Showing posts with label Subhash Ghisingh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Subhash Ghisingh. Show all posts

Politics is not just making speeches - Subash Ghishing

3:14 PM
The Illustrated weekly of India: 2/10/1988

I am a philosopher, not a politician. Today a knowledge of philosophy is essential. It gives you an extraordinary vision. Only a philosophical leader can truly lead his people. Politics is simply a child of philosophy. And philosophy is the guardian of all knowledge. Once you have acquired philosophical knowledge, you automatically understand psychology, sociology and politics. A leader can then use his vast knowledge for the good of his people.

Our agitation had a scientific approach. I used psychology and philosophy in it too. It was a disciplined exercise. We would increase the tempo and then bring it to a halt. It wasn’t an agitation without a break like in Punjab or Sri Lanka.

Politics is not just making speeches, it goes much beyond that, it is ocean -deep. To kill one bird with one stone is not politics, but to kill 10 or 20 or 30 birds with one stone is politics. In politics 2+2 does not equal to 4 but 2+2 is equal to10 or 20. That is why I say, if one wishes to be in politics, one must possess this knowledge. Otherwise you indulge in “Bull Politics” – that is, attacking whatever you see in front of you. It took me several year to acquire the knowledge.
Politics is not just making speeches - Subash Ghishing
Today, there is a crying need for leaders all over the world. Not leaders hunched with the weight of borrowed politics, but leaders with an inner vision. Indira Gandhi was the best prime mister we had. An iron lady, nothing frightened her, only the authors, for authors possess philosophical knowledge. I have heard her speeches on radio, read her writings and I can make out that she was afraid of their wisdom. Such is the strength of this knowledge that even god cannot criticize it.

This knowledge and the inner strength helps my power of oratory too. Handling the public requires a special technique. When I give a speech women, and even men, weep. I have the power to pacify an angry public, and if I am in the mood, I can make stones melt.


Via HAMRO APPA


Did Subash Ghisingh foresaw the crack within the Gorkha communities

8:02 AM

.9th April 2005 – Letter sent to Sri Kunwar Singh (Chairman National Commission for ST,Govt of India, New Delhi )

Writes: Seetam Thakuri

I would like to expressed my thanks and gratitude for granting scheduled tribe status to “Tamang” and “Limbu” of India which was done vide Govt. of India Gazette Notification no 10 dated New Delhi the 8th January 2003. However, this action of govt. of Indian has created confusion, controversy and ill feeling among others Gorkha Tribes like “Khambu ( Rai)”, “Gurung”, “Mangar”, “Newar”, “Khas (chhetri)”, “Baahun (Brahman)” and other tribes etc who followed same language culture and religious beliefs and all of them including “Tamangs” and “Limbus” come under “Bonbo” (worshipers of stones, river, trees, deities etc) and as such grave injustices have been done to these above other left out tribal communities. 

This matter were already discussed in the 2nd round tripartite review meeting on Memorandum of Settlement of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council dated 28th Jan 2005 at Round Table Conference Hall of Union Home Ministry under the chairmanship of Shri Dhirendra Singh, Union Home Secretary at New Delhi. 

I would, therefore on behalf of DGHC, request you to consider the above case for granting Scheduled Tribe status to all the members of the other left out Gorkha communities as a special case.

With Regards, Yours Sincerely, Subash Ghisingh, Administrator of DGHC.

When the politics of Tribalism started deepening its root in the hills of Darjeeling, Subash Ghisingh could clearly foresee the fragile crack within the gorkha communities, he could clearly sense the crack that would divided Gorkha communities into various categories like General, ST, SC and OBC’s; The Hill Tribes that were once unified as Indian Gorkha for a common goal of “Gorkhaland” a state that would provide their identity in India, is now seen dividing and willing to walk individually for the status of Scheduled Tribes in India. 

When the politics of tribalism started getting its momentum in Darjeeling hills; and by that time DGHC had emerged as a weak administrative setup having no real executive or legislative power, further Subash Ghisingh had realized that the grant of statehood was not forthcoming, however, strong constitutional guaranteed setup was required to fulfill the aspiration of Hill people. It was then we saw the political swing of “Sixth Schedule”, the swing that shifted the politics of Gorkha Hills, thus, adding the new terminology in politics of Darjeeling. 

He then advocated that all gorkha communities should be granted the status of Scheduled Tribe in India referring to the census of 1931 which had shown all gorkha community as “Backward Tribes” under the banner of “Hill Tribes” during the British Raj in India. Further he knew it clearly that, if Gorkhaland is to be achieved than all gorkhas should stand united at any cost, therefore, we could see the sharp shift of Ghisingh’s politics to Sixth Schedule, so that the Indian gorkha may “exist together” united in one banner of “Gorkha as a Tribe (ST)”. 

Technically to qualify for the status of Sixth Schedule the percentage of tribal community do plays the vital role, hence, he started urging all gorkha community to move towards tribalism, further he believed Darjeeling which was once a part of “Gorkha Kingdom” now “Nepal” promoted Hinduism and declared Nepal as a Hindu kingdom so as to keep their national unity intact, in a process of which all gorkha tribes happened to forget their original “Bonbo culture” and became more inclined towards the Hinduism. 

Hence he promoted the celebrations of Bonbo utsav, sansari puja, Jhakri puja every year, temples were made where only stones representation of gods and goddesses were kept, Jhakri were appointed as the priest in these temples, Iron Pillar were worshipped during vishwakarma Puja in chowrasta; though many thought it to be an idiotic act, however the sense of tribalism was essence of these act.

He used to say we cannot behave civilized and ask for the tribal status, we need to show it by our action, hence the crazy act of the Governor of WB seeking blessing from Jhakri and Boju devata was clearly seen in the inauguration ceremony of Nightingale Park in Darjeeling, during those days Union Ministers in Darjeeling were welcomed by tribal dance and blessed by Dhami Jhakris ! 

Moreover, if we closely see, we gorkhas, have complex culture and tribal character with our own practices, we recognize the existence of spirits and worship nature, believes in Boju Devata, Jhakri, Ban Jhakri,; we perform Nya ko puja, Udawle Ubawle, sansari puja, ban devi puja etc. we also have appetite of gundruk, kinima, ban tarul, ghar tarul, simal tarul, iskus-ko-jara, jar, tongba… such culture and religious practices are typically tribal in character, even the British did recognized the fact and declare people of Darjeeling as Hill tribes during British Raj.

He was also of the opinion that only facility given by tribal status will not help the community, as we can see majority of tribes and casts still struggling despite of their ST / SC status, hence, He demanded that the area of DGHC be brought under the Sixth Schedule of the constitution of India. The Sixth Schedule deals with the autonomous administration setup for tribal area with executive, legislative and judicial powers, moreover it is the special setup under the observation of President of India and also defined as state within the state. The councils under Sixth Schedule are the product of the Constitution of India, hence, it draws all its powers and functions from the Constitution itself. Had it been implemented in Darjeeling Hills it would have been 100 time better than DGHC or the present GTA both of which emerged from the state act of west Bengal legislative Assembly. 

However, special status of Fifth or Sixth Schedule of the constitution were directly applicable for all excluded and partially excluded areas of British Raj, and Darjeeling being partially excluded area under British raj till the time of independent should have come under the Fifth Schedule or otherwise Sixth Schedule with certain amendments in the constitution long time back in Independent India. 

Chronology of Administrative Setup Pre/Post - Independent and why Fifth or Sixth Schedule is Applicable for Darjeeling. 

Darjeeling was never directly governed by the Provincial government of Bengal, however in a sense it did shared the governor with Bengal. In fact Darjeeling was governed by special act under British India as British knew it clearly that these areas came to East India Company as per the Treaty of Sugowlee with Nepal (1815) and Treaty of Sinchula with Bhutan (1865), Moreover British felt that the gorkhas living in these areas required to be protected. 

Darjeeling was initially a "Non-Regulationdistrict / Area" where acts and regulations of the British India did not automatically apply in line with rest of the country, unless specifically extended.

In 1874 Darjeeling was declared “Scheduled District” which was subject to special laws and administrative procedure. 

In 1919 Darjeeling was declared "Backward Tract" and continued to be ruled by special law, the administration of the district was then vested to the Governor General in Council. Any Act of the Provincial Legislature (Bengal provinces) or all India acts did not apply to the tract, or shall apply subject to such exceptions or modifications as the Governor may think fit. 

In 1935, Darjeeling was declared “Partially Excluded” area, where Governor had a special responsibility for this area, no legislative enactment whether of the Federation or of the Province did apply unless the Governor so directs by a notification, this set up continued till the new constitution came into effect in 26 January 1950 for Independent INDIA 

1946 The Cabinet Mission, sent by the British Parliament under Sir Stafford Cripps made a public statement and also suggested for the formation of an Advisory Committee to work out a modus operandi in the constitutional arrangement for tribals of excluded and partially excluded area and to enable them to safeguard their ethnic identity and culture in a democratic way in Independent India. 

On 24th January, 1947 - Advisory Committee on fundamental rights, minorities and Tribal and Excluded Area was set up with Vallabhai Patel as the Chairman by the Constituent Assembly, two subcommittee was formed to take forward the work: 

1. North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub-Committee: under Gopinath Bardoloi

2. Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (Other than Those in Assam) Sub-Committee: under A. V. Thakkar.

Based on the reports and recommendation of these committee Sixth Schedule emerged, where all excluded and partially excluded areas of Assam was incorporated in article 244(2) read with 275(1) of the constitution of India. However excluded and partially excluded areas other than Assam (rest of India) was incorporated in the Fifth Schedule in Art. 244(1) of the Constitution of India.
As per these schedule special Autonomous Administration setup and Tribal Advisory Council for self-governance was to be formed for the upliftment of tribes under the control of President through its representative the governor of state. 

8th August 1947 - INTERIM REPORT OF THE EXCLUDED AND PARTIALLY EXCLUDED AREAS (OTHER THAN ASSAM) SUB-COMMITTEE stated The Darjeeling District is shown to contain 141,301tribes out of a total population of 376,369 in 1941. The prominent community in Darjeeling is the Gurkha or Nepalese community which numbers about 2 1/2 lakhs. The Gurkha are not regarded as a backward tribe and the thirteenth schedule to the Govt. of India (LegislativeAssemblies) Order does not include Gurkha. Thus the committee decides Darjeeling need no longer be treated as partially excluded areas hence the special status given by British Raj was lost in Independent India. 

However, the fact that the Census of 1941 based on which the fate of hill tribes of Darjeeling was decided by Advisory Committee had some flaw on itself, as it had delisted the Tribes title of approximately 2,35,068 (62.45%) of the total population of Darjeeling Hill reducing the tribal population only to 37.54%. the reason for this de-listing have been due to the inclusion of mother tongue question in census and the census report being based on language and script among other criteria’s. It is believed that the majority of hill tribes were unaware of the consequence, moreover the sentimental attachment with Nepali language propelled them to mention Nepali as their mother language instead of their tribal dialect; as Nepali language happened to be derived from Sanskrit language hence the essence of tribalism was missing, which resulted to exclusion of majority of hill people from the backward tribe status. Further the word gorkha have been used very vaguely without seeing the history of hill tribes by advisory committee. 

In order to rectify the injustice done by Advisory Committee, Subash Ghisingh proposed for constitutionally recognition of the entire hill people into Scheduled Tribes category with reference to the Census of 1931, further he also demanded the DGHC be brought under the special administrative setup of sixth schedule with required amendments to the constitution. Please Note: The provision of Autonomous District / Regional Council is incorporated in the Sixth Schedule of constitution, moreover it also enjoyed comparatively greater power and autonomy than Fifth schedule of Constitution, however both the fifth and sixth schedule did emerged for the administrative setup of excluded and partially excluded areas and Darjeeling happened to be partially excluded. 

6th December 2005 - Memorandum of Settlement for Sixth Schedule was signed between Govt. of India, Govt. of West Bengal and Shri Subash Ghisingh, Administrator DGHC, for the creation of an autonomous self-governing Council under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, for the hill areas of Darjeeling District. 

16th March 2006 - The West Bengal Legislative Assembly adopted a Resolution recommending grant of Sixth Schedule status for Darjeeling hill areas. 

30th November 2007 - Two Bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha The Sixth Schedule to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2007 and the Constitution (One Hundred and Seventh Amendment) Bill 2007’

The Bills were referred to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs (Chairperson: Smt Sushma Swaraj)

28th February 2008: The Standing Committee on Home Affairs submitted its 129th Report:

The Bills seek to create an autonomous self-governing Council called the Gorkha Hill Council, Darjeeling (GHC) under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. The GHC shall have legislative, administrative and financial powers in respect of specified subjects.
The Committee noted that two divergent views. The majority of the views were opposed to the Bill on various grounds and were in favor of Gorkhaland (a separate state). The official viewpoint stated that there would be agitation and chaos if the Bill was not passed.

The Committee could not verify the claims of the central and state governments since it could not visit the area and feel “the pulse of the people.” Therefore, relying on the official claims, the Committee recommended that both Bills be PASSED after certain amendments were made. It suggested that

(a) 33% of the seats in the GHC should be reserved for women; and 

(b) an appropriate number of seats should be reserved for Scheduled Castes in the GHC.

However, Govt. of India was not in a position to approve the bill, reason being the ongoing agitation led by Bimal Gurung, who opposed the Bill and demanded separate state of Gorkhaland. The bill remained pending in parliament till May 18, 2009 and finally lapsed automatically after 14th Lokh Sabha got dissolved. 

Unfortunately neither Sixth Schedule nor Gorkhaland were achieved, agitation led by GJMM went on for 3 more years and finally landed up signing an Agreement for GTA on 18 July 2011 at Pintail Village near Siliguri; a semi-autonomous administrative body enacted by state Act of West Bengal Legislative Assembly, Thus, Rejecting The Sixth Schedule of the constitution which was already tabled in the parliament of India. 

Now again we find ourselves standing in the same point of Political Crossroad, whom… we are to blame?

Separate India Gorkha Regiment : Subash Ghishing

8:46 PM

Shri Subash Ghisingh always stood for separate Indian Gorkha Troops reason being to differentiate the “Indo – Nepal Agreement Troops” and the “Indian Gorkha Troops” and for greater interest of India, there were series of talks and correspondence regarding this issue:
15th January 1987, Telegram sent To Shri Rajiv Gandhi, P M of India, Copy to King of Nepal:
We have no other alternative but to ask the whole settled Indian Gorkhas not to join the “Agreement Troops” of Gorkha Rifles. Furthermore, we are compelled to ask the central Government of India to immediately establish a New and Separate India Gorkha Regiment so as to save the whole settled Gorkhas from unnecessary and permanent stigma and allegation of Foreigners, Mercenaries, Reciprocal people and Nepal subjects.
3rd February, 1987 Statement released:
Urging government for formation of separate “Indian Gorkha Troops” to save guard the Indian Gorkha community and in the larger interest of Indian.
22nd July 1987, Letter To Rajiv Gandhi PM, India: 
Point No 9, (iii) The “Indian Gorkha Regiment” must be established as soon as possible so as to make a clear distinction between the “Agreement Troops” and the “Indian Gorkha Troops” in the interest of the victimized Gorkha and in the interest of the country of Indian. After declaration of the Government Notification on the issue of citizenship, the recruitment of the aboriginal and the settled gorkhas to the “Agreement Troops” must be immediately stopped.
MOS was signed 23rd August 1988 between Subash Ghising (President of GNLF) and CG Somiah (Union Home Secretary) in presence of Sd/ Buta Singh (Union Home Minister) in Delhi.
As regards raising a separate Indian Gorkha Regiment, the policy of the Government of India of not having any new regiment raised on class composition was acknowledge. However, it was clarified that it is not obligatory for Indian Gorkhas to join only specified Gorkha Regiments and that they have the option to join the Regiments of their choice. To this extent suitable instructions will be issued by the Army Headquarters.

Recent political Scenario: 
13th May 2008 “No More Gurkhas for India” Prachanda has asked the Indian state to stop the recruitment of Nepalese into the Indian military.
20th March 2012 – Times of India “Nepal may ban Gorkhas from joining foreign armies” Rajat Pandit, "As per our information, it's a proposal being studied in Nepal as of now...no final decision has yet been taken. We are tracking it closely," said a senior defense ministry official on Monday.”
21st March 2012 – Hindustan Times:
“Gorkha soldiers from Nepal who have been an integral part of the Indian Army for over six decades could soon become a thing of the past and a glorious chapter of valor and sacrifice by soldiers of a friendly neighbour would come to an end”
23rd January 2015: Daily Mai News :
“Stir in Indian army as Kathmandu mulls Gorkha ban”
Nepal government set to impose ban on joining Indian army by Gorkhas as Social media video of martyr Ram Bahadur Gurung generates acute breach amongst Indian army units.
Nepal’s communist Chief have been urging ban of Gorkhas in Indian army for quite sometimes further recent shift of foreign relation of Nepal from Indian to China and ongoing protest of Madhesis in Nepal which Nepal accuse India or BJP of providing logistics support to the movement of Madhesis (Indian origin Nepali) against the Nepal Government; Further the ongoing supply cut of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and jet fuel by Indian and China coming in to supply 1,000 tonnes fuel to Nepal are seen as series of event which are creating rift between two countries.
Therefore the announcement made on 29th October 2015 to raise an additional battalions for Indian Gorkha is a strategic decision taken by ministry of defence (India)
The Army has several Gorkha regiments— 1GR, 3GR, 4GR, 5GR, 8GR, 9GR and 11 GR, with five battalions each. The stipulated ration of composition of these regiments between Nepalese and Gorkhas of Indian domicile is about 70:30. “The Army’s plans are that each Gorkha Regiment will raise an additional battalion, which will be done in a phased manner, beginning with 1 GR,” said Lt Gen Thodge. Unlike in the past where Gorkha battalions comprised troops primarily from Nepal, the new battalion, designated as the Sixth Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles (6/1 GR), will comprise Gorkha troops of Indian domicile (Indian Gorkhas), that is, those settled in the hilly regions of northern India and the North-East.
Finally after 28 years, Indian government have now understood the significance of separate Indian Gorkha Troops for the safeguard of India and the Gorkha Regiment itself, what Mr Subash Ghisingh did in 1987 “The Great political foresighted Leader” Hamro Appa !
Jai Gorkha, Jai Gorkhaland !

Writes Gorkhas N Gorkhaland

Ghisingh's desire to write a book on Gorkhas dead in WW II unfulfilled

9:50 AM
PRASHANT ACHARYA, SILIGURI, 3 Feb 2015: Evereyone knows that Subash Ghisingh, who can be unarguably credited for kindling the dream of a Gorkhaland state in the hearts of the people of Darjeeling, has died before realising his political goal.
A dream unfulfilled: A book on Gorkhas dead in WW II
Subasyh Ghishing's last rite - Pic by Chendup Lepcha
It is little known, however, that his desire to write a book on the sacrifices made by the Gorkhas during the Second World War has also remained unfulfilled. He had done his homework well and had even visited Myanmar and Thailand to gather facts as these places were where the maximum number of Gorkha soldiers died during the war.

GNLF central committee member and Ghisingh’s close aide Prakash Dahal said on Tuesdsay: “Ghisinghji was planning to write a book on the Gorkha soldiers who sacrificed their life in World War II. We visited Myanmar seven times and Thailand once to gather detailed information including photographs for the planned book.”

Dahal said Ghisingh took pictures of the graves of Gorkha soldiers and noted down their ranks, names, addresses and areas of activity. Ghisingh’s last visit to Myanmar was in 2012. In Thailand, he toured the famous Death Bridge in Kanchanburi to gather detailed information of the Gorkha soldiers who had died there. Made famous as ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ internationally, thanks to motion pictures, during WW II thousands of allied prisoners of war had been engaged by the Japanese army to construct the bridge. Many of them had perished because of brutal treatment by their captors.

World War II had no fewer than 40 Gorkha Battalions in British service, and they included parachute, garrison and training units to take the total to 112,000 men. Together with British and Commonwealth troops, the Gorkhas have fought in Syria, the Western Desert, Italy and Greece, North Malaya to Singapore, and from the Siamese border through Myanmar to Imphal and again to Rangoon.

While still a young boy, Ghisingh’s mother had told him how his maternal uncle was killed in the Burma war. Since then he had nursed a keen desire to visit Myanmar to gather more information on the brave Gorkha soldiers who died fighting for India.

Source: EOI

Subash Ghisingh last rites at his ancestral place Manju tea estate

8:41 AM
Sherab Ghisingh was today brought to his birthplace at Lepcha Khop near Darjeeling. He came back as Subash Ghisingh.
Subash Ghisingh last rites at his ancestral place Manju tea estate
The GNLF chief when alive had not stayed for even a night at a home built for him in his ancestral village. Today, too, the body was not taken there for religious reasons - once a body leaves a home, it does not enter another.
Other than Ghisingh's family and a few village elders, few know that Subash Ghisingh was born as Sherab.

Phurba Ghisingh, the cousin brother of Subash Ghisingh, said: "When I was small, I used to call him Sherab. Then he changed his name to Subash when he became an author and then, I too, started referring to him as Subash Ghisingh. Apart from his family members and our villager elders, few know him as Sherab."

It was in the 1960s that the GNLF leader first published his novel titled Fulmaya. He went on to write more than 22 novels, plays and compilation of poems.

He only used "Subash" in his published works. "He was Subash the writer, Ghisingh the leader," Phurba said.

This morning, thousands of people lined up along the streets when his body was brought from his Dr Zakhir Hussain Road residence in Darjeeling to his ancestral place Lepcha Khop that is near the Manju tea estate, 50km from Darjeeling town.

Residents of Sukhiapokhri, Mirik, Dudhia and other places in the hills shut their shops to pay their last respects to Ghisingh.

Darjeeling town, which had downed its shutters yesterday, remained closed in the morning till noon today.

Ghisingh was born at Lepcha Khop village at Manju division of Singbul tea garden on April 22, 1936.

He had, however, lived most part of his life in Darjeeling town.

Ghisingh started staying in Darjeeling from the 1950s, soon after returning from the army.

His family wanted his body to be brought to his native place and to his newly constructed home, in which for some reason, he had never spent a day.

Uma Tamang, the granddaughter of Ghisingh, said: "There was this old wooden ancestral home here. However, in 2001 the house was dismantled and a new structure was erected as a gift by his well-wishers. The house was completed in 2003 but for some reason he never stayed there."

Ashram Rai, a relative of the leader, said: "In 2004, he had come to his house but was very angry that the cemetery of his younger sister, Maichang, was not kept properly. This was probably the last time he came to this place."

Ghisingh had three elder brothers, Jita, Sindel, Lalit and an elder sister Manu. Maichang was his younger sister.

Today, his body was brought to his ancestral home - the three-hour journey from Darjeeling to Manju taking more than seven and half hours - but even then, Ghisingh's body did not enter his house because of religious reasons.

"Once a body is bid farewell from a house, it cannot enter a second house," said Phurba.

Ghisingh's body, which left Darjeeling around 9am today, reached the Lepcha Khop residence around 4.20pm.

The hearse was parked on one side of the two-storied house that has five rooms, for about 15 minutes, before the body was taken to Manjushree Park, about a kilometre away. Ghisingh's elder son Sagar lit the pyre at 5.15pm.

The park is about a kilometre from Ghisingh's ancestral place. The place is at present, looked after by his relatives. In Lepcha Khop there are about 20-odd houses of which five families are related to Subash Ghisingh.

Source: Telegraph

Hills Unite to Mourn Late. Subash Ghising

10:21 AM
Hills Unite to Mourn Late. Subash Ghising - Praise His Contribution Towards Gorkhalis in India

Forgetting for the moment their political and ideological differences, leaders of various political parties in the Darjeeling hills trooped to Subash Ghisingh’s house on Saturday to pay their last respects to the veteran Gorkha leader who died on Thursday in Delhi.

Hills Unite to Mourn Late. Subash Ghising
Hills Unite to Mourn Late. Subash Ghising- pic:The Darjeeling Chronicle
One of the first to reach Ghisingh’s house on Dr. Zakir Hussain Road was Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) president RB Rai and other senior CPRM leaders. “We must pay respect to leaders who have made contributions to society. Ghisingh was one such leader. He created mass awareness about the Gorkhaland issue and was the first person to raise the statehood demand before the state and central governments. With his demise, a chapter has come to an end in the politics of the hills,” said Rai, a former Rajya and Lok Sabha MP from Darjeeling.

Echoing similar sentiments, CPI (M) district secretariat member KB Wattar said, “An era in the history of the Indian Gorkhas has ended with Ghisingh’s departure. We had differences but it must be said that he was an astute leader. His demand for implementing the Sixth Schedule in the hills paved the way for the ongoing clamour for securing tribal status.”

All India Gorkha League (ABGL) general secretary Pratap Khati was another prominent face at the residence of the erstwhile chief of the Gorkha National Liberation Front and he placed ‘khadas’ and a wreath before speaking to Ghisingh’s family. “He was a great leader. It is because of him the word ‘Gorkhaland’ has become synonymous with Darjeeling and its people,” he pointed out.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) was represented by party vice-president RP Waiba and central committee leader Urmila Rumba. On Friday, GJM chief Bimal Gurung expressed his condolences and said he would send party representatives as he would not be able to come personally due to prior commitments. Hill Congress and Trinamool Congress leaders were also present at Ghisingh’s house to pay homage to the late leader.

As a mark of respect to Ghisingh, all offices of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) remained closed today. Shops and business establishments in town also voluntarily pulled down their shutters for the day although vehicular movement was normal. Employees of the Darjeeling court attended office but did not work for the day.

GNLF supporters from various places of Darjeeling district stood in long queues since 5:00am to offer khadas and flowers to their revered leader. Ghisingh’s younger son Mohan, who is the new leader of the party, said his father’s body will be taken to their ancestral home at Manju in Mirik on Sunday at 9:00am.

“The cortege will first make a round of Darjeeling town to allow people to pay their last respects and then leave for Manju for the last rites,” he said. Senior GNLF leaders have requested the people to observe an hour long bandh to facilitate smooth passage of the hearse and the convoy.

Source: EOI

Sikkim CM Chamling to Attend Late Subash Ghising's Funeral

9:58 AM
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling will be arriving in Darjeeling to pay his last respect to his ‘friend’ and GNLF chief Subash Ghishing who died on Thursday.
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling will be arriving in Darjeeling to pay his last respect to his ‘friend’ and GNLF chief Subash Ghishing who died on Thursday.
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling 
Mr Chamling is scheduled to reach the Dr Zakir Hussain Road residence of Mr Ghisingh in the morning after all the rituals are completed and before the cortege moves from his home, GNLF sources said today.

Mr Chamling yesterday expressed deep sorrow at the death of “a scholar, novelist and a great Gorkha leader.” “In him, I have lost a good friend,” the Sikkim CM said in a statement.

GNLF party leaders said the cortege will move around Darjeeling
town before proceeding towards Manju village in Mirik, Mr Ghisingh’s ancestral home, where the GNLF leader’s body will be cremated.

According to the party sources, the rituals in Darjeeling will be completed by 8.43 am tomorrow, and that the cremation will be held at Manju Park, near the GNLF leader’s house, at around 2.30 pm.
The cortege will halt at Sukhia Pokhari, Mirik, and Soureni for 10 minutes each for people to pay their last respect, before it reaches Manju.

Source: SNS

Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling deeply saddened by passing away of Subash Ghisingh

5:54 PM
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Friday said he is “deeply saddened” to hear the passing away of Subash Ghisingh, the founder president of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). Ghisingh breathed his last at a hospital in Delhi on Thursday afternoon. The 79-year-old once undisputed leader of the Darjeeling hills was suffering from several health complications.
Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling deeply saddened by passing away of Subash Ghisingh
Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling
Chamling said, “My prayers and condolences are with the bereaved family.  Shri Ghisingh will always be remembered for his yeoman service to the Indian Gorkhas who had been pining for identity in view of the immense contributions they have made in maintaining the sovereignty and integrity of the country by defending the motherland ever since struggle for independence. The credit for raising the Gorkhaland statehood and identity issues of the Indian Gorkhas at the national level goes entirely to Shri Ghisingh. It was his movement for separate statehood that led to the creation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).”

The chief minister also noted that Ghisingh was a novelist. “I have lost a good friend whom I held in high esteem,” he added. With his demise the Indian Gorkha community has lost a stalwart, visionary and senior leader.” (IPR)

Source: EOI

Friends and ‘foes’ gather, GJMM stays aloof

11:04 AM
While even ‘enemies’ reached Bagdogra Airport to pay their last respects to the “uncrowned king of the Hills,” no important leader from the present dispensation in the Hills, the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM), was seen around here.
People line up to pay their last respect to Shri. Subash Ghising
However, GJMM chief and chief of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Bimal Gurung today announced that all offices under the GTA will remain closed tomorrow as a mark of respect to the once strongman of Darjeeling, Subhas Ghisingh, who died in New Delhi yesterday. Mr Gurung was also once a close aide to Mr Ghisingh, the founder of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF).

“I have not seen any Morcha leader here, but this is their problem,” said the founder of the Darjeeling Dooars United Development Foundation (DDUDF) Mahendra P Lama.

However, former Rajya Sabha MP Saman Pathak came here to pay the departed leader his last respects. Mr Pathak refused to recall his past memories during the Gorkhaland agitation in the Darjeeling Hills under the leadership of the GNLF chief. The house of former Darjeeling MP, the late Ananda Pathak, (father of Saman Pathak) was set on fire and his family members were taken hostage during the Gorkhaland agitation in the mid-80s.

Former MLA from Kalimpong Santa Chhetri, who was once close to Mr Ghisingh, also reached the airport to pay her last respect to the late Ghisingh. Ms Chhetri had to leave the Hills during the GJMM rise, and she finally left the GNLF and joined the Trinamul Congress.

“My leader Mr Ghisingh was the only leader who raised the Hill issues and made the demand for a separate state of Grokhaland international. I failed to control my emotions after hearing of his sad demise. I have come here like hundreds of other people to pay him my last respect,” said Ms Chhetri.

Rajen Mukhia, who was with Subash Ghisingh when he fought the GJMM, also left the GNLF and joined the All India Gorkha League (AIGL) as he felt that his mentor decided to go slow against GJMM chief Bimal Gurung.

Mr Mukhia, who joined the Trinamul Congress, was one of the leaders at the airport paying homage to the departed Hill leader.

Source: thestatesman

Land at last, for last rites of Subash Ghisingh

9:39 AM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Jan. 30: Subash Ghisingh who fought an unsuccessful and frequently bloody battle for Gorkhaland will at long last get his own land, though symbolically.

According to Buddhist tradition followed in the hills, monks place Rs 1.25 on the ground at the beginning of the cremation rituals, symbolising buying of land to carry out the last rites.
Biren Lama
Biren Lama
Biren Lama, a retired state government official who has been Ghisingh's friend for over four decades, today spoke of his demand for land for the hill people, a common refrain in the GNLF leader's earlier speeches.

Lama said Ghisingh was left homeless after the administration pulled down his wooden hut, a time during which he spoke of the importance of having one's own land and own home. He had not yet coined the term "Gorkhaland", which in the 1980s and 90s became the rallying cry in the hills.

"Ghisingh's four-roomed wooden house, which was situated above the old Oberoi hotel, was pulled down by the state government in the late '70s. They cut the base of the house and then tied ropes around his house to pull it down. He told me: 'Today, Bengal has pulled down my house, I will one day pull down Bengal'," Lama said.

Lama said Ghisingh had encouraged homeless people to build houses on vacant land and he, too, made a small wooden structure. The administration pulled down all the huts.

Some of Ghisingh's speeches, according to Lama, made at Gitangadhara, a public space to make speeches at Chowk Bazar, were about land and homes for the hill people.

Before his home was demolished, Ghisingh started what was called the " chaar aana sadasyata (25 paise membership)" to create awareness for the political forum he wanted to float - which turned out to be the GNLF. "He started the 25-paise membership drive because of the Buddhist tradition of gathering money before starting the cremation rituals for buying one's own land. The membership drive was also based on the philosophy of getting one's own land," Lama said.

On Sunday, when Ghisingh will be cremated at his ancestral place in Manju tea estate, the lamas will first place coins totalling to Rs 1.25 on the ground before the rituals begin.


Source: Telegraph

Bimal Gurung's holiday gesture for Subash Ghisingh

9:31 AM
Vivek Chhetri:
Gurung holiday gesture for foe
- Saturday salute: Hill offices to be shut

Darjeeling, Jan. 30: Bimal Gurung may be wanting to opt out of Bengal, but he is upholding one Bengali tradition: declaring holidays.
A man folds his hands standing in front of Ghisingh’s hearse at Bagdogra
A man folds his hands standing in front of Ghisingh’s hearse at Bagdogra. Picture by Kundan Yolmo
Displaying magnanimity after the death of Subash Ghisingh, whom he disallowed from coming up to the Darjeeling hills, Gurung today declared that tomorrow would be a holiday to pay respect to the late GNLF leader.

"As a mark of respect for the late Gorkha leader, Shri Subash Ghisingh, all offices under the GTA will remain closed on Saturday, January 31st, 2015," Gurung said today.

Gurung had not only ousted Ghisingh from the hills, but also banished the GNLF chief, who was once called " pahar ko Raja" (the king of the hills) to the plains.

The Morcha president said he would be unable to attend Ghisingh's cremation on Sunday. "I will not be able to go, but I will send my people. We will also call a session of the GTA in the near future to express our condolences," Gurung said.

Gurung was Ghisingh's lieutenant before he formed the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on October 7, 2007.

Ghisingh was forced to leave Darjeeling on July 26, 2008, a day after a Morcha activist was shot dead, the bullet allegedly fired from the house of a GNLF leader in Darjeeling.

Even when Ghisingh's wife Dhanmaya died on August 16, 2008, the GNLF leader's family could not bring her body to Darjeeling for her last rites.

Dhanmaya's body had to be take

The last rites were done at Siliguri Kiranchandra Crematorium.

Ghisingh returned to the hills on April 8, 2011, to campaign for GNLF-supported candidates in the Assembly elections, but he decided to leave Darjeeling in May after alleged GNLF supporters killed a Morcha activist in Sonada.

Ghisingh visited the hills - his Dr Zakir Hussain Road home - on March 19, 2014, just before the Lok Sabha polls. The GNLF supported Trinamul in the general elections.

Given the perception among the Morcha leadership that Ghisingh could not be a political threat anymore because of his failing health and his dwindling base, Gurung seemed to have softened his stance towards the GNLF chief.

Gurung and senior Morcha leaders turned up at a hospital in Delhi on November 15 last year to see Ghisingh.

But the Morcha chief could not meet Ghisingh. He spoke to Mohan, Ghisingh's son.

Gurung offered "help" for Ghisingh's treatment, but GNLF supporters in Darjeeling refused to accept any help. They pooled in for Ghisingh's treatment.

Correction

The name of Subash Ghisingh's wife Dhanmaya was erroneously mentioned as Dhan Kumari in a caption that was a part of "The eventful era of 'Appa'" in the edition dated January 30. We apologise for the mistake.

Source: Telegraph

Subash Ghising's youngest Son Mohan Ghising to Lead GNLF

9:11 AM
The youngest child of Subash Ghisingh, Mohan, was today named the party chief by the GNLF.
Mohan Ghisingh in Kurseong.
Mohan Ghisingh in Kurseong. (Suman Tamang)
"A meeting of our central committee was held in Siliguri this morning. There were 17 members present and they have unanimously selected Mohan Ghisingh as the new president of the GNLF. He will succeed his father, who was our party chief since the formation of the party in 1980," said Mahendra Chhetri, the general secretary of the GNLF, in front of the Bagdogra airport this afternoon.

Mohan, who is in his thirties, has been Ghisingh's constant companion for several years, but has never betrayed any interest to join politics.

When Mohan emerged from the airport, with his father's body, and was asked about being named the party chief, he said: "I am not in a position to comment on the issue. I will speak to party leaders and will act accordingly."

Chhetri said the party would continue with Ghisingh's demand of Sixth Schedule status for the hills.

Source: Telegraph

GNLF chief Ghisingh, who gave birth to Gorkhaland, died in Delhi

9:40 PM
Ashis Chakrabarti

So he died as he knew he would - in exile, far away from the kingdom that had once been his and that he had lost to a onetime vassal. But in death, he may be luckier than his wife, who was denied the privilege of having her last rites performed back at her long-lost home in the hills.
GNLF chief Ghisingh passes away in Delhi
Subash Ghisingh, the mercurial leader whogave birth to the demand for Gorkhaland,breathed his last at a Delhi hospital on Thursday.He was 79. “Mr Ghisingh was admitted five days ago. He died this morning of liver failure,” a spokespersonfor Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi said.Ghisingh is survived by his sons,Sagar and Mohan, and daughter Uma







Subash Ghisingh, who died in distant Delhi this evening, may well be back in Darjeeling for one last time - only to be cremated there. But that is only because he no longer matters in the politics of the place that he ruled as its undisputed leader for nearly 20 years.

Even the memory of his rule and his times seem to have become something like the mist in the Darjeeling hills.

For those who remember, though, the life and times of Ghisingh were unlike those of any other political leader not just in Bengal but anywhere else in India in the past few decades.

There have been other leaders who have risen, fallen and been forgotten soon after they had left the stage.

Ghisingh's story was different. One important reason was the location - what happens in Darjeeling reverberates far beyond those hills. The echoes, political and strategic, travel to Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and also to the distant capital cities of Delhi and Beijing. So when Ghisingh's call for a Gorkhaland state spread like wildfire in the Darjeeling hills in the mid-1980s, it wasn't just a local political affair.

There had been other calls for local self-rule in Darjeeling. Other leaders before him rose in local politics by asking for a new deal for the "Gorkhas". They did not quite shake the political masters in Calcutta, let alone in Delhi.

Ghisingh's struggle for Gorkhaland was a very different affair, not just because of the scale of its violence, but also because it was seen by many in Delhi as a Himalayan conspiracy for a "Greater Nepal", which aimed at creating a confederation of mountain kingdoms and states away from India's control.

That Ghisingh's crusade drove Bengal's communists down the hills was only a minor result of what was believed to be a larger battle plan. It was thus a more complicated matter than the older ethnic insurgencies in India's Northeast. Or so the conspiracy theorists believed.

Ghisingh himself added much to the making of the conspiracy. He talked of historical "wrongs" committed in the region and wanted to rewrite its history. Not content with questioning why Darjeeling should be part of Bengal, he raised the issue of the legality of the Sugouli Treaty of 1815 between East India Company and Nepal and of India's treaties with Nepal and Bhutan. Darjeeling and Kalimpong, he said, were like "kites set loose" and no one knew where they would land.

He was proving to be too dangerous a loose cannon for Delhi. Soon he would be taken under the wings of the Indian political and security establishments. So much so that Jyoti Basu and the then ruling CPM would accuse him of being a pawn in Delhi's hand in the game to drive the communists out of the sensitive border region.

And he set the hills ablaze for nearly three years before settling for the autonomous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, which he then ruled unchallenged until he was dethroned by a former comrade and the current lord of the hills, Bimal Gurung.

For all the bloodletting that he organised and the destruction that he wrought in the old society in the Darjeeling hills, Ghisingh's personality was a strange mix of naivety and cruelty. With the slightest hint of a threat to his authority, he would stop at nothing to finish off old, trusted comrades.

So many of them were ruined and even killed for daring to show even the smallest signs of revolt. When Gurung's big revolt hit him, Ghisingh found himself rather friendless and too weakened to defend his fort.

Banished from the hills, he waited his chance to regain his lost kingdom. That was not to be, though old faithful still flocked to show their loyalty on the few occasions when he sought to reclaim Darjeeling one more time.

But history, he slowly came to accept, does not repeat itself. Once that realisation sank in, the man, who would start all his political programmes with some religious rituals at Darjeeling's Mahakal temple, turned increasingly to Buddhism.

Perhaps, as he saw the end coming during his recent illness, Ghisingh stopped caring if he would finally lie near the orange orchard at his native village of Manju, some miles below Mirik, or anywhere else in the Darjeeling hills.

But no matter where he has his final resting place, Ghisingh's legacy may live on to shape other moments in Darjeeling's political history.

Source: Telegraph

GNLF chief Subhash Ghising passed away in Delhi

9:09 PM
Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) chief Subhas Ghising (1936-2015) breathed his last on the afternoon of 29th. Jan 2015 in a hospital in New Delhi. Aged 79 years, he was ailing since many months and his condition had improved a lot. But suddenly his condition deteriorated since two days back.  He was born on June 22 in 1936.

Hospital authorities have released a statement stating that Shri Subash Ghising was suffering from Pneumonia and Liver Cancer, and that he had been admitted to the ICU for the past few days.

His funeral is expected to take place tomorrow at Siliguri.

GNLF chief Subhash Ghising passes away
GNLF chief Subhash Ghising passes away
Ghishing had founded GNLF in 1980. He was the chairman of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council from 1988 to 2008. He spearheaded the Gorkhaland movement in the 1980s. The Gorkhaland movement grew from the demand of ethnic Gorkha living in Darjeeling District of West Bengal for a separate state in 1986. He was born on 22 June 1936 at Manju Tea Estate in Darjeeling.

Mamta Banerjee,CM,West Bengal expressed her deep condolences

Bimal Gurung on his social media page wrote "The sad demise of Mr.Subhash Ghising is a political loss to the Hill people. His contribution towards the development of the Hills will always be appreciated.
I extend my heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family and pray that God give them the strength to bear the loss."

"He was a LEGEND in his own right, and of all his strengths and shortcomings... he will always be remembered to coining the term - "Gorkhaland" and awakening the consciousness of Gorkhalis in India.
His political acumen was unparalleled and remains so.
We Mourn his Loss... May he be able to find peace in his death, which so eluded him during his lifetime." - The Darjeeling Chronicle

"Rest in eternal peace, SUBHASH GHISING.
I visited Gangaram Hospital to pay my last respect to the leader who first led the people's movement for Gorkhaland. 
Met his son in this hour of grief. May God grant him strength to bear this loss.
His body will be flown to Darjeeling on 30th morning.
Working honestly towards the dream of Gorkhaland will be our truest Shradhanjali to him." - Munish Tamang
Body of the deceased Lt.Subhash Ghising
Body of the deceased Lt.Subhash Ghising  Photo: Voice of Mirik
Body of the deceased Lt.Subhash Ghising on the way to Delhi Airport.The flight is set to leave from Delhi at 10:30 and will reach Bagdogra Airport at 11:30am today

The above picture was taken at the premises of Gangaram hospital around 7am morning on 30th Jan 2015


Subash Ghisingh left Darjeeling unannounced for Delhi

9:45 AM
Darjeeling, July 20: GNLF chief, Subash Ghisingh, left Darjeeling unannounced this afternoon with his son, days after he directed his supporters to start rallies across the hills demanding revival of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) till a new administrative set-up under the Sixth Schedule was formed.

GNLF chief, Subash Ghisingh
GNLF chief, Subash Ghisingh file photo
Sources said Ghisingh checked into a hotel in Bagdogra in Siliguri this evening and the GNLF chief is likely to leave for Delhi tomorrow.

Ghisingh, who was staying at his Dr Zakir Hussain Road residence in Darjeeling after his return to the hills on March 19, left with his son Mohan around 3.45pm today.

“Our leader keeps his cards close to his chest. There is word that he is going for treatment and he might also go to Delhi as we have started reviving our organisational activities because of specific reasons,” said M.G. Subba, convener of the GNLF Darjeeling branch committee. He, however, did not clarify the “reasons”.

Since July 5, GNLF supporters have been organising rallies across the hills every Saturday demanding revival of the DGHC till a new set-up under the Sixth Schedule was formed.

The rallies started after Ghisingh, who has spent almost three years in the plains, announced on his 80th birthday on June 22 that he was “not yet (politically) finished”.

During his absence, the party was mostly dormant. Political activities were revived only after Ghisingh decided to stay in Darjeeling.

The GNLF leader left Darjeeling for Jalpaiguri on July 26, 2008, after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha activist Pramila Sharma was killed by a bullet allegedly fired from the house of a GNLF leader in Darjeeling. Ghisingh returned to Darjeeling on April 8, 2011, to campaign for his candidates in the Assembly elections. All three GNLF contestants from Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong lost.

Ghisingh decided to leave the hills on May 16, 2011, after Morcha activist Rabin Rai was killed allegedly by GNLF supporters in Sonada. On March 19 this year, when Ghisingh returned to Darjeeling, he told his supporters that he had come to stay permanently.

Soon after that, GNLF decided to support Trinamul candidate Bhaichung Bhutia from Darjeeling seat in the Lok Sabha elections. Bhutia lost to BJP’s S.S. Ahluwalia who was backed by the Morcha.

VIVEK CHHETRI

Source: Telegraph

GNLF celebrated 34th foundation day across Darjeeling and kalimpong

1:50 AM
The GNLF today celebrated its 34th foundation day across Darjeeling and kalimpong. But Ghisingh was absent in a programme held at the Tenzing Norgay Youth Hostel near his residence at Dr. Zakir Hussain Road, Darjeeling. The GNLF (Gorkha National Liberation Front) president however, did unfurl the party flag atop his residence from his room with help from aides.
GNLF elebrated 34th foundation day across Darjeeling and kalimpong
GNLF elebrated 34th foundation day across Darjeeling and kalimpong
Similarly, Gorkha National Liberation Front today organised a meeting to mark its 35th foundation day in Kalimpong.The meeting was addressed by unit leaders including Maurice Kalikotay, Roshan Lama, Anil Lopchan, William Yonzon and KP Poudyal, among others.

Briefing media persons later the GNLF chief said, "At that time, Nepalis residing in the country used to be victimised as outsiders. I had to do something to put an end to this; hence I raked up the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state. However, after the formation of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council in 1988, the issue was victimisation problem was more or less resolved.”

He added, "The Gorkhaland demand was a "brahmasthra" that I used which has done its job.”

The GNLF president today reiterated his demand for including the Darjeeling hills under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution that he had taken up in 2004 saying it to be the ideal arrangement. He also said the DGHC should be revived as the setup has constitutional guarantee and is a step towards Sixth Schedule status. A memorandum of understanding on this was also signed between the state and central governments and the GNLF in December 2005.

“I will take up the matter with the state and central governments once the election is over," said Ghisingh. But when reminded that the TMC’s brainchild, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, was functioning, the old septuagenarian leader said, "Whether the state government will revive the DGHC or not I don't know. But it is our political stand.”

However, Kalikote claimed in Kalimpong said, “Gorkhaland can be formed without keeping the geographical, historical and political agendas as pertinent issues. We have many documents that none of the other parties have and the GNLF will use them to secure a separate state of Gorkhaland.” The party will emerge as one of the most powerful organisations in the hills after the elections, he further averred.

On the other hand Anil Lopchan in Kalimpong said the Sixth Schedule status should be implemented regardless of whichever party forms the government and no one should oppose it. “The Sixth Schedule status comes from a voting process and no political party can discard it, and the status is to secure the future of the hills and should not be opposed by anyone,” he remarked.

Reacting to the GNLF’s decision to support TMC, Ghisingh said, "The GNLF and TMC will not campaign from the same platform. Whatever needs to be done will happen through distribution of pamphlets and I think this is more than enough.”


Mind games & right moves matters in Politics

8:10 PM
TMC
So long parties sketch road plans, it is anybody’s game

Mind games and the right move matters in politics. The maverick Subash Ghisingh’s expected move to support the Trinamool Congress’s football player Bhaichung Bhutia may have raised eyebrows to many but simultaneously it has gone on to show that, those alleging Mamata’s hand in bringing Ghisingh to the hills, has failed to address the key issue of separate state.

That Ghisingh is back in the hills could be Mamata’s politics cannot be ruled out. At the same time it cannot be ruled out that the hill party on whose hand the demand was laid by the people offered lots of weaker points for her to act in an easy way.
Subhash Ghisingh, Bimal Gurung and Mamata Banerjee
Mind games & right moves matters in Politics
In the larger context, it is easy to say than deliver. The hill party after ousting the once regarded ‘king of the hills’ in 2008 successfully was bound to find him back in the hills. The party lacked proper planning to lay the foundation for taking the demand to the highest point.

Even today, with two weeks left for the first vote to be polled, the GJM-BJP alliance is failing to tell us the actual plan and programme for the creation of Gorkhaland. The only promise made by the BJP is it would look to the demand ‘sympathetically’. The GJM is only hopeful that the BJP will create the 30th state of the country as ‘Gorkhaland’.

For once if we forget the past, Ghisingh has not uttered or demanded ‘Gorkhaland’ in the long run. He has stuck himself with implementation of sixth schedule which he feels is a stepping stone towards creation of Gorkhaland. The Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam under the sixth schedule status is a recent example to that. The centre has agreed to form a committee to look into the possibility of formation of Bodoland; a demand of the Bodo’s which is very young to Gorkhaland.  

So, even if it is Mamata’s plan to bring back Ghisingh to the hills in a bid to cut size the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) it should not pose a problem for the people of the hills so long Ghisingh has a plan to attain statehood through his silent politics. Ofcourse that means it is definitely posing threats of eradication for the GJM within just a few years as long as it does not sketch a road plan to attain statehood immediately. 

Vivek Ghatani Editor Indian Gorkhas

Will Ghisingh be kingmaker if not king?

10:54 AM
Sometime in the late '90s, at the pinnacle of his power, Subhash Ghisingh, the man who transformed peaceful but rudderless Darjeeling into a bloody hotspot that looked violently for a separate state of Gorkhaland, decided that Maa Durga should have 18 not 8 hands. All the idols that came from Siliguri suddenly sprouted nearly 20 hands, each of her extra limbs clutching fiercer weapons.


Ghisingh, after years on the periphery of Darjeeling, returned quietly on March 19 to shouts of 'GNLF zindabad'.
Ghisingh, after years on the periphery of Darjeeling, returned 
quietly on March 19 to shouts of 'GNLF zindabad'.
There was more to come. Gautam Buddha, he announced, was 18 feet tall and each of his ears weighed 10 kgs. "The earth was formed on June 20," he once said, without either care or concern for Darwin. "And in 15 years there won't be any mosquitoes in the world." And, of course, most of the men and women in the hills could trace their roots to Ukraine.

People were bewildered, but they took everything in their stride. He was, after all, the man who had given them voice and identity. Then in 2007, he did something the hills never forgave him for. Ghisingh refused to support a singer called Prashant Tamang, who was fighting to be winner of the reality show called Indian Idol.

Ghisingh's downfall started almost immediately. Bimal Gurung, then one of his henchmen, began his bizarre ride to glory first with a Prashant Tamang fan club and then, when the singer won, with an emboldened Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

By the time Ghisingh finally relinquished power, all that the former soldier of the elite 8th Gorkha Rifles was left with was a legacy of eccentricities, a long list of corruption charges, horrifying tales of excesses and, as his cohorts say, a severe bout of diarrhoea.

Ghisingh was soon literally thrown out of Darjeeling in July 2008. Living in Jalpaiguri, so complete was his defeat that when his beloved wife Dhan Kumari died in August that year, he couldn't even bring back her body, as per her last wish, for cremation to Darjeeling.

But history has turned around. Ghisingh, after years on the periphery of Darjeeling, returned quietly on March 19 to shouts of 'GNLF zindabad', the tentative welcome coinciding with the steep decline of Bimal Gurung in the intervening years. Ghisingh has now said he will announce his support on March 30 for any of the main contenders in these elections to the Darjeeling seat. It could be the BJP's SS Ahluwalia, TMC's Baichung Bhutia or Mahendra Lama, a strong independent candidate. Most believe that call will change the fortunes of these parties.

"Whoever Ghisingh finally decides to go with will have a huge edge," concedes Lama, even as some others dismiss the former's influence.

A senior leader with the GNLF feels that the frustration with Gurung is in large parts responsible for Ghisingh's "comeback." When Gurung came back as the Gorkha Territorial Administration chief in December last year after relinquishing his position five months ago in the name of Gorkhaland, he lost a fair bit of his sheen. An intense exodus of his leaders to the TMC has only compounded matters for him.

So will Ghisingh be kingmaker if not king? Perhaps Ma Durga with her 18 hands has an answer to that.

Source: timesofindia

 
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