsala and Bakloh were home station of 1st Gorkha Rifles and 4th Gorkha Rifles till recently. Gorkha population is predominant in these two pockets of Himachal Pradesh.

UTTARAKHAND
India has a common border of about 1750 Km. with Nepal, and 20 percent of it adjoins the State of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand is considered a natural home of Gorkha due to its geographical location, “Dev-Bhumi” for Hindus, commonality of Hindu culture, old temples and historical monuments, and above all the dwelling of about 10 lakhs Gorkhas, spread over in 13 districts of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand is linguistically and culturally divided into two mandal; Garhwal and Kumaon mandal.
Gorkha influence in this region can be traced back to 1119 AD, when a Raja from Mall Dynasty of Nepal erected a ‘TRIHUL’ at Rudranath- Shiv Mandir at Gopeshwar, Chamoli (Uttarakhand), the mention of which has been made in the broucher of National monuments, published by Archaeological Survey of India, Dehradun – 2008 at page 6.

The history of Gorkhas settlement in Uttarakhand goes as back as to two hundred years. The district of Kumaon went to the hands of Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the year 1790. A fort “Bhauali-ki-Garh” exists at Pithoragarh even today, with inscription of its construction during 1790., Govt of Uttarakhand at the request of Gorkhas through the efforts of a political party, Gorkha  Democratic Front, has indicated it to be a protected monument alongwith Khalanga site, where Anglo-Gorkha war took place in the year 1814. At Khalanga battle-site, a Gorkha war Memorial (45 feet high’satup’) is being constructed by Govt of Uttarakhand. The site is  expected to draw tourists from all-over the country and abroad, besides its historical importance. The inauguration of Gorkha War Memorial is being planned at a large scale in the near future after completion of the works.
Gorkhas fought with British Forces at three places/forts : (1) Khalanga (2) Almora (3) Khurbura (Dehradun) in Uttarakhand.

All India Gorkha league under the Presidentship of Thakur Chandan Singh of Dehradun, was formed at Dehradun on 15 Feb. 1924.

The important sites are : Gangotri Shiv Temple (constructed by General Amar Singh Thapa), Gopeshwar Shiv Temple, Datkali Mandir (Tamar – Pattar awarded by Commander Bal Bhadra Thapa), Jhandaji Darbar Sahib (Tamar – Pattar awarded by Commander Bal Bhandra Thapa), Ghuchukpani (natural spring-water), Ghate-khola, Nalapani etc. (common name given by Gorkhas.
Shaheed Maj. Durga Mall (INA) and Kharga Bahadur Bist, Dandi marcher along with Mahatma Gandhi, are inspiration to Gorkhas in Uttarakhand Gorkha organisations : (1) Gorkhali Sudhar Sabha, 17th April, 1938, (2) All India Gorkha Ex-serviceman Welfare Association established in the year 1950, by Ministry of Defence to help out Gorkhas, educationally and socially. Shri Ari Bahadur Gurung was its founder-President and Shri D.S. Thakur from Shimla was its first General Secretary. Their far-signtedness has created this prestigious organisation, (iii) Khalangan Bal Bhadra – Vikas Samiti, (iv) All India Nepali Bhasa Samiti, (v) Uttarakhand Nepali Bhasa Samiti, (vi) Nepali Parshad, (vii) ‘Gurans’ Sanskiriti Kala Manch, (viii) Gorkha Democratic Front, a political voice of Uttarakhand Gorkhas.

PROBLEMS FACED BY GORKHAS:
The first and fore-most is Indianness of Uttarakhand Gorkhas. The major community in Uttarakhand, more often that not, view Gorkhas as citizens of Nepal, not withstanding their moorings in Uttarakhand for the last two centuries or more. No main-stream political party openly espouses the cause of Gorkha for the fear of back-lash of major community, in vote-bank politics. The proximity and open border (approx. 170 Km.) with Nepal has caused a thin veil of suspicion to the Indainness of Gorkha in Uttarakhand.

One Karam Chand Baral in Pithoragarh has been denied approval of his building plan, inspite of the fact that he owns a land, mutated in his name in land/revenue records. He has been branded out-sider and faces an eviction notice issued by District officials. Gorkha Democratic Front came to his rescue and the matter has been put in abeyance and hopefully, it shall meet its natural death.
46 families in Uttarkashi suffered due to withdrawal of their ration card, gas connection etc. The mater was forcefully raised by GDF and since then it has subsided.
Nepali labourers are murdered, cut into pieces and thrown in jungle. Persecution of Gorkhas occasionally take place mostly in Tueni, Chakrata, Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts.
Even those who are bonafide residents of Uttarakhand are branded outsiders. One Gorkha municipal Parishad from Rishikesh faced embarrassment on this score.

Exploitation by main-stream political parties as a vote-bank without any reward.


By:-  Lt Col (Retd) V K Sharma, Advocate, President – Bharatiya Gorkha Parishangh, Dehradun, vksharmaadvocate1@gmail.com


Via thegorkha

Lets give it a final push: Granting ST status to Gorkhas

9:54 AM
Writes Swaraj Thapa

There has been immediate, widespread reaction within the Gorkha community to the BJP led Central goverment's decision to set up a high level secretarial committee to look into and recommend granting of Scheduled Tribe status to 11 Gorkha communities in India, much of it heartily welcoming the move but some doubting it.

The single page order issued on April 2, 2016 by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, states that a committee is being set up headed by Shri Ashok Pai, joint secretary in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to “examine and recommend” regarding granting of ST status to eleven communities namely Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakkha (Dewan) and Dhimal living in Sikkim and other Gorkha dominated States and areas. The committee has been given a time frame of three months to submit its report to the government.

Coming in the face of ongoing assembly elections when the model code of conduct is in operation, it is obvious that the decision is being viewed with suspicion while also encountering protests from the Opposition, particularly the TMC. Sections opposed to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha think its a political ploy aimed at garnering votes in the elections. The TMC, on the other hand, have contended that the decision will distort the level playing field in the assembly elections, providing an advantage to the BJP and its alliance partner, the GJM in North Bengal region.
GJM Swaraj Thapa
GJM Swaraj Thapa
The charges do not carry much weight. The Centre is well within its jurisdiction to take such a decision in the overall interest of Gorkhas residing in different parts of the country as assembly elections are being held in only four states. There have been a number of precedents in the past when the Centre has taken decisions when elections are underway in a couple of states. Governance and administrative decision making cannot stop simply because assembly elections are being held in a few states. Then agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had announced sugar policy when assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh were underway.

Moreover, it was the very TMC government, which, through its state cabinet, had approved granting of tribal status to the 11 Gorkha communities and sent its recommendation to the Centre in 2014 just before the Lok Sabha elections got underway. No one then complained that the move was aimed at earning political dividend in the Lok Sabha elections. There have been other similar decisions, like the UPA government's move to go ahead with the announcement to create separate state of Telengana just before the 2014 general elections, clearly with the objective of electoral gains in that region. Mamata Banerjee's announcement to carve out a separate district of Kalimpong too was for the same reason and the fledgling JAP and its president, Harka Bahadur Chettri, is in fact contesting the assembly election from Kalimpong on the very plank of Kalimpong being made a district .

So it will not be surprising if Prime Minister Narender Modi speaks about the issue on Saturday when he visits Siliguri as part of his campaign tour. After his previous visit to Siliguri before becoming Prime Minister when he had said “Gorkha ka sapna mera sapna hai”, his likely assertion that Gorkhas will soon be granted Scheduled Tribe status is certain to be given more than a rousing welcome.
Politics apart, what is more important is that the decision is a milestone in the Gorkha community bid to seek inclusion as scheduled tribes. Like the West Bengal state cabinet's recommendation to the Centre, the setting up of the committee by the Centre is another important step in this direction. The issue is critical to the crore or so Gorkhas residing in the country, a majority of them in Sikkim, GTA region, Assam, other North east states, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand as they feel they are yet to get justice despite working equally for the country.

The will of the people is supreme in a democracy. And the Centre's decision does not find any objection whatsoever on grounds of merit from the small Gorkha community, who have been seeking ST status for decades. In fact, the GNLF was even quick to stake claim for the decision, contending that the late Subhash Ghisingh was the first to write to the Centre on the subject two decades ago. That they are only trying to bake their own political bread on the side when the fire is burning is obvious by the fact that they have not given any representation to the government either recently or in the last few years.
Elections will be over in the next fortnight, but what is critical now for the entire Gorkha community is to get together and make a final push to ensure that the decision gets recommended by the committee and sent for approval upwards. Although the terms of reference of the Ashok Pai committee are yet to be outlined by the Centre, Gorkhas living in Sikkim, GTA region, Assam, other northeast states, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand should not lose any time in getting their act together and make representations before the committee. Of course, the primary Gorkha leadership—Shri Pawan Kumar Chamling who heads the Sikkim government and Shri Bimal Gurung, who heads the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration will play a stellar role in devising a strategy and pushing the matter forward with the committee and the Central government.

But other political parties, non-political organisations, individuals as well as other outfits from all over India too should write to the committee outlining the reasons why Gorkhas need to be categorised as scheduled tribes. There is a need to absolutely convince Shri Ashok Pai and other members of the committee that the miniscule Gorkha community has not been able to get due justice in this country as they do not stand any chance when it comes to competition with the majority population because of their backwardness and other traits. There is no need to be garish or outlandish like the late Subhash Ghisingh when he held Jhakri parades and created his own plethora of Devis and Devtas but make a strong case for granting of ST status.

At present, there are five criteria-primitive traits, distinctive culture, shyness of contact, geographical isolation and backwardness that define who can be a Scheduled Tribe. But these characteristics are colonial in nature and the government is reworking them to include neutral socio-economic elements like educational backwardness, historical injustice and deprivation. Even autonomous religious practices can be one of the criteria, as per media reports. We, as Gorkha community, have to keep all this in mind, while making representations before the Ashok Pai committee.

For the record, Shri Gurung had raised the matter in a meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year, where I too was present as a delegation member. The GTA chief executive also met Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram on the subject and in a number of the meetings, I also attended as a member.

The onus of deciding who can qualify as a scheduled tribe is also shifting from the Registrar General of India to the Tribal ministry, which is a positive step. It is also a fact that the Central government has been flooded with several applications from several communities to grant ST status. Howeever, the case of Gorkhas appears to have been fast forwarded—we have been picked from the line and taken to the front—only because of the fact that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is a steadfast alliance partner of the BJP at the Centre. The GJM has left no stone unturned in assisting the BJP at all levels. It has allowed BJP to field candidates in its in stronghold areas in Terai and Dooars region of North Bengal. Parties like the GNLF and the fledling JAP have much to learn from GJM. Rather than hop from one party to another, they should know that loyalty can ultimately pays dividend. It is this philosophy that can also ultimately prove helpful in realising the demand of separate state of Gorkhaland.



 
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