Showing posts with label language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label language. Show all posts

No matter who loses, we, the Gorkhas, have already won

8:05 AM
Writes: Upendra

In the 2019 elections, Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat is being viewed by almost everyone interested in politics as a litmus test to adjudge if the Gorkha aspirations of having a state of our own will prevail, or if the iron will of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee to obliterate the demand forever will deal a crushing blow to the same.

In the muddled regional political atmosphere, which has gone topsy-turvy post the 2017 Gorkhaland agitation, it would take a political analyst of superhuman powers to predict who will win the seat. While the BJP sounds hopeful of retaining the seat, TMC is confident they will wrestle the seat away from the BJP, which has held the seat for 10-long-years, and has nothing to show for it. Chequering the political equation further is the lack of a strong regional political party that could decisively swing the elections one way or the other.

Currently, for me though, no matter which candidate loses, the Gorkhas have already won, and here’s why.

2017: The game changer

Not many may be aware that till date, Nepali – a language, which is one of the recognised national languages of India, and is included under the 8th Schedule of our Constitution, is not included as an optional paper in the West Bengal Civil Services (WBCS). While one can choose Nepali as an optional paper in the IAS exams, its non-inclusion was highlighted repeatedly in West Bengal Legislative Assembly, yet the powers that be have continued their defiant stand against Nepali language inclusion in WBCS.
These are copies of the same textbook -- same class, same subject. While the copy on the left, for Nepali medium schools, is printed in black and white, the right is for Bengali medium schools, printed in colour
File image

Instances of textbooks published by the West Bengal Secondary School Board discriminating against Nepali language have been reported in local media over the years. The most blatant of all being a Nepali medium book being printed in black and white, whereas books in other languages were printed in colour. After the failure of Gorkhaland agitation in 2013, the Trinamool Congress government had increasingly shown their disdain towards Nepali language, and there was a growing resentment against the same.

On May 15, 2017, West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee made an announcement that “the government [of WB] will introduce three-language policy, the students will have to take Bengali compulsory as one of the three languages”.

This same fact was reiterated by Mamata herself in a Facebook post dated May 16.

The Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars, which have a very cosmopolitan mixture of Gorkhas – Nepali, Lepcha, Bhutia – Adivasis, Rajbonshis, Rabha, Toto, Mech, Bengali, Bihari, Marwari, Punjabi and almost every other major ethnic groups from various parts of India erupted in protests. Leading the protests were the Gorkhas whose lingua franca is Nepali.

Gorkhaland agitation: A quick recall

Protests against attempt at linguistic imperialism on the part of TMC government quickly snowballed into a full-fledged demand for separate state of Gorkhaland. Even quicker was the response of the state machinery, which violently crushed the movement. The Gorkhas, who were demanding the formation of a Gorkhaland state within the geographic, political and constitutional contours of India, were labelled as separatists and terrorists. The administration even said those demanding Gorkhaland have linkages to militants in Northeast and Maoists in Nepal, they didn’t bother mentioning which faction, though.
Darjeeling residents take part in a protest against, what they call, linguistic imperialism

Towards the end of September 2017, the Gorkhaland statehood movement had died a natural death, with movement leaders choosing to go underground.

Ready at hand were second-rung leaders, who quickly stepped in to fill the void, not in leading the agitation for Gorkhaland statehood, but in handling the local Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) on behalf of the West Bengal government.

Since then, there have been attempts at completely subverting any and all forms of expressing of the Gorkha identity issue in the region.

As all of this was unfolding BJP and its entire leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi preferred to keep a safe distance from the entire issue, and didn’t even utter a single word of sympathy, solidarity, support or outrage. It was almost like, for BJP, the perils facing Gorkhas was an unpleasant distraction, they could very well do without.

The Congress and CPI (M), the other two main political parties in the region, did make some noise about everyone coming to the table and indulging in a dialogue to resolve the impasse, both were functionally indifferent towards the plight and sufferings of the Gorkhas.

Time and tide

But the Gorkhas are a hardy bunch, and we endured all the hardships, with a smile on our lips and hope in our hearts.

Today, as the election comes knocking at the door, lo and behold, the Gorkhas are a priority for all the political parties. Every major political party is trying their best to reconnect with the Gorkhas, whom they had, for all intent and purpose, forsaken and left for dead only a year ago.

Today, three among the four major political parties have nominated a Nepali speaking individual as their candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat. BJP has nominated Raju Bista, CPI (M) has nominated Saman Pathak, and Trinamool Congress has nominated Amar Singh Rai. Congress has nominated Sankar Malakar, who by the virtue of being a bhoomiputra from Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency is fluent in Nepali. In fact on his very day after being given the Congress ticket, he headed to Kurseong and interacted with the locals, reminding them of TMC atrocities and BJP betrayals in the language majority of the people in the region speak – Nepali.

Raju Bista is a political novice, but what swung BJP ticket in his favour was his Indian Gorkha heritage. The BJP is hoping that his ‘Gorkhaness’ will rub off against the unpopular anti-Gorkha stand of TMC during the Gorkhaland agitation in the region and help their candidate to shine. Their secret weapon, his mother tongue, is the same that of the shared lingua franca of our region – Nepali.

Saman Pathak comes with years of experience in politics; in fact, he is one of the most experienced candidates around. His father, Anand Pathak, too, has represented Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in Parliament, and he was himself a member of Rajya Sabha previously. His mother tongue, too, is Nepali.

As for Trinamool Congress, which wanted to impose Bengali across West Bengal, they didn’t move even a single paper in that regard after the protests against their attempted linguistic imperialism broke out in Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars. What is almost ironic is that TMC that brutally crushed down the demand for a land of our own is desperately trying to project their candidate Amar Singh Rai as a son-of-the soil Bhoomiputra. The very same TMC that had labelled Gorkhas as being separatists and terrorists, is today talking about protecting the IDENTITY of the Gorkhas.

The Gorkhas have endured, now it’s time to thrive

From my count, we, the Gorkhas, have endured all that the time, government, system and bureaucracy had thrown our way, and survived. We are still Gorkhas – unchanged, and our indomitable spirit remains unconquered. Every political party that had sought to crush us, that had been indifferent towards our plight, that had been apathetic to our distress, that had been unconcerned towards our misery and suffering are today pandering to us.

For me, this is a win

We, the Gorkhas, have survived, and no matter who loses the upcoming elections or wins, we shall thrive.

(Upendra M Pradhan is a Darjeeling-based political analyst and editor-at-large at The Darjeeling Chronicle. He can be reached at pradhanum@gmail.com)

Source - https://www.eastmojo.com/opinion/2019/04/09/no-matter-who-loses-we-the-gorkhas-have-already-won

Nepali language as one of the most takers during CBSE

2:23 PM
JAI GORKHA: Punjabi, Malayalam, Bengali, Nepali found most takers during CBSE boards

In the recently concluded CBSE board examinations, Punjabi, Malayalam and Tamil were the regional language papers with the most number of candidates in class X.

In class XII, the highest number of candidates appeared for Punjabi and Bengali papers, with Nepali coming in third.

The board offers 38 languages at the class XII level, and 34 at the class X level. These include Hindi, English and Urdu, along with a range of regional and some foreign languages.

Among the foreign languages, French was the most popular — 15,722 candidates in class X and 134 in class XII. German was the second most popular, with 2,611 in class X and 80 in class XII.

[Via: Indian Express]

सुके पोखरी मा मनाइयो भानु जयन्ती। अनिकेश प्रधान मुख्य अतिथिको रुपमा उपस्थित।

7:12 PM

सुके पोखरी मा मनाइयो भानु जयन्ती। अनिकेश प्रधान मुख्य अतिथिको रुपमा उपस्थित।

सुके पोखरी का सन्त मिलारेप्पा अकादमी स्कुल ले पनि भानु जयन्ती भब्य रुप ले मनाए जहाँ स्कुल का छात्राहरुले रामायण श्लोक, कविता वाचन, गित संगीत अनि नृत्य को प्रस्तुति दिए एवम् शिक्षक शिक्षिकाहरु ले सङित को प्रस्तुती दिए तेति मात्र न भएर हाजिरीजवाफ प्रतियोगिता नेपाली साहित्य जगत को बारेमा राखिएको थियो जहाँ छात्रबर्ग ले  उत्सुक्ता साहित उत्तरहरु पनि दिए।

उक्त कार्यक्रम्मा मुख्य अतिथी को भार कवि, समाजिक कार्यकर्ता अनि कलाकार श्री अनिकेश प्रधान ले लिनु भएको थियो भने अध्यक्षता को भार स्कुल का उप अध्यापक श्री मनोज राई ले लिनु भएका थिए अनि स्कुल का नेपाली शिक्षक श्री नरेस थापा ले कार्यक्रमलाइ संचालित गर्नु भएको थियो।

_ म पनी जाने Rising Star*

6:37 AM

लगातार 104 दिने पहाड बन्द भएपछि
13 जना भगत सिगं सहिद भएपछि
हजारौ क्रान्तिकारी जेल गएपछि
गोर्खाल्याण्डका आवाजहरू भूमिगत् भए पछि
"म पनी जाने Rising Star*,

ऐतिहासिक बन्द बेअर्थ फिर्ता लिएपछि
क्रान्ती थन्काएर शान्ति रोजे पछि
उन्मुक्ति संग डेभ्लपमेन्ट साटे पछि
सहिद परिवारले सहिदको ज्याला पाए पछि
'म पनी जाने Rising Star*

विभिषणहरू लकां गए पछि
सत्तामोहले दासत्व श्विकारे पछि
उर्दिवालाहरूको तन्खा र पदोन्नती भएपछि
मरौ घरमा उत्सव राखे पछि
_म पनी जाने Rising Star*

(Note- मलाई नाँच्न र गाउँन त त्यती आउँदै तै पनी Rising Star* को खिताब जित्न कवि अगमसिंह गिरी द्वारा रचित तथा स्व अम्बर गुरूङको सगींत र स्वर भएको यो गीत अभ्यास गर्दैछु।

'गीतको बोल यस्तो छ_

हो, नौ लाख तर उदाए, धर्तीको आकाश हाँसेछ।
शरद लाग्यो बनमा, फुलले प्रीति गाँसेछ।
नजली यहाँ झिलिली, मनको तारा निभेछ।
गुराँस फुल्यो पहाडमा, मनको फुल झरेछ।
नसम्झ आज नेपाली, सन्चोले यहाँ बाँचेको।
काँडा कै माझ पहाडी, छैन र कहाँ हाँसेको…२।
सुनको सपना आँसुमा, किन हो बाँधील्यायौ नि।
घरको माया बिर्सेर, किन पो यहाँ आयौ नि…२।

हो, मुटुको रगत एउटै हो, पिरको वह बेग्लै छ।
हामीलाई यहाँ चिन्यौ कि, मनको चोट बेग्लै छ।
नियाली हेर हामीलाई, भिजेको छैन परेला।
आँसुले गह भिजाए, अरुले निर्धा सम्झेला।
बुझ्छ र कस्ले रोएको मुटुमा काँडा लिएर।
अरुका सारमा हाँसेको, आँसुका घुट्का पिएर…२।
पहाडी फुल नफक्री, किन हो चुँडिल्यायौ नि।
मनको आगो निभाउन, किन पो यहाँ आयो नि…२।

-(हार्दीक श्रद्दा सुमन, स्व कवि अगमसिंह गिरी, स्वर्गीय अम्बर गुरुङ, अनी गोर्खाल्याण्ड आन्दोलनमा होमिएका सहिदहरू प्रति।)

-एक जातिय कलाकार

Trinamul invokes Hindi to score a point against GJM

10:58 AM

Trinamul invokes Hindi to score a point - Ruling party counters Morcha decision to allow billboards only in Nepali and English

Writes: Vivek Chettri

Darjeeling, June 11: The Trinamul Congress has decided to counter the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's decision to allow billboards only in English and Nepali in the hills and ignore Hindi.

"We have decided to take on the Morcha's decision not to allow billboards in Hindi too. Hindi is our national language and as the nation comes first, we will take this issue with the Prime Minister," said Binny Sharma, Trinamul's spokesperson in the hills.

Sources in Trinamul said the decision to rake up the Hindi issue was an attempt to not only counter the Morcha but also its ally, the BJP.

"The Morcha is an ally of the BJP but by raising an issue close to its electoral constituency, the Trinamul Congress is trying to corner the Morcha and put the BJP on the backfoot in the rest of Bengal," said a political observer

The Morcha's announcement, the sources said, was to counter Mamata Banerjee's alleged decision to make Bengali compulsory in schools despite the chief minister's assurance that the language would be made optional in the hills.

The government decision had given the Morcha an opportunity to revive the Gorkhaland demand, observers said.

Sharma said: "We know that the Morcha is a junior partner of the NDA but we also want to know from the BJP leadership on the stand over the Morcha's decision not to allow Hindi billboards in the region. We believe this is a threat to the Hindi-speaking people of the region. We will take up this issue at the highest level."

Asked about the alleged decision to make Bengali compulsory at schools, Sharma said: "The Morcha just speaks lies. The chief minister has clarified and moreover, there is no government order on Bengali being made compulsory in the hills."

Trinamul insiders in Siliguri today said the state leadership had instructed the hill unit to act in a "sublime and effective manner", unlike the state administration that was all set to act firmly against the Morcha from tomorrow.

"We have been specifically instructed to abstain from any move that can create an opportunity for the Morcha to perpetrate violence," said a Trinamul leader.

Via: Telegraph
Pic: Screen Shot of tweet from Republic

GJM Meeting Update: Indefinite Strike from Monday

10:58 PM

In a meeting held today which ended later in the evening, GJM has decided to observe indefinite strike across Darjeeling hills, Terai, and Dooars from Monday onwards. However, the strike will be limited only to the government establishments, including GTA. Schools and colleges have been kept completely outside of bandh purview, while banks have been allowed to operate on Mondays. Vehicles will also operate normally.

The highlights of the decisions taken in the meeting are:

*GJM to observe indefinite strike from Monday. All the govt offices (Central, State & GTA) to remain closed for indefinite period. School, Colleges to remain open and vehicles to run normally.

*All the posters and hoardings in Bengali to be removed from Darjeeling hills, Terain and Dooars.

*All party meeting called on June 13.

*Banks to open only on Mondays and Thursdays.

*27-30th June - All Govt. Offices & Banks to remain open.

*Every Monday evening GJM will hold torch rallies across Darjeeling hills, Terai & Dooars.

*Thursdays and Fridays - GJM to hold rallies demanding Gorkhaland.

Bengali optional in hills: CM Mamata Banerjee

4:48 PM

-BIRESWAR BANERJEE

Mirik, June 5: Mamata Banerjee today said Bengali would not be compulsory at schools in the Darjeeling hills and in certain areas of the Dooars and the Terai.

The chief minister's about-turn is perceived to be aimed at meeting the twin objectives of soothing the frayed nerves in the hills and retaining the advantage Trinamul had made in recent civic polls.

Despite Mamata's announcement, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha said it would continue to hold processions across the hills till June 8 on the language issue.

Mamata made the announcement at a government programme here amidst an agitation launched by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on the language issue.

"Some persons here are playing politics and trying to divide people. The GTA elections are ahead and as they lack a proper issue, they are spreading rumours. We want to make it clear that Bengali will not be a compulsory language in the hills and in some parts of the Terai and the Dooars," Mamata said.

After the state government had made public its plan to make learning of Bengali compulsory at schools, Mamata and education minister Partha Chatterjee said the decision would be applicable to the hills as well.

However, the chief minister made a U-turn in Mirik today and said Bengali would be the fourth language in the hills.

"If Bengalis can read Nepali, then why can't Gorkhas read Bengali? We want to keep Bengali as an optional language as students in the hills need to know Bengali. In due course, when they will move out to other parts of the state for jobs, this learning will help them. It will be an optional language here," she said.

The change in the decision, observers said, was necessary to ensure that the hills did not shun Trinamul that had just won Mirik municipality and some seats in three other hill civic bodies.

"The decision had led to protests in the hills and the Morcha that was a bit upset after losing Mirik to Trinamul got a pertinent issue to revive its support base. After today's announcement, the situation has again become favourable for Trinamul," an observer said.

Mamata also said the state government would audit the spending of funds by the GTA that is administered by the Morcha.

(Via:Telegraph )

We won't accept compulsory imposition of Bengali language" - RB Rai (CPRM)

4:00 PM

LANGUAGE ISSUE: "We won't accept compulsory imposition of Bengali language" - RB Rai

Senior Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) leader and former Member of Parliament RB Rai has come out strongly against the proposed implementation of Bengali as a compulsory languages to be taught in schools.

Speaking to the press Mr RB Rai who was one of the leading figures in the struggle for the recognition of Nepali as one of the National languages of India under the VIIIth schedule of the Indian Constitution, said "the third language should remain optional and shouldn't be made compulsory and shouldn't be forcefully implemented... Optional means the right to choose, there was talk about having a third language in schools earlier too and Hindi along with other languages were given as a choice for the third language... today they want to remove Hindi and make Bengali language mandatory... we will not accept this... no one can impose the language people don't want to learn and we oppose any such move in strongest terms."

Mr. Rai also said, "this issue should not be given a political colour, and people from various backgrounds such as Literature, Education and Society should give leadership to the movement opposing any such move... and if it is done at a political level, then a collective leadership must be formed to steer the language related protests."

 
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