Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts

बिमलको साझा मन्च र गोजमुमोले हराएको सन्तुलन

11:11 AM

🏻बबिता मादेन
सम्मान र समर्थन भन्ने जब्बर्जस्ती जुटाउनु सकिने कुरा होईन, न त सत्ताको हाँकमा शत्रांशको माहौल सृजना गरेरै जनतालाई वंशमा राख्न सकिन्छ । छल र बलको प्रयोगले सत्ता हासिल गर्न सकिन्छ तर जनताको मनमा ठाँउ बनाउन सकिन्न । नेतृत्वमा नैतिकता नरहे पछि आवेशमा उटपट्याङ क्रियाकलाप गर्नु र बोलिमा सन्तुलन हराउनुले उल्टा जनताको सामु हाँसो र निन्दाको पात्र मात्र भइन्छ ।

बिमल होस या बिनय नामले केही फरक गर्दैन, फरक पर्नु पनि हुदैन जनतालाई केवल कामसंग सरोकार हुनु पर्छ ।
व्याक्ती पुजाको संस्कारले पहाडलाई सखाप पारेको हो र जबसम्म यस खाले संस्कारको जरा काटिदैन सत्ताको मनमानीलाई कसैले रोक्नु सक्दैन।

फिलहाल गोजमुमोसंग भएको एउटै मुद्दा विकास मात्र हो र यसको पार्दर्शिता जसरी भए पनि जनता समक्ष पुर्याउने कोशिशमा छ तर जनता चाहन्छ गोजमुमोको ढाँचागत बिकास गोर्खाल्यान्डको बाटो भएर जाउन । गोर्खाल्यान्ड प्रत्येक गोर्खाको आत्मामा बस्छ यस्तोमा यदि आत्मालाई नै शरीरबाट अलग गर्न खोजे त्यो शरीर छटपटिन निश्चित छ ।
विकास कै कुरा गर्दा पनि झोडा, नाला र बाटोदेखि बाहिर निक्लेर कार्य गरे त्यो आफुले बताईरहन पर्दैन मुल्यांकन जनता आफैले गरि हाल्छ।

भर्खरै मात्र मुख्यमन्त्रीले सुकुना, सेभोक लगायत पाँचवटा पुलिस आउट पोस्टलाई दार्जीलिङ जिल्लाबाट छुट्याएर सिलिगुडी पुलिस कमिशनरेटभित्र अन्तर्भुक्त गर्ने निर्देश दिइयो । पहाडका सत्ता दल गोजमुमोले यसबारे के सोचेका छन ? के पार्टीबाट यसलाई रोक्ने पहलहरु गरिन्दैछ त ?? पिन्टेल भिलेजको जमिन अघिबाटै बिवादको घेरोमा छ । दागोपाप कालमा शुरु गरिएको दार्जीलिङ मोड स्थित टुरिष्ट इन्फर्मेसन सेन्टरको जिर्णोद्वार बारे किन पहल गरिएको छैन ? सिलिगुडीको मुटु मानिएको दार्जीलिङ मोडमा गोर्खासंग सम्बन्धित कुनै सम्पती हुनु भनेको गोर्खाको किपट समान हुन ।

अलग राज्य गठनको निम्ति सिमाना अति नै आवश्यकिय तत्व हो जस माथी बंगालले दिन- दिनै अतिक्रमण गरिरहेको छ। खुम्चिएर अझै कति सानो हुनु पर्ने ? यस्ता कुराहरु माथि पार्टीको किन ध्यान जादैन ??

उता बिमल गुरुङले साझा मन्चको कुरा के उठायो यता बिनय समुहमा भुइचालो जाला जस्तो भयो । हडबडाहटमा नेताहरुले दिएको उटपट्याङ भाषणहरुले पनि पार्टीभित्रको असुरक्षितपनालाई छर्लङ्ग पारिदियो । कुनै बेला बिमल गुरुङ साझा मन्चका कट्टर विरोधी थिए सत्ताको मात नै यस्तो हुन्छ कि यसले लट्टिएपछि नेताहरुको मनस्थिति काबुमा हुदैन । विपक्षीहरुको प्रस्तावलाई तिनले सिधा खारेज गरिदिन्थे । उनले चाहेको भए पहाडमा गतिलो साझा मन्च तयार हुन सक्थ्यो ।

छुट्टाछुट्टै बसेर अझै दुई शातब्दीसम्म चिच्याई रहे पनि गोर्खाल्यान्ड सम्भव हुने होइन । लक्ष्य फत्ते गर्नु हो भने सामुहिक सहभागिता नितान्त जरुरी छ । साझा मन्चमा उभिएर बिचार साझा गर्दै साझा सिद्धान्तलाई अंगाले बंगालको कालो शासनदेखि मुक्त हुन ज्यादा समय लाग्दैन ।
तर सामुहिकताका त कुरै छोडी आज पहाडको राजनीति जुन थोत्रे बिषयहरु माथी केन्द्रित हुँदै गईरहेको छ यसले स्वास्थ राजनैतिक गरिमा माथी त आधात पारी नै रहेको तर सामाजिक परिवेशलाई पनि बिथोल्ने कार्य हुदैछ ।

आफ्नो छवि सफा राख्न अन्य माथी व्याक्तिगत हमला र एकार्कामा हिलो छेपाईले पथभ्रष्टको दिशामा अग्रसर गराउँदछ । यदि बिमल दागी हुन भने यसको राजदार बिनय तामाङ हुन ।

कुरा स्पष्ट छ न यहाँ कसैको विरोध, न त समर्थन छ । विकास जरुरी छ किन कि हामीले आफ्नो आर्थिक व्यवस्थाको घरेडी पनि मजबुत बनाउनु पर्छ तर गोर्खाल्यान्डसंग सम्झौता गरेर होइन र जबसम्म नेतृत्वले विकाससंगै अलग राज्यको मुद्दालाई समेटेर लादैन जनताको आक्रोशका सामना गर्नु पर्ने नै हुन्छ ।

HILLS STILL MOURNING

5:43 PM

Writes Swadhin Rai

"They said fight and many lost their lives leaving families devastated. We lost our dignity; lost the battle and sold our soul, yet we denied. Time and again we hated the policies and the dividing intention of Mamta Government, when in fact the problem was always with us.

Then again they sponsored us to celebrate through different medium. Celebrate our defeat. They said sing and we sang; dance and we danced. Our soul has completely eroded, emotions out of our reach, we don't even feel and influence on the direction that seems shiny and decorated and yet we talk about achieving our goal.

Listen to the voices of hills. Your smiles are fake. You have lost your voice and the act is just insanity manifesting itself.

When are we going to learn to honor the sacrifices made by people who died for us?

People, hear the voice of hills, she is still mourning."

[In pic: The tender fingers of the youngest daughter of Barun Bhujel affectionately touch her father's face. Barun Bhujel, a ward commissioner and Gorkhaland supporter died, while in the custody of West Bengal Police]

Paradoxically Popular: Poisoned People, Polluted Politics

3:10 PM

Writes: Vanira Khati

The Chief Minister of West Bengal declared, ‘Pahaad Haaschey!’ and to elucidate the point she put up huge digitally printed banners across the length and breadth of the State with her own  ‘haaschey‘ face. While here in Darjeeling our own  Pahaad hasaaunchey GNLF politicians Aapa ko chora Mann Ghising and Bish-Purush Neeraj Zimba are pulling all kinds of laughable spins from their old ‘Appa hat of tricks.’

For an understanding of this Gorkhey Laurel-Hardy Jodi with a thoroughly detoxifying laugh, let’s recount these two jokers’ dramatically random moves:

On behalf of the Gorkhaland Movement Neeraj Zimba drinks poison and sends a letter to his Didi

Firstly, who had even asked GNLF to send a letter to Nabanna? No one! Mind you, GMCC was in collective charge of the 2017 movement up until the time Zimba in a totally Bollywood move, apparently while drinking some imaginary poison called for a videographer who captured him doing the ‘poison-drinking’ hand gesture while he choked begrudgingly on it (for effect) and his hands moved in fluid motion on the keyboard…and that’s how he typed that fateful letter to the State asking for Bipartite talks.

Applause!!!

Now with the acting done successfully and having segued into a bipartite talk mode swiftly – off went our political leaders – not as a unified unit of crusaders for Gorkhaland, but as divided as could be, and we witnessed the movement meet its first roadblock with acting-induced intra politics right there. The result was, every party was on its own and hence there would be no one answerable to and no one to speak for the cause of Gorkhaland.

After his method acting video, Zimba went completely silent. And surprise of all surprises, Mann Ghising got his appointment letter from Nabanna to the GTA 2 BoA.

It was now his turn to act.

So with his eyes hung from all corners of his face, young Mann, our very own dynast displayed exemplary integrity and squeaked a little louder than usual while saying, come what may, he would not be accepting the order from Nabanna that was returning (GTA) to the hills what the hills had relinquished. And we, in the chaotic midst of Binay & Anit falling headlong into Didi’s bear trap and accepting her appointments, almost applauded for young Mann’s stellar display of mettle… waah! waah! hera paraai!

We ‘ALMOST’ applauded, but maybe too soon because thence came to the Hill Area Development Council – an estimated 10Cr property bequeathed to our dynast of the GNLF, probably for having broken the GMCC so effectively and with such hammed precision.

Aah well… let’s move ahead.

Didi gives an antidote HADC (antidote) to the (poisoned) ZIMBA

What is HADC hou? The dallai hills ko development board? Kasari? Ke ho? Kina? Nobody knew.

Forget our 1st generation educated, not even the illustrious 2nd generation educated among us could crack this cryptic HADC, and for some other cryptic reason again, Neeraj Zimba used tears this time to dissolve the uncertainty surrounding it. He called in a videographer (again) and went a step ahead of Poison with this crocodile tears exclusive.

His round face clenched tightly at his nose, poignantly he said, “HADC ta baato ma aansoo pucheyko jasto maatra ho.”

Whaaaattttt?

That’s right! He said HADC was akin to wiping hot tears on the way to Gorkhaland. The 1st and 2nd generation educated were again flung by the symbolism in the statement. There was profound meaning in his tears on the journey to Gorkhaland. There was passion, there was a deep sense of travel, a destination, a journey… it was all there, but sadly there was no point in trying to understand that statement, there still isn’t… so why don’t we just cut to the Jan Sabha?

Now with the GNLF letter sent, Nabanna letter received, letter unaccepted, new letter received, new letter accepted… GNLF had, through a forceful smash successfully made its comeback on the back of 104days of Strike & 13 hapless martyrs.

What was next? A show of strength! And why not?

A ‘bhavya’ GNLF Jan Sabha was organised in the middle of Darjeeling town. The venue although decked with a morbidly celebratory cornucopia of green looked like it was standing there holding its breath… just like most of us watching were.

After all, our sacrifices for the cause of Gorkhaland had just been sold. And all efforts were being raised and implemented to bring about a semblance of peace. And worst of all, we couldn’t act as well as our politicians could. Our hurt was real and we were struggling to heal.

Recently poisoned now revived Zimba in green Gorkhay topi holds a Jaan Sabha in Darjeeling.

The show always goes on for Neeraj Zimba, the day of the Jan Sabha was no exception. He waxed eloquent like he had just won the elections & thanked our lataa siidhaa people for the turnout. Watching Zimba & Mann in the Jan Sabha was like watching Don Quixote and Sancho Panza winning an imaginary people’s mandate and quite literally killing it with their make believe leadership. Many in the crowd got confused and ended up applauding. Spurred thus by the crowd, Mann compared himself to a sugarcane, he explained the symbolism that we could if we wanted, smash him or squash him, all that would come out of him wasguliyo ras (?)

Zimba on the other hand, in an artistic moment combined with a sleight of hand technique, flashed a green Gorkhey topi and wore it atop his head amidst his party workers’ cheering. His acting prowess thus displayed again, he went on to say that he had promised himself that he would wear a topi only when the hills would once again be covered in his party colour, green.

And hence it came to pass that barring logic, the Jan Sabha had everything that worked for these GNLF leaders.

Nattily dressed Aapa ko Chora goes scouting for party members.

Next, armed with the HADC and the Jan Sabha to show (yes, pun intended), GNLF set out to grow its strength.  Unsuspecting locals inkamaan-busty welcomed them with the typical Gorkhey warmth and respect…and the newly launched GNLF Facebook page saw pictures of Mann smiling, Mann folding hands, Mann overwhelmed with the love, Mann drinking tea etc etc. Their Twitter handle blossomed with information and also, an Instagram account with pictures of Mann smiling, Mann folding hands, Mann overwhelmed with the love, Mann drinking tea etc etc

Now, where was Zimba when all this happened? Nobody knows…

The thing was Mann had come across as a leader and that was all that mattered!

Ex- Bish-Purush proclaims that he wants to hit the streets once a week for 6th Schedule – while we want Gorkhaland

Now in a recent turn of events, Neeraj Zimba called a Press Conference and without an iota of doubt rattled off that his party has the ‘Darjeeling Hills’ best interest at heart & mind and will demand Sixth Schedule for us’.

Watching his video, his unflinching confidence makes for such elevated stance and his stellar performance resounds with such commanding rhetoric that it seemed almost real even to our illustrious 2nd generation educated folks.

Gasp !!!

Phew! he almost pulled that one off!

To sum up, the GNLF random drama has been larger than life, the script has been killing, the plot has been turned and twisted to being projected as an almost real account. But we think and we think with damning clarity….where does their authority come from?

Have we voted them to power? NO

So can they speak for us? NO

Have we voted their 6th Schedule agenda to power? NO

So can we tell them to shut their theatrical mouths? YES

Go ahead, do it!

Tell those poison/drinking, letter-writing, Jan sabha-organising, street-crying, topi-wearing forcefully appointed leader/s to respect the basic tenets of democracy and win the people’s approval first, only then will they ever have the authority to speak for us.

GNLF has no business whatsoever demanding whichever schedule for us because THEY DON’T HAVE OUR MANDATE. And in spite of not having our approval, if they go ahead with presenting their idea of what’s good for the Darjeeling Hills, it’s their very own kitty party meeting with the West Bengal Chief Minister, we the people have no involvement in it. Because this is still a democracy we live in, we the people still have a say in it and that’s how it should be done… and that’s the only way it should be done!

#YouthAndStudentsOfGorkhaland

#JaiGorkhaland

Gorkhaland 2017: When Miracles Failed and Criticism Invited FIRs

8:28 AM

Writes - @oyeketa

During the 104 days of the shutdown, Darjeeling experienced what every political uprising faces - blockades, food scarcity, police brutality, unlawful arrests, media-blackout, and everything else that can make any movement fall on its knees. But, what broke the back of Gorkhaland agitation in 2017 was its dependence on the ‘miracles of Delhi’ and lack of vision of the incumbent Hills leadership. When the miracle story failed to deliver, the incumbent Hills leadership had to run for covers, lost its credibility, and were exposed for their gross mismanagement Gorkhaland administration in 10-years tenure.

Everybody believed that the GTA, with all its limitation, could have brought major changes in the region. However, the ruling party of the Hills chose to sleep through it for 10 years, before being alarmed by the end their term. The fact is that the politicians never took GTA seriously, and it was only used as an excuse to embalm the egos self-proclaimed leaders.

It was not the public who needed Miracles, it was the Leaders. The public was tired equally of a failed leadership, as it was of the Police brutality. Tragically, the frustration reached a level where the public simply didn’t care. Leaders who were till now sitting on the fence until now too timid to speak up suddenly found a reason to rejuvenate when the promised Miracles failed to arrive and they quickly jumped into the pool.

Without a strong or accountable leader on the ground, rising food scarcity, it was just about a matter of time before the public would receive with both arms whatever little they get from the State government. Today, there is a semblance of normality in Darjeeling Hills, restored through a proxy administration, special economic packages and even forceful coercion. Democracy is yet to shine. But is Darjeeling happy and smiling? I will leave that for you to answer.

Amidst the deaths, heavy police crack-down, and economic hardships, Darjeeling lost control of the Gorkhaland issue and the movement had to be outsourced to people and organizations living outside the region. Starting June 2017, the Gorkhaland movement had its own little 'Arab Spring' moment, whereby the movement which till now was confined to the Hills, spread like wildfire across the globe. It was for the first time in its history of 107-years that Nepali-speaking people of the world came together to show their solidarity and support for the movement. Right from Manipur to Mumbai, and Bangaluru to Kashmir and Kathmandu, UAE, North America, Israel, Hongkong, and Europe, people stood up for Darjeeling. All thanks to Interment and Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and WhatsApp.

It is highly debatable whether the global outcry and Facebookization of Gorkhaland issue actually benefitted the movement. But, thanks to the mobilization, funds were collected to send food to the Hills during the shutdown and to organize legal aid for any other assistance victims. Neither the fund recipients nor the donors are talking about it, is a different matter altogether.

One section of the public is happy and satisfied to see their Social Media walls filled with Gorkhaland protests and support across the globe. Movement supporters and sympathizers were able to speak up, disagree, and even exchange ideas. At the surface, it appeared that the Gorkhaland movement has finally opened up for democratic reforms where people could share ideas and collaborate.

However, there is another section that thinks while the publicity was good, it has created further divisions and polarized groups into extremes. The Leadership vacuum in the 2017 agitation has opened grounds for different individuals and organizations to assume a leadership position. Certainly, ‘the more, the merrier’ did not bring any good. The coveted Gorkhaland leadership soon became the tug-of-war, and the actual issue gets sidelined. The problem becomes dangerous when each group begins to think of themselves as the saviour of the Gorkhaland movement, the place, and its people.

The Politics of Criticism:

Some individuals, parties, and groups spearheading the 2017 agitation grew bigger than the ‘Cause’ itself. And as is the routine, when you become big and powerful, you don’t like dissenters. Any chapter of a history book is full of such example, and Gorkhaland is no exception.

We have witnessed right from the 1980s, that Gorkhaland has very little tolerance for opposition and criticism. The forceful exodus of dissenters, political murders, and persecution are normal to us.

Legal jargons and constitutional terminologies were also a mainstay of the 2017 agitation. The level of legal consciousness is highly praiseworthy but becomes worrisome when it also becomes a tool for threatening anyone who raises a question or criticizes a move. Court notices, FIRs, threats of defamation have been used against one another by those who claim to fight for Gorkhaland.

From a condescending ‘your criticism makes us strong’ to filing FIRs, and threats of defamation became the new tool against those criticizing and demanding accountability. Legal notices, court orders, were sent for criticizing leaders, organization, or even seeking financial accountability. The only difference from the past is that it is done in a much more polite and sophisticated manner than in the past. The underlying message remains the same though – Fall in Line or you Shall be brought down.

So, the bigger question is 'what about Gorkhaland? What good did the global outcry yield for Darjeeling? Are the problems of education, economic sustenance, poverty, employment, any better now? What about the people who sent truckloads of food during the shutdown? Will they need another shutdown to be awakened again? Are we doing anything to uplift education? Is any group adopting villages and schools that was planned so much during the emergency? Is anyone volunteering to help students improve?

To be honest, I cannot sacrifice my comfortable job and life to worry about these petty things. When there is another emergency, I shall send whatever is possible and will help with likes and shares on Social media. What will you Do?

Via TheDC

Darjeeling Unrest 2017: From an agitation to a Leadership Contest

1:55 PM

Writes: Dinesh Sharma

The Gorkhaland agitation of 2017 has been an eye-opener in many aspects. While it did not yield the desired results even after 104 days of the shutdown, it did manage to bring out the inner demon in us, exposing our vulnerabilities, our inability to trust one another, and utter disrespect for the institution of Democracy. The agitation became an open ground for public, politicians, and CSOs for mud-slinging each other and trying to exploit the situation to their advantage.

After the police firing and death of protestors, internet and media shutdown Darjeeling was virtually cut-off from the world. The administration forcefully took the protests off the streets, deploying thousands of para-military forces across the Hills.  With an emotionally charged public and a witch-hunt like a crackdown on Gorkhaland supporters by the administration, Darjeeling was a ticking bomb threatening to explode any time, bringing back the memories of the 1980s violent agitation.

A wise man (name withheld to avoid police persecution) from the Hills observed “call it unfortunate or otherwise, the 2017 agitation was like an audition for ‘Gorkhaland Got Leaders’ show with individuals and organizations staking their claim to the title. The bigger irony is when flag bearers of the movement abandoned Darjeeling, and the epicentre of the movement shifted to Delhi.”

“This is where Delhi protests came to the rescue of the Government” the wise man adds. “Delhi was too far for the West Bengal Government to even take it seriously.”

However, for the Hills political leaders who were too timid and afraid to speak against the government back home, Delhi offered a safe sanctuary. Here, away from the killing fields of Darjeeling.  Delhi became the pilgrimage for all Hill leaders to wash their guilt. It offered them a chance to establish a connection and find relevance to the movement, and they came prepared with the Gorkhaland rhetoric and lofty speeches.

As always, the ignorant and gullible public of Darjeeling believed that the activities in Delhi were a proof that Gorkhaland has become a national discourse and the Central Government would have to come to their rescue sooner or later. It gave a false hope that Gorkhaland could now be a possibility. Roadmaps and vision for Gorkhaland were being discussed in Delhi, while in Darjeeling Hills where it actually mattered, people were still cut-off and were now fighting for survival amidst a total shutdown and food scarcity.

For the ‘educated, sophisticated, and the social-media savvy’ crowd of Delhi, the time had finally come to have a say. Overnight, Samitis and Committees were formed to spearhead the movement. In Delhi, you could speak for Gorkhaland, curse anyone, say anything, without having to worry about courting arrest, staying hungry, or getting shot in police firing. More importantly, organizers made sure to organize events and activities over the weekend to make it convenient for everyone to attend. It was very well organized.

But, the affairs in Delhi soon became monstrous with personal and political biases taking the center stage, rather than the issue of Gorkhaland. Without the threat of being arrested or being a political target, Delhi made much more noise than Darjeeling, to a point where the frontrunners of Delhi protests began to dictate terms on the course of the movement. They wanted a pie of everything, right from a seat reserved at the negotiation table to issuing certificates and approvals of the political leadership in the Hills. And they did so without even having to step a foot in Darjeeling or having a first-hand experience of the ground situation. Intellectuals and eminent personalities soon joined the protestors in Delhi, rendering their advice and services freely. The same intellectuals would later go on to form other ‘eminent organization’ for themselves is another matter.

So, where did Delhi go irrevocably wrong?

If you remember, there was an all-party Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) formed during the peak of the agitation with members from different Hills political parties and intellectuals of the Gorkha community. The GMCC had a wide public support as a think-tank and everybody wanted to be part of GMCC.

As part of a trust-building measure and garnering support, different Delhi-based groups pressurized the GMCC to hold a meeting with the public in Delhi. However, behind the scene was a more sinister plan to disrupt and break the GMCC, by people and organizations who were not invited to be part of it.

An orchestrated assault on members during the GMCC meeting in Delhi was the final nail in the coffin. As the old adage goes “if I am not in it, I won’t let it be” proved true in this case. In a not-so-surprising move, just a few days after the incident, a committee was formed by with the tagline “Group of eminent Gorkha personalities” by members who were once spearheading the GMCC. Currently, the committee is struggling hard to find its relevance in a post-agitation phase and is last heard of preparing a ‘Vision Document for Gorkhaland.’ Strangely enough, the said committee has not even passed a single statement condemning the atrocities in Darjeeling, unwarranted arrests, or even the killings. They also observed solemn silence throughout the entire process of a new administration set up by the state government.

In Conclusion

The key takeaway this time has been the sad realization that the people of Darjeeling have no role in the politics of their land. The narrative is scripted outside of Darjeeling – in Delhi and Kolkata, and a template is handed over to the self-proclaimed political leadership, with strict rules on what to do and more importantly what not to do. Even the so-called local administrators have very little say in the politics of the land.

Democracy in theory roots for a ‘Government of the People, By the People, and For the People. As is the norm, the mandate of the majority public is integral to Democracy. However, the irony is that Gorkhaland, a movement that prides on being Constitutional and Democratic showed very little respect for it. Elected representatives were forced to flee the land, aspirations of the people trampled ruthlessly using brutal force, and the right to expression simply became a joke.

……..

Dinesh tweets under the handle @OyeKeta and can be reached at: https://twitter.com/OyeKeta

***NOTE: In context, Upendra had sounded an early warning bell against the same lot, you can read it here: https://facebook.com/TheDarjeelingChronicle/posts/899442646860184

Via TheDC

where is my Home?

8:45 AM
Writes:  Binayak Sundas

There are those Nepalis in India who are from Nepal and hold Nepali citizenship and then there are others who live in India and hold Indian citizenship

In the last few decades there has been a steady rise in literature on experiences of people visiting those parts of their socio-cultural spaces separated by partition. Hence people discover that the land that they grew up thinking as the quintessential other and enemy was not after all so different. The people, that they always thought of as the evil incarnate could have easily been neighbors, friends or even family. Such is the complicated history of the subcontinent and the problems of the concept of the nation-state in the region.

A person from Kolkata may find that he has far more in common with someone from across the border in Dhaka than he has with someone from his own state in Darjeeling. Similarly, a person from Lahore may find that Amritsar is far closer to home than Quetta or Karachi. These dilemmas and complexities have led to a plethora of beautiful, yet melancholic stories that have captured the imaginations of readers and caused them to rethink certain aspects of nature of nationalism and renewed connections across the border.

The partition of Punjab and Bengal in 1947, a tragic event of Himalayan proportions, and its aftermath are very difficult to be compared with anywhere else. It was an incident that was a product of specific historical events that were unique to the region and yet one cannot help, but wonder if similar literature is possible to be written between Indian Nepalis and Nepal’s Nepalis.

I have over the years of my research come across many academic literatures that have tried to clearly make the difference of Indian Nepali from those in Nepal. They have suggested the use of terms such as Nepa-mulya and Bharatiya Nepali, but nothing seems to have quite captured the imagination of Indian Nepalis, as that of the “Gorkha” since nothing speaks of pride like a colonial imaginary construct, used to garner cheap military labor. The two kinds of Nepalis in India are those who are from Nepal but are in India to work and earn their livelihoods and hold Nepali citizenship and the other who have lived in India and hold Indian citizenship.

The common perception is that the accents in their Nepali are the main marker of difference. This is, of course, a mistake since Nepal does not have a unified accent, neither do Indian Nepalis.

During my stay in Delhi, I had the privilege of making a lot of friends from Nepal, the picture that they painted of Nepal and its socio-economic dynamics seemed to be very different from the one that I remembered from the tales of my mother or my brief visits to Dharan and more importantly from the socio cultural and economic scenario in Darjeeling, the hub of Indian Nepalis. The language too seemed different; Bahuns, Ranas and Shah friends spoke a form of Nepali, that they claimed was the equivalent of King’s English. They were mortified when they heard me speak in Nepali, some were out rightly offended, some laughed and one friend said I spoke like a Taba Keta (drug addict) from Thamel.

Tracing the root

On my father’s side, my family was from Dolakha. Once, as my grandfather narrated the story to me, one of my ancestors, a Damai, accidentally touched a Brahmin bride on her wedding day, which caused her to lose her caste and the marriage was called off. By the evening the entire village was gathering for traditional Jhar Katnu (hacking him to death). How else would the groom’s and bride’s family regain lost honor and the rest of the village salvage the entertainment denied to them?

Maybe someone informed them, my family left the village with whatever little belongings they had before the mob arrived.  Realizing that they could never go back home they made their way to the only refuge for the wretched of Nepal: Darjeeling, along with the Brahmin bride. This was a hundred years ago, during the same period the ancestors on my mother’s side were facing a different dilemma.

After the Gorkha state’s victory in Limbuwan hills, the state’s appropriating class were vigorously taking over Kipat (communal land holding) lands of Limbus and converting them to Jagirs (land grants given in lieu of salary). The Limbus rose in rebellion several times but failed. The only two way left for Limbus were: accept the Gorkha rule, new land revenue structure and a debt trapped life or leave the region altogether. My ancestors made way to Munglan (India) in search of the promised life.

The British at that point of time were perpetually caught in one conflict after other both in the western and eastern frontiers and were expanding Gurkha regiments to include the Rai and Limbus as well. This was a departure from the earlier policy of only hiring Magars, Gurungs, Thakuris and Khas. In the Gurkha regiment my ancestor was introduced to the brilliance of the martial race theory and how it manages to gain cheap military labor and can repeat it over generations. My family has served the British and Indian armies for the next hundred years.

I made my way across the River Mechi, but graves of my grandparents were on the other side of the border. I paid a visit to my great aunt and uncle’s graves on Nepal’s side of the Mechi River. Buried on the border, was perhaps a fitting metaphor for what I was to discover in the coming days. On a lighter note, it was a bit ironic that they were buried next to each other. In life they could never stop bickering.

Journey to Nepal

A few brief anxious moments circling Kathmandu and then we landed. My first steps in the city that I had read and written about but never visited. I looked around and saw what the Malla rulers must have seen, large hills surrounding the valley, like massive walls that could never be breached. A fortress that had stood the test of time, of course until Prithvinarayan Shah came. Prithvinarayan too saw the hills and he too realized they were walls, except they were not the walls of a fortress but that of a prison.

He imprisoned the Mallas within the valley until they did not even put up an effective fight, choosing to rely on faith than in a final battle as the Gorkha army walked into the city.  My introductions to the city were the taxi drivers and they were exactly like the ones back home. Their Nepali was exactly like mine, perhaps a bit more polite, which made me wonder where were those who spoke in “King’s Nepali.” I never had a problem with the language while my stay there. The only problem though was that the people in Katmandu and even in Pokhara for that matter spoke too softly and I realized that I must have sounded like I was screaming half the time.

The driver started to complain about administration and corruption. I felt at home again. The night of course belonged to Thamel, I had heard a lot about this place, but nothing prepared me for what I experienced. The Sarangi players made me realize how amateurish the ones in Darjeeling and Sikkim are. The people, the shops, the bars, they could trap anyone here for a long time. I walked around aimlessly until late at night and I made my way back reluctantly to my hotel.

The next day I made my way to the old city and this place felt alien. Don’t get me wrong I loved the place, the culture, the architecture and the people but none of it seemed familiar to me. It was beautiful but foreign to me, the Newari accent seemed curious and it was not one I had heard before, well at least in real life. The Newars in Darjeeling and Sikkim have long given up the language and no hint of this accent remains in their Nepali. The smell and the sight of this place seemed odd. I wondered if the first soldiers of the Gorkha army felt this unease and strangeness of this place.

Perhaps the strangeness of this place was what caused Prithvinarayan to lament about the simple life of home, where people drink from streams than this valley where water comes in cisterns. As I placed my hand on the old walls with the sun uncomfortably on my back, history was alive for me. The debates over socio-economic structures, class relations, the impact of new ruling class, modes of production etc were all forgotten and a different kind of history took its place—the one that had the thrill of living through it, of extending your hand through time to capture a moment gone by, a history of emotions so to speak.

I did not go to any of the palaces though. I watched all of them from across the road. A hundred years ago I would have been flogged for just being this near the royal palaces or any other palaces. I have been inside palaces elsewhere of course, but somehow the resentment here seemed very personal, anger with these Rajput status claiming rulers went back far too long back in history, I doubt if anyone else could even understand it.

The structures as magnificent as they were, just did not impress me, every brick of these palaces was wet with the tears of some indebted peasant who was forced to sell his children to pay the Sarkar and Sahukar. As I blew my smoke towards the palace I smiled to think of the fact that they no longer lived there, at last they would know the pain of leaving their homes behind. All that money, all that eulogies and all that false status, and son had killed fathers and brothers had killed brothers, in the end just dust in the vast expanse of history, like the rest of us.

My mother had lived in Pokhara for two years in her youth, back then when teachers from Darjeeling were in demand in Nepal. A visit to this town was mandatory, but nothing about this place seemed like the stories I had heard. As mesmerizing as the lakeside was it was easily eclipsed by the next place I visited, Mustang. You could write several books about this place and still could not do justice to this desolate beauty.

My mind could not help, but think of all the Newari traders and Tibetan scholars who might have passed through this place or places like this, what they must seem what fears they had and how this place looked to them. My heart also could not but think of all the soldiers of the Gorkha army as they first crossed to invade Tibet and how frostbitten defeated they retreated with the great Chinese general Fu’ Kwan hot on their heels, on his way to invade the Gorkha empire.

Muktinath temple deserves an article by itself, a great remnant of the syncretic traditions of the Himalayan region, perhaps a remnant of the Khas Empire itself. The place perfect for worship, it reminded me so much of the Mahakal Mandir in Darjeeling, thought it also made me lament thinking of the commercialization of the temple at home.

We are all Nepalis

In most places I was asked of my caste, though I don’t think it was so much of the apprehensions but mostly due to curiosity, my Limbu and Damai heritage has given an interesting face. The fun part was when I told them I was Damai, one shopkeeper laughed and when he realized I was serious he quickly diverted the topic, a security guard turned all shades of yellow and some went on  long monologues how caste didn’t matter in modern Nepal, which sort of proved to me that it did.

The one thing I realized was Darjeeling accent was not a unique accent and it was a mere extension of the eastern accent of Nepal with a bit of Janjati and a perhaps a little bit of Madhesi accent. We were not different at all. We are all a part of a larger socio cultural space. We are all Nepalis. As I made my way back across the border leaving behind a place where everyone spoke in my language, into a place where people spoke languages that I did not speak, I wondered where home was.

The author is a PhD researcher at Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Via: My Republica
Author can be reached at: binayaksundas@gmail.com

GORKHAS UNSAFE IN BENGAL – Removal of names from voters list, points to a bleak future

7:21 AM

Writes Upendra

"First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me - and by then there was no one left to speak out for me."
                                                                                                           - Pastor Martin Niemöller

Of late, a very scary trend has started in our Darjeeling hills, notices are being issued to those Gorkhaland supporters who have gone underground or missing, asking for them to show up at various designated Government offices with 'relevant documents by a certain date', barring which their names will be removed from the voters list.' In a democratic nation like India, where Majority will always thrive, this is a very scary scenario unfolding for the minorities, and especially for micro-minority communities like the Gorkhas, it could translate to the end of any and all forms of resistance and rebellion against the powers that be.

Legally and technically, the district administration is entitled to seek revision of voters list, and as per rule if a person doesn’t live at a local address for over 6 months, her/his name can be removed. The most famous such case was the removal of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's name from the Lucknow Municipal electoral list in September of 2017. However, Mr. Vajpayee had been residing in Delhi for long, and the removal of his name didn't really affect his fundamental right as a citizen of our great nation.

However, in Darjeeling region, the district administration is using this rule to target those Gorkhaland supporters against whom various cases have been filed, and who have gone or remained underground, for fear of injustice looms large.

In such a situation, the people who are missing, cannot and in all likelihood will not, file for their names to be transferred to other jurisdiction to register as voters. Removal of any name from an electoral roll means such individuals cannot exercise their basic duty as a citizen of our nation - to elect the government of its choice. In a country like India, where criminals of all hues and colours thrive, it is rare for the state government to pursue individuals in a manner which deprives them of their citizenship rights. Case in point, Vijay Mallya still features in the electoral list in Bangalore, and Sanjay Dutta - a convicted terrorist supporter/helper also features in the voter list of Mumbai.

What is worrisome in this exercise the district administration has embarked upon, is that, it cruelly curtails our 'right to protest' against a powerful government. The government, in such a case may slap severe charges (actual and fabricated) against any individual forcing him or her to go underground, and then the government may proceed to struck off the name from the electoral roll, thus barring that individual from becoming a part of the democratic process of our nation - they won't get to vote or contest in elections. Which translates to the government, if it so desires, being able to slap cases against its political opponents, cause them to run and then remove their names from the electoral roll, thereby emptying the political field.

Moreover, the government may, if it so decides, start this process of review for everyone from the micro-minority community who have lived outside their home constituency for over 6 months. Imagine, if such a scenario were to play out, almost everyone who were yelling 'Gorkhaland' at Jantar-Mantar or writing and shouting for/against it from anywhere outside Darjeeling region, may actually not retain their voting rights in Darjeeling, if the government of West Bengal decides to take a more draconian stance.

What is really worrisome, in all this is the silence of ALL THE GORKHA POLITICIANS. May be, many are secretly rejoicing at the prospect of having the names of their most detested opponents removed from the voting list, but what they seem to fail to realize is that someday, this same tool of oppression can be and will be used against them. As the Nepali adage goes, " ऊसलाई  खाने बाघले तिमिलाई पनि खान्छ है  - one cannot ride a tiger forever, the tiger will eventually get hungry and run out of other animals to devour." Their silence speaks volumes about how strongly they feel about the welfare of our community.

In comparison when BJP threatened to kick out illegal Bangladeshi refugees from Assam, the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee went on record to challenge the BJP and threatened them with dire consequences if even a single Bangladeshi was touched - forget Indians, she fought for the rights of Bangladeshis, and here in our hills, the Gorkha politicians who are busy serving under her, are instead defending cops who allegedly threatened one of our Gorkha mother and a sister with rape.

Perhaps such is the curse of being born a Gorkha, we seem to be loyal to everyone else, but our own people.

The politics of Vendetta which had consumed a generation of our people, has today infested our community again. When Subash Ghising was removed from the hills GJM had rejoiced, today when Bimal Gurung is removed and hounded similarly, GNLF is rejoicing, so is AT-BT group of GJM. While CPRM, ABGL and JAP have maintained a seemingly dignified silence, their silence too speaks out loud about how they feel about the whole issue. In the race to play the politics of vendetta, the Gorkhas are losing big time. Today we have become so fragmented that we cannot even dare to speak against this hounding out of Gorkhas from our own lands.

It has begun with the missing GJM leaders, but I am certain, this is just the beginning. The Bengal government will use this on everyone of us, who dare to raise our voice for the welfare of our community and people. From asking for "Family tree since 1950" to those who went to seek residential certificate the Bengal government has made it abundantly clear that they view all of us with suspicion. If we are not careful today, a day may come when the Gorkhas will be rendered homeless. Much like what happened in the rest of North East could end up happening here, and we may end up being rendered homeless in our own lands.

So, please speak out against what's happening in Darjeeling today. Because if we let this trend continue, soon a day may come, when you may want to speak out, but your tongues may have been cut without you even realizing it.

Remember, "if you are afraid to speak out against tyranny, you are already a slave"

Via TheDC

बिमलकाे अनुपस्थितीमा अाज पनि पहाडकाे जनता भयभित र असुरक्षित महशुस गरि रहेका छन्। – पुरण छेत्री

9:44 PM
बिनय-अनित र ममताले "बिमल गुरूङ" पहाड नचडाेस भन्ने चाहान्छ भने, जनतालाई बिमलले जस्तै जातित्व प्रेम र सुरक्षाकाे प्रत्याभूति दिन सक्नु पर्छ। बिमलकाे अनुपस्थितीमा अाज पनि पहाडकाे जनता भयभित र असुरक्षित महशुस गरि रहेका छन्।

पहाडमा जनता अब के चाहन्छन् ? – पुरण छेत्री : बर्तमान अवस्थामा, पहाडकाे जनताले एक किसिमकाे असुरक्षा महशुस गरिरहेका छन्। चेलिबेटीलाई घरमै अाएर बलत्कार गर्ने र घर जलाउँने खुल्ला धम्कीको बिराेध बिमल गुरूङकाे अनुपस्थितीमा कसैले गर्न सकेनन्। सरकारमा हाम्राे बाेली बिक्छ, भन्ने बिनय-अनितले पनि उताकै पक्ष पाेषणमा गरे।

“हामी पहाडमा शान्ति फर्काउने क्रममा छाै, तिम्राे पुलिस प्रशासनले यसमा खलल पुर्‍याउने काम गर्दैछ, फेरि पहाड अशान्त भएकाे हेर्न चाहान्छाै?” मात्रै भनेका भए, त्याे पुलिस अधिकारीलाई कार्वाही हुन्थ्याे, जनताले सुरक्षित महशुस गर्ने थिए। जनतालाई सुरक्षाकाे अलिकति पनि प्रत्याभूति दिन नसक्ने नेतालाई कुन मुटुले अभिभावक मान्नु?

पहाड भुसकाे अागाे माथि बसेकाे छ। मानिसहरूकाे अहिले पनि घरबाँस छैन। रात दिनकाे पुलिसकाे धरपकडले जनमानस भयभित छन्। सरकारले राजनैतिक दल हेरि – हेरि फरक-फरक व्यवहार गरिरहेका छन्। जनताले कुन पार्टीको समर्थन गर्नु पर्ने हाे, त्याे पुलिस-प्रशासनले तय गर्दैन्। पहाडका बुद्धिजीवीहरू मुखमा दहि जमाएर बसेका छन्।

बाेल्याे कि घरमा पुलिस पठाउँने चलन हावी भएकाे छ। बिनयले उफ्रि – उफ्रि GTA काे खेस्रा जलाए अनि BOA पुरस्कारमा पाए, तर उसकाे पछि बसेर “जिन्दाबाद-जिन्दाबाद” भन्ने अाफ्नै दाज्यु भाईलाई पुलिसले खेदेकाे खेदेकै छन्। मानाै उनिहरूले संसारकाे सबै भन्दा ठुलाे अपराध गरेका छन्। काश्मीरमा भारतिय फाैजलाई घाेक्र्याई-मुन्ट्याई गर्दा “खबरदार गाेली नचलाउँनु” भन्छन्। पहाडमा पुलिसलाई अलिक डेढाे हेर्‍यो भने “UAPA भेट्लास्” भन्छन्। एकदिन त सहनशीलताकाे सिमा नाग्नेछ र जनता यसकाे प्रतिकारमा उत्रेकाे दिन पहाडकाे अवस्था कस्ताे हाेला, अकल्पनिय छ।

अाज बिनय-अनितले बुझ्नु पर्ने कुरा छ, “घरमै अाएर तेराे अामा-चेलीबेटीकाे बलत्कार गर्छु” भन्दा पनि चुपलागेर बस्नु भनेकाे शान्ति होईन। याेभित्र जनताकाे कुण्ठा लुकेकाे छ। जनतालाई धेरै दिन पुलिस-प्रशासनको डर-धम्कीले दबाउँन सकिन्दैन। जनताबाट याे डर हराउँदै गए, यसले एकदिन भयानक रूप लिनेछ।

याे जन अाक्राेस भित्र को कसरी पर्ला भन्ने कुरा अहिले भन्न सकिन्दैन। एउटा अपराधीले, उसले गरेकाे अपराध हेरेर सजाय पाउँनु पर्छ, उसले बाेकेकाे झण्डा हेरेर हाेईन। पहाडमा शान्तिपुर्ण वातावरण चाहिन्छ भने, देशकाे संविधानले दिएकाे अधिकार सबै नागरिकले समान रूपले भाेग्न पाउँनु पर्छ। पहाडवासीकाे हक, हित र सुरक्षाकाे जिम्मेवारीबोध समयमै नगरे यसले एकदिन बिष्फाेटक रूप नलेला भन्न सकिन्दैन।

बिनय-अनित र ममताले “बिमल गुरूङ” पहाड नचडाेस भन्ने चाहान्छ भने, जनतालाई बिमलले जस्तै जातित्व प्रेम र सुरक्षाकाे प्रत्याभूति दिन सक्नु पर्छ। बिमलकाे अनुपस्थितीमा अाज पनि पहाडकाे जनता भयभित र असुरक्षित महशुस गरि रहेका छन्।

Via News Gorkhaland 

DEEP CONSPIRACY TO UPROOT GORKHAS FROM WEST BENGAL AND POLARISE BENGALI VOTES?

8:09 PM
Bimal Gurung and many Gorkhas in the hills have been sent show cause notice in connection with their absence from their home region. It is to be noted that Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri and several others have serious cases sub judicial slapped by the Bengal Government and many GJMM leaders and workers are already behind the bars.

“Keeping GTA election and 2019 election in mind, this is being done since, Mamata Banerjee and her sycophants are aware that if Bimal or his men contests, they will be victorious by huge margin. She wants to ensure they never return to the region so, that she could rule the hills” said a social worker on the condition anonymity.
Mamata Banerjee

Some also fear that West Bengal government wants to label Gorkhas as foreigners and this is a start from the top. “It’s a well known history that if a king is captured, you win the war. She is trying to do the same as Daju is the undisputed Gorkha hero as of today. By making him dysfunctional and immaterial she wants to uproot our community and rule the whole region” said Robin Chhetri from New Delhi.

It is believed that fearing BJP rise in West Bengal, TMC had masterminded the whole plan of Bengali language implementation in the hills along with other parts of the state. She was aware that it will lead to a huge protest and unrest in Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars and, thus she could create an emmergency like situation in the hills and use state machinery to take control of it. With state police openly threatening to shoot out Bimal Gurung, intentions were evident.  It could be a conspiracy to polarise Bengali community votes towards TMC and at the same time take over hills for good.

Hundreds of thousands of North Bengal Gorkhas live in other parts of the country and internationally to make their living. Scarcity of opportunities to work in Darjeeling hills, Terai & Dooars has forced people to move to other cities for employment. “Many comeback during elections to vote. Why should their names be removed from voters list. Bengalis also are present in various part of the country hailing from West Bengal. Are they sent such notices too” asked a furious father whose son works in Hyderabad.

“On one hand she wants all Bangladesi citizens living in India over just 5 years to be deemed Indian citizens and also has soft corners for Rohingya people but, on the other hand she wants Gorkhas who came with land and live here for centuries to be labelled as foreigners. This is hypocrisy and dirty politics” said an angry businessmen from Siliguri.

Via Gorkha Voice

AM I FROM NEPAL ?

8:20 PM
AM I FROM NEPAL ?
मैले तीनपल्ट सोधें गोवामा...

“POET SUBASH RAI SOTANG FROM NEPAL”  भनेर मलाई दुइपल्ट भनिएपछि मैले “AM I FROM NEPAL? “ भनेर तीनपल्ट सोधें गोवामा | साहित्य अकादमीद्वारा पणजीको कला अकादमी सम्मेलन कक्षमा सम्पन्न भएको ‘Symposium On Contemporary North-East Indian Literature and Poet Meet’ कार्यक्रममा म पनि Indian Nepali Poet को रुपमा उपस्थित थिएँ | तर जब कार्यक्रम शुरु भयो तब उपस्थित कविहरूलाई मंचमा बोलाउने क्रममा कार्यक्रमकी उद्घोषिकाले मलाई “Poet  Subash Rai Sotang  from Nepal” भनेर बोलाइन् | त्यतिमात्र होइन फेरि पछि कविता वाचनको निम्ति बोलाउँदा पनि त्यही ठेगाना दोहोराइन् |

आयोजकवर्गले भनेअनुरूपनै आफ्नो सम्पूर्ण ठेगाना लेखिएको बायोडाटा अघिबाटै उपलब्ध गराउँदा – गराउँदै पनि आफुलाई ‘नेपालबाट आएको कवि” भनिँदा चुप लागेर नूनको सोझो बन्नु मलाई मेरो मनले दिएन र नै हामी भारतीय नेपाली कविहरू धरीलाई लाग्ने ‘मेड इन् नेपाल’-को छाप हटाउन तथा आफ्नो असली परिचयबारे उनीहरूलाई अवगत गराउन मैले आफ्नो बोल्ने पालो आएपछि आफू नेपालबाट आएको लेखक नभएर भारतीय नेपाली लेखक भएको कुरा स्पष्ट पार्ने सक्दो कोशिश गरेको थिएँ | जुन कुरा त्यहाँ उपस्थित ‘Times of India’ (TOI)-की रिपोर्टरले गोवा पेजमा अलिक अधमरो रुपमा प्रकाशित गरिछिन् अनि त्यही खबर यता ‘Darjeeling Times’-ले पनि आफ्नो वालमार्फत प्रचारमा ल्याएपछि आफ्नो-आफ्नो बुझाइअनुसार विभिन्न प्रतिक्रियाहरू पनि हुँदैरहेछन् | आफ्नो मोबाइलमा भने आफ्नो स्टाटस मात्र हेर्न सकिने सुविधा हुँदा बाहिर के हुँदैछ समयमा थाहै भएन | आज घर आइपुगेपछि त्यो अपुष्ट खबर र त्यसमाथि भएको बुझाइको बाझोलाई ध्यानमा राख्दै त्यहाँ मैले आपत्ति जनाएको सत्यताबारे स्पष्ट पार्न बसें |

जानेर हो कि अन्जानमा हो उद्घोषिकाले मेरो ठेगाना स्पष्टरुपले ‘नेपाल’ बताए पछि प्रतिक्रियास्वरुप मैले मेरो कुरा मंचबाट यसरी राखेको थिएँ –
“Seeking your prior permission, First of all I would like to clarify regarding my address. (यतिबेलै मसितै मंचमा आसीनहरूमा कसैले ‘Yes Yes address was wrong’ पनि भन्दै थिए, म बोलिरहें)-  It was announced from here that I m from Nepal. Am I from Nepal  ? Am I from Nepal ? Am I from Nepal ?  (यसरी मैले तीनपल्ट सोधें, यसबेला मंचमा आसीनहरूमध्ये केहीले भन्दै थिए – “No, No, No”)

Is  Nepal a part of India ?
Is Nepal a part of India ?

(मैले दोस्रो प्रश्न यसरी दुइपल्ट गरें अनि आवाज पनि सुन्दै थिएँ –“No, No, No.” म बोलिरहें)- Here we are talking about ‘Contemporary North-East Indian Literature’ (दोहोर्याउंदै फेरि भनें)- ‘Indian Literature’ And I have been invited here as an Indian Nepali writer. Then how could you say that I am from Nepal? Of course, I speak Nepali, My own language Is Nepali. But I am a Nepali speaking Indian Citizen, and my country is India. Please don’t make me a Nepali foreigner. (यसबेला मुखैमा आयो हिन्दी, भन्दिएँ हिन्दीमा पनि) – हमे विदेशी मत बनाइए | I am from Darjeeling, which falls in India under West Bengal State. (फेरि हिन्दीमा भनिदिएँ)  “ कृपा करके इंडिया का हिस्ट्री, जोग्राफी, राजनीति मत बिगारिएगा, प्लिज |”

त्यसपछि ती उद्घोषिकाले धेरैचोटि मंचबाटै माफी मागिन् अनि आफ्नो उद्देश्य तेस्तो नभएको बताइन् | वास्तवमा प्रोग्राम लिस्टमा नामको पछि ब्रेकेटमा ‘नेपाली’ लेखिएकोले गर्दा तेसो हुनगएको भन्ने आलटाले जवाब दिनथालिन् | मैले प्रतिक्रियामा भनें – “What people think and speak about us in the market because of their misconception, We don’t care but this is an official programme, So this type of error should not  happen.”

कार्यक्रमपछि पनि तिनले व्यक्तिगत रुपमा भेटेर मलाई स्पष्टिकरण दिने कोशिश गरिन्, क्षमा मागिन् | असम, मणिपुर, बोडो साथीहरूले पनि राम्रो जवाब दिएकोमा धाप मार्दै बधाई दिए | उत्तर-पूर्वी राज्यवासीहरूलाई देशले हेर्ने दृष्टिकोण अझ पनि सही नभएको कुरा गरे तिनीहरूले | त्यसरी नै कविगोष्ठी सत्रका अध्यक्ष तथा सुप्रसिद्ध कोंकोणी लेखक पुंडलिक नायकले त मेरो भनाइलाई आधार गर्दै यो देशमा कतिपय जातिलाई घरी घरी आफूहरू राष्ट्रवादी भएको प्रमाण दिइरहनु पर्ने बिडम्बना रहेको प्रसंगको उल्लेख गरे | उनले देशलाई टेरिटोरी मात्र चाहिएको तर त्यहाँको मानिस नचाहिएको झैँ लाग्छ पनि भने | यस्तो कुरा लिएर पनि उत्तर-पूर्वी क्षेत्रका कलमकारहरूले कलम चलाउनु पर्ने उनले बताए |
“समकालीन नेपाली साहित्य”- माथि वार्ता दिन आएका असम तेजपूरका लेखक ज्ञानबहादुर छेत्रीले पनि खुसी हुँदै मलाई भने –“ फलाम तातिएकै बेलामा प्रहार गर्नुपर्छ, अरुबेला गनगन गरेर हुँदैन | तपाईंले ठिक ठाउँमा ठिक्क बोल्नुभो |” उनले अझै भने –“ त्यो उद्घोषिकालाई त रिसाउनु होइन धन्यवाद पो दिनुपर्छ होला अब, कारण उसैको कारणले त तपाईंले हाम्रो कुरा स्पष्ट संगले राख्ने मौका पाउनुभयो |”
मैले पनि कता कता सम्झिएँ – ‘हो त’|

कुरा यसो भाको थियो | त्यसपछि ती टाइम्स अफ इन्डियाकी रिपोर्टर मलाई खोज्दै आइन् र इन्टरव्यु लिन थालिन् | उनी पनि मलाई सोध्छिन् “तपाईं कहाँ जन्मेको भनेर |” मैले म त के मेरो बाजे-बराजु जम्मै दार्जीलिंगमा नै जन्मेका हुन्” भनेर बताइदिएँ | भनिदिएँ- We are the architect of modern India. But people have misconception regarding us because of Indo-Nepal reciprocal treaty and open border.

(अरु थुप्रै कुरा भनें  क्रमश: लेखुँला |)

Note - This is what Poet Subash has posted on  Facebook 

Via POET SUBASH RAI SOTANG

Give a dog a bone

8:21 PM

Writes Gurkha Ritesh

The real problem with people of hills is that we have a large populace of highly qualified people and very tiny percentage of them are educated people in profound sense of education.

The recent agitation gave bruise  and agony into the heart of each and every Gurkha's who truly believed that we could achieve our dream " Gorkhaland" but with some Mir jafar on the ground we failed ...

If we do not realize the importance of collective effort  I am sure after some years we will be minority in our own place. And even if we manage to throw the present lot into the dustbins of history, another mamta banerjee, binay tamang, anit Thapa,man ghishingh ,and neeraj zimba will rise and take us back to were we are today.....

Gorkhas  have now become " Give a dog a bone" and they will never betray their master. But I will never give up in my dreams and my pride, we can see the back date history no revolution was successful in single fight ,it took India 200 years to be free from colonial hand but in between multiple battles , bandh and movement of purpose was seen, but what kept them alive it was indeed a collective effort, none of them gave up and after so many ups and down the so called movement has made us celebrate the 75 th independence day. Let us be slave no more and fight for our land....I m ready are you ???????

Hard time for Gorkhas as Mamata is trying to crush Gorkhaland movement

8:26 AM

Gorkhaland is generally presented nationally as a law and order problem with images of violence making headlines. Why would 1.5 crore peace loving citizens of a great democracy like India unite or go on a strike for a record 104 days if there was something seriously not irking them. The essential ingredient is identity, that unites all, or a place of being that unifies these people.
Identity is the very essence of a human being and if anyone is identified in an incorrect manner his very essence of being is humiliated.  Words like “Chinky”, migrant, or being incorrectly identified as Nepalese citizens while they are Indians, are common occurrences. Lacking individual identity has a snow balling effect on a community which lacks political identity. Thus the Gorkhas, who represent one percent of Indian population, have produced soldiers and sportspersons in plenty but only a handful of civil servants as they have not been extended benefits of reservation.

Today no one fights for their cause as the state is using repressive powers to crush a democratic movement wherein encounter against a fellow politician has become the order of the day.   

The state is using its full might to crush the Gorkhaland movement which one can gauge from the recent fire at Patleybas wherein, it is presumed that four houses belonging to a particular popular Gorkha party were burnt down at midnight. A few days ago as per state government an IED making factory was found there, the next we hear a fire has broken out in the same area. Is it a coincidence?

As per reports emerging these houses belonged to a registered political popular party in the hills not toeing the official line of the state government. Does it call for popular debate or burning down one each other’s houses?  There can be no place for violence but this is an undemocratic manner of settling issues.

The people of Darjeeling are living in fear. Before this there was a 104 days bandh and there were 13 deaths all blamed on the people. Activism does not lead to deaths these need to be investigated.  Agreed there have also been two highly condemnable deaths of Police Officers which is not the way to win popular support for a movement.
As far as the common citizens are concerned they feel let down by the political class. The BJP has twice won this seat supported by GJM but the BJP will not touch the Gorkhaland issue as they wish to dislodge Mamata Banerjee both in the parliament (2019) and state elections (2022). As far as Mamata Banerjee is concerned balkanization of Bengal is a rallying point for her, so political ambitions seeks no limit.
As far as Bimal Gurung is concerned he is being hounded from pillar to post, including by his own lieutenants; he is the fall guy of this movement, and on the run. As far as the common man is concerned those living in Darjeeling fear are the key. They were starved for 104 days literally, they lived without internet. New Delhi ignored them, and they spent their respective saving eking out a living for the 104 days, only to be told that the strike is off.
A section of people want the strike to go on, a section want back to basics, while Gorkhas settled outside Darjeeling who are most affected by the identity issue feel once and for all “We want Gorkhaland”. The reason is simple. All Bangladeshi pass off as Bengalis, although there is a cardinal difference. The Bangladeshi disrupts the demographic profile, while the Gorkha is a descended of Guru Gorakh Nath, and was specially tasked by him for gau raksha (cow protection), yet political expediency does not protect those of his followers who settled in the Himalayas.
There is not a single word from anyone that matters about the use of force by the state in Darjeeling. The demand for Gorkhaland is a democratic one within the Indian constitution just as Bodoland. The immediate need of the hour is to ensure that rule of law is carried out in Darjeeling and those people who have suffered their confidence is restored. The law and order machinery need central intervention by means available such as sending fact finding teams to examine human rights violation issues. As far as Gorkhas are concerned there is a need to first sort out if we have any Mir Jafar who too was a Nawab of Bengal.  It has to be a united effort divided we shall fail. 

(The writer is an Indian Army veteran and author of books Gorkha: In Search Of Identity and Gorkha: Society and Politics) 

Via capitalkhabar

GORKHALAND MARTYRS - Forgive them, even though they do know what they are doing.

7:21 AM

Writes: N N Ojha

In nearly seventy summers, winters, springs and autumns that I have left behind, I have had my share of happy and unhappy experiences. Such prolonged exposure to a rainbow of experiences in life generally helps a person rise above euphoria and dejection, while retaining requisite levels of  human sensitivity. Like most people of my age group, I too can enjoy happiness without getting euphoric and put up with adversity without being gripped in disappointment.

Our brother Anit Thapa has robbed me of this most valuable lesson learnt through a lifetime of trials and tribulations. His statement that over 12 of our youngsters who fell to police bullets during the recent (or should i call it current) spell of agitation actually had to be fired upon by the security personnel because they were pelting stones has left me not just dejected but heart broken.

Anit, have you forgotten that throughout the incidents of firing you and your big brother Binoy Tamongo were leading the agitation? Did you ask these youngsters to pelt stones at police? If they pelted stones on their own, did you as their leader not stop them? If you asked them to do what you now say was responsible for them to lose their lives or if you as leader didn’t stop them, aren’t you an equal partner in the crime? How come you the leader of the agitation survived but youngsters who followed your command not only lost their lives but actually deserved to lose their lives according to you in your new avtar?

Are you aware that your big brother Binoy has in the meeting held at Uttar Kanya demanded that a high level inquiry should be held in the killings of our youngsters and the demand was also accepted by the CM? How could you conclude that the firings by police and the resultant killings of our youngsters is justified even when the high level inquiry promised by the CM is yet to commence?

I do not know on what basis you have declared that the youngsters who died in police firing deserved to die as they were stone pelters. Let me share public perception about two of these incidents.

When Ashish Tamang of Magarjung was killed in Mirik, he was simply walking down the road when he was noticed by a CRPF jawan who was reportedly drunk. Story that started doing rounds immediately after the  incident was that the jawan hailing from Chhattisgarh (some say he was a surrendered Naxal militant inducted into the force as part of a promised rehabilitation package) was murmuring in an inebriated condition that he and many of his colleagues were away from their homes and families ‘tum logon ki wajah se’ and pulled the trigger.

Likewise when Sangay Bhutia was killed in Sonada, he was walking down to a nearby chemist shop to buy medicines for his ailing elder brother, when a bullet was fired from a passing CRPF convoy and the young lad fell dead there and then.

Firings by security forces resulting in killing of citizens is a serious matter. The veracity of stories floating around has to be proved or disproved through high level inquiries. Perhaps that is why your big brother Binoy asked for a high level inquiry and the CM too agreed for the same instantaneously.

For you to preempt the inquiry’s findings by declaring that the police fired because the youngsters were pelting stones is highly reprehensible. It shows a fratricidal streak in you just to please your newfound benefactors. Your statement breaks our hearts. It won’t do any good to you either. Still, there is time for you to atone your sinful conduct and retrace the statement.

As an old man i am a well wisher of all our youngsters including you. Let me assure you my advise to you is not out of any ill will against you. It is meant for your own long term welfare.

Gorkhaland – the solution lies in the political and not in the politics.

6:59 PM

Writes: Dr. Deepa Joshi*

Let me pick up on Reggie Lama’s opening line – ‘12 deaths and the hardship of a 104 days of shutdown remain conveniently forgotten’. With humility and respect, let me remind Mr Lama - that the world lives by forgetting the deaths and perils of the lesser mortals – the Rohingyas in Myanmar, Syria for the past few years, the Palestinians for as long as we can remember, and the list is long. What we have lost in the last five decades is but a miniscule of the numbers that add up to a staggering list of those who have died seeking dignity and freedom – rights that remain denied.

Mr Lama rightly captures the bitter bile of a public disillusioned, disheartened and desperate for answers and consolation and asks for hope that seems difficult to find, in trying to keep the Gorkha heart beating. I speak to this issue – how should we be going forward, and what is indeed forward for us? My suggestion is, it is time now “to engage in the political and not the politics”. I explain below what this means in the current context of the hopelessness that engulfs on the one hand, and the callousness of the politicians who appear so keen to grab and claim the vacant space of politics, and I explain why being political and not indulging in politics is our only hope in resurrecting our injured identity and regaining our rightful place, not in context to how others - whether they be – back (crotch, as well ) scratching and smirking fellow citizens “down there”, alive and kicking Mr Modi or the very dead Marshall Manekshaw – but in the context of how we see and conduct ourselves.

Engaging in politics is easy – but if there is one thing we should have learnt from the past 3 months – engaging in the political although, difficult and demanding – is what really matters. What then is the difference between these two terms? Even though, it was “the people” who led and kept the movement alive – in their everyday small and big acts of resilience, resistance and solidarity, engaging in this very “political” act of claiming space and voice - every now and then we faltered - backtracked by the compulsions of “politics”: going back to begging the powers that be – whether it was a muted BJP leadership only interested in play of politics and representation or a bunch of elites with vested interests and mandates in politics. What can we learn from this?

Being political empowers us the ordinary citizens in ways that politics can never do. Our leaders – steeped in the corruption of politics, our elites – shifting and aligning their positions to their convenience – will not get us the dignity and freedom we deserve as a people, as well as help ensure that, this dignity and freedom extends to all, especially those in the margins of what makes for the political entity of Gorkhaland. It is only we the people – who can and who must find these for ourselves.

How do we begin, now that we think we are ended? Contrary to the desolation we feel, I see hope all over again, hope in the everyday writings across the spectrum – from Mr Lama’s questioning about leaders quick to take control or those still in the hiding to Mr Sharma’s questioning of the everyday ethics [or rather the lack of it] at the SBI’s Ladenla Branch. We need to continue to write, but more importantly – continue to act – because our democratic rights are not disassociated from our everyday living and existence – in fact we can only achieve the democracy we desire by the choices we make every day. The list of things that come to mind, is way too long to list here, but it includes the small and the big of how we get on in our everyday lives.

First and foremost on that list, at least for me - is public scrutiny of every leader and official, who claim to represent us or to service our needs; ensuring henceforth that this disease of a consensus between politics, government and economics ends here and now. In honouring the 12 deaths and the 104 days of a shutdown – lets ensure that we make this space for politics and administration so regulated – that it will only attract those – who seek nothing else except to represent our interests and the needs of the most marginal amongst us.
Does this sound like some hazy nirvana dream (not to ignore that we are infamous in exploring the same ). The answer is a resounding No! Reclaiming politics through political people power is happening around the world, from UK’s Jeremy Corbyn’s spectacular comeback to the recent referendums for independence in Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan. What matters is what and how we chose going forward.

All the basic human dignity and freedom we have long been denied will come back to us, once we the people make it clear to the powers that be – from our very local municipalities, towns, districts to the state and central governments – that we are and we will forever continue to be political. That, this is our promise to ourselves, those whose lives have been lost not just in 2017, but decades back too - and to the many more who will be born to live in this very fair land of ours.

* Coventry University, London. Previously Assistant Professor at Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Via The DC

I am alone admist the crowd: I am Gorkhaland

11:17 AM

Writes: Chandan Pariyar

Am I abstract, I dont know, I feel like I exist, but where am I ?

Am I in the voices of the people who cry for me or am I in the woods in the woe of my people or, am I in the jail in the agony and pain of my son's or am I in the empty stomach of my silent supporter, Where am I ??

I want to be seen, I want to be heard, but who will make me a reality, I have seen many who have come and gone, they try to perceive me, feel me, live within me, but some gusty wind  takes them away from me, which makes me wonder again, Do I exist ??

When I find the closed shutters of the shops, the shut doors of the classrooms, the unplugged leaves of the tea, the dusty keyboards of the banks, the unwashed cars, the empty streets, I feel like this is the moment that I shall be born !! But some light breeze takes me away from my people, I feel like, I am  abstract ??

Sometimes I go with you all ,in the rally, I am alone admist  the crowd :I am Gorkhaland.  

Am I abstract? I don't know, I feel like I exist, I could see myself in  running nose of an infant, in the closed books of my adolescence, in the closed doors of colleges of my youth, in the  dream of my men in  in the stiff of my aged, and in the closed doors of the office of my people, but do I really exist ??

I feel like I live, when I hear the voices in the  streets crying for me , when I  listen to the slogan coming form the starving people, when they want to feel me ,perceive me, but some gusty dry winds takes them away from me ,which makes me wonder, Do I really live ??

For my existence many of my son's have sacrificed their life, I feel pride when I see around and come across those who are ready to meet the same fate just for me.

I feel happy but when I peer to find some faces who ready to bargain me, I just wonder where would they go with all the money. They don't know that they don't exist if I don't exist .

Mamata Banerjee's Greter Bangla Conspiracy

7:08 PM

I am a Gorkha and I am not a terrorist...

Mamta Banerjee in her press conference today almost said that GJM is a terrorist outfit. Her evidences? She said she has intelligence report that underground outfits from North east are in contact with Bimal Gurung. Even some countries are helping Bimal Gurung. Suppose I say Mamta Banerjee is conspiring for Greater Bangla with the areas of Bangladesh and Bengal? She has been trying very very hard to colonize Bengal and her last strategy of imposing Bengali as a compulsory language in entire Bengal. Her strategy has been foiled completely by the current agitation for Gorkhaland. She started with division of Gorkha community with the formation of various caste based development boards. Secondly she allured some political outfits like JAP, GNLF. She was successful to some extent in dividing the mass. That is why the vote percentage of TMC in the hills improved. She was convinced that she will be able to grab the hill mass under her tentacles. Formation of Mirik Municipality board with the help of GNLF fuelled her conviction. So she fired the language bomb. The language bomb boomeranged.

During her cabinet meeting at Darjeeling when a small violence erupted she in haste called the Army. Was there a need to call the army? The demand of GJM was simple: pass the resolution in cabinet that Bengali Language is not compulsory. When she could pass so many developmental schemes for GTA without the consent of the GTA chief why didn’t she pass the simple resolution on language imposition? She has something dirty in her mind.

She failed. From today’s 15 Development Board chairpersons’ meeting and press conference she is hell bent to prove GJM as a terrorist outfit. But let me tell you madam we are Gorkhas and Gorkhas are not terrorist. On one hand she says there was intelligence failure and on the other hand she alleges that plan was hatched to hurt her ministers. She labels farmer’s tools, children’s archery tools as arms. Her disinformation strategy has started. With the Lepcha board chairperson she formed a peace committee. What a joke. Does she not know all the board members are Gorkhas and they too will die for Gorkhaland. They attended the meeting because you are giving them fund. Today you avoided the Gorkhaland question. Did you ask them what do they want? Gorkhaland or Development board?

GJM’s agitation has been transformed into a mass movement. Every citizen
irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, profession are supporting the cause. It is not Bimal Gurung’s programme but it is our issue. At this juncture what could be the rational steps our leadership can take? Let me suggest few:

Do not allow any actors to dismantle the all party forum. This is the platform which will make Gorkhaland a reality. Leave aside the egos. Bring the actionable strategy on the table.

Continue with the agitation no matter what form it takes and how far it goes.
Do not comply with the shallow offer of centre and state.

Participate in the meetings with centre and state if Gorkhaland is the ONLY agenda.
Now onwards message should be clear and speak in one voice. No GJM or GNLF or JAP etc

Strengthen media cell. Appoint skilled spokesperson.

During freedom struggle there was Gandhi and also Bose, there was table conferences and violence too, there was Dandi March and bomb too. Learn from the history.

Two pronged strategy should be in place. Delhi centric and Hill centric. Delhi centric strategy needs lobbyists, intellectuals, media experts, networkers. Involve people who can influence the ruling government, lobby with the opposition, market the cause to capitalists. Hill centric strategy needs people who can fuel the movement, give momentum to agitation, encourage mass, resist police and CRPF and state’s high handedness.

Get ready to counter the propaganda of Mamta that the agitation is a terror act. She will certainly make Darjeeling a battle ground like Kashmir.

Lastly, everything has its own time – time to sleep and time to awake, time to laugh and time to cry, time to fight and time to flight. Now is the time to fight and fight till GORKHALAND happens. Till today we have been fighting for the cause of others, now is the time to fight for our own cause. Dear Mamta didi we are Gorkhas and we are not terrorist. We will not help you to make your greater Bangla conspiracy a success.

Jai Gorkha, Jai Gorkhaland

 
Copyright © Indian Gorkhas. Designed by Darjeeling Web Solutions