Aruna Lama "Nightingale of the Hills"

12:04 PM
Aruna Lama (Nepali: अरुणा लामा) 9 September 1945 – 4 February 1998) was one of the well-known singers of Nepali music. She is popularly known as "Nightingale of the Hills". She sang hundreds of Nepalisongs, including some for Nepali Film, and left an indelible mark as one of the best singers in Nepali music.

Aruna Lama


Biography

Aruna Lama was born on 9 September 1945 at Ghoom Pahar, Darjeeling, British India to Nepali parents Surya Bahadur Lama and Sanmaya Lama.[1] Her uncle C.B. Lama inspired her to sing from the age of 7. She won a music competition organized by the Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Sammelan (GDNS) in 1956 at the age of 11 and then she never looked back. Amber Gurung, one of the stalwarts of Nepali music, groomed her in singing from 1958. Aruna Lama did her schooling at Mungpoo Primary School, Jalpahar, and St. Teresa's School, Darjeeling. She completed her graduate degree in arts from Darjeeling Government College. In 1963, Aruna Lama married Saran Pradhan, another Nepali musician. In 1974, her husband died and she was left with her two children, Sapna (Pradhan) Thapa and Supreet Raj Pradhan. She worked hard to raise them, working as an assistant teacher in St. Alphonsus School (1965) and finally found work at the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Welfare Office in Darjeeling where she worked till 1998. She continued to sing even with all her struggles till the end of her life.

Music

Aruna Lama sang for numerous music composers, most notably Amber Gurung, Karma Yonzon, Gopal Yonzon, Shanti Thatal, Narayan Gopal, Mani Kamal Chettri and Dibya Khaling. Her first song was composed by Amber Gurung lyrics written by Bhupi Sherchan in 1961. Some of her classic hits are Eh Kancha Malai Sunko Tara, Phool Lai Sodhey, Pohor Saal Khusi Phatda, Hera Na Hera Kancha, Laharey Bara Ghumauney Chautari, Eklai Basda and Nepali Gaurav Garchau Afnaipanma. She also sang for a number of Nepali films, such as Maitighar, Paral Ko Aago and Kanchhi, these film songs are remembered even today. Some of her notable musical performances include Raag Rajat at Gorkha Rangamanch, Darjeeling 1981; Arunanjaliat Pragya Bhawan, Kathmandu; and Aruna Lama Swarnim Saanjh at Pragya Bhawan, Kathmandu.

Awards

Aruna Lama received numerous awards both in Nepal and India for her singing and contribution to Nepali music. Some of these awards include Sangit Puraskar (1966), Sur Sringar Sammelan Puraskar (1966), Mitrasen Puraskar (Assam Nepali Sahitya /Sanskritik Parishad 1975), Dishari Puraskar (Kolkata 1980), Bhanu Academy Puraskar (Darjeeling 1982), Nepali Chalchitra Puraskar (for Maitighar 1983), Chinnlata Geet Puraskar (Kathmandu 1992), Urvashi Rang Puraskar (Kathmandu 1992), Mitrasen Sangeet Puraskar (Gangtok 1995), Gorkha Dakshina Bahu 4th (Kathmandu 1996), Sadhna Puraskar (Kathmandu), Nightingale of the Hills (Hindustan Recording Sangsthan, Kolkata), Swar Kinnari (Sitaram Sahitya Pratisthan, Kathmandu) and Swar Samagri (Arunanjali Programme, Kathmandu).

Selected songs

Kancha Malai Sunko Tara
Phool Lai Sodhey
Pohor Saal Khusi Phatyo
Nepali Gaurav Garchau Afnaipanma
Manma Timro
Hanga Hanga
Aankhama Mero
Udas Mero
Chautarima Basera
Eklai Basda
Sabaile Bhanthe
Hera Na Hera Kancha
Aankhaharule
Laharey Bara Ghumauney Chautari
Udi Jaaun Bhane Panchi Hoina (Movie: Paral Ko Aago)
Himal Sari Ma (Movie: Kanchhi)
Yee Timra Muskan (Movie: Kanchhi)
Kala Kala Sala Sala (Movie: Kanchhi)

Fake Momo Challenge messages creates panic

8:03 AM
Some people spreading fake messages to create panic, says CID All the numbers from where messages were sent to people in to play the Momo Challenge were based abroad, the CID said.

The West Bengal CID on Tuesday downplayed the growing Momo Challenge scare in the state, saying most of the messages received by people inviting them to play the alleged killer game appear to be fake, and that there is no reason to connect the recently reported suicide cases to it.
Fake Momo Challenge messages creates panic

No formal complaints regarding the game have been filed at any of the police stations in the state till date. All the numbers from where the messages were sent to people in the state to play the Momo Challenge were based abroad and an investigation has been initiated into this, the DIG (Operations), CID, Nishat Pervez said.

“Even I got the ‘Momo Challenge’ message on my cellphone but the sender is known to me. No Momo cases have been filed in any of the police stations, be it in the districts or the city, contrary to media reports. Instead, what is gaining prominence is a fake message that is being circulated through social media. The messages have no links that would take the recipient to the actual game. Even the preliminary investigation into the alleged suicidal deaths in north Bengal too did not reveal any clue relating to the ‘Momo Challenge’ having played a role in the deaths,” Pervez said.

“Fake messages can be created and that is what has happened,” he said.
Media and social media are abuzz with alleged Momo Challenge cases, and several complaints have been filed of people receiving messages asking them to play the game. But the CID said that this was nothing but mischief.

“Most of the cases investigated so far were found to be mischievous. What needs to be done is to carry out awareness campaigns and to make people, especially parents, aware. They should be extra vigilant,” said a senior CID officer.

“Should they notice any such message on their mobiles, they should immediately file complaints at the local police stations. We will probe the cases and try to identify the persons involved in it,” Pervez said.

Rifleman Nihal Gurung cremated with full military honours

7:51 PM
Sanjay Pathak Kathua, August 26 Rifleman Nihal Gurung, who was martyred during a landmine blast near the Balbir Post in the Keran sector on Sunday, was cremated with full military honours at Gagrote village in Basohli sub-division of Kathua district.

Rifleman Gurung sustained critical injuries in the blast and was taken to a 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar where he succumbed to his injuries. Rifleman Gurung, 22, was the only son of his parents. He joined the Army in 2014.
Rifleman Nihal Gurung

He was third generation soldier in his family. His father and grandfather had also served in the armed forces. While his father was with 2 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles and retired in 2004, his grandfather had retired as a subedar in 1983. His uncle Nirpat Gurung retired from the Army this year.

Rifleman Gurung was to get married next year.
Earlier, a pall of gloom descended on the Basohli sub-division as the news of his death spread. Thousands of people from all walks of life took part in Rifleman Gurung’s final journey and bid him a tearful adieu. People converged at his home in large numbers to mourn the loss of the braveheart.

Political leaders also attended the funeral possession, but no senior official of the district administration was present.

Army pays tributes to braveheart
Srinagar: The Army on Sunday paid a befitting tribute to late Rifleman Nehal Gurung who was martyred in the line of duty in the Keran sector of Kupwara district on Sunday. In a solemn ceremony at Badamibagh Cantonment, Chinar Corps commander Lt Gen AK Bhatt and all ranks paid homage to the soldier on behalf of a proud nation. Rifleman Gurung sustained fatal injuries during counter-infiltration duty in the Keran sector. “He was provided immediate first aid and evacuated to the 92 Base Hospital, but unfortunately he succumbed to his injuries,” an Army statement said.

Via Tribune

Rifleman Nehal Gurung Martyred in J&K

8:12 PM
Rifleman Nehal Gurung laid down his life in the line of duty in Keran sector, Jammu & Kashmir in an landmine explosion near Line of Control (LOC) on Saturday. In the other explosion, a soldier identified as Abhishek Chetri sustained multiple splinter injuries and has been hospitalised.

On 25th of August 2018, Nehal and his platoon were on a routine patrol, when an IED blast caused him grievous injuries. He was immediately evacuated to Srinagar, but sadly he couldn’t be saved.

According to the official a landmine blast took place near Balbir Post in Keran sector in the early morning today when army men were conducting routine patrol. In the blast, Rifleman Nehal Gurung sustained critical injuries and was evacuated to army hospital in Srinagar, where he succumbed to injuries.

Army has planted landmines at several places along the LoC to prevent infiltration of militants and Border Action Team (BAT) attacks by Pakistani troops. Meanwhile, a Special Police Officer (SPO) of Jammu and Kashmir Police posted at Police Station Shopian in south Kashmir fled from the police station along with an AK-47 rifle today.

A crisis within crisis: The fault line of India’s longest statehood demand- Gorkhaland

3:54 PM
By SHWETA RAJ KANWAR 

100 years and more, the longest statehood demand in India’s history, the demand for Gorkhaland has, many times reached its peak; and yet has always come tumbling down. Time and again, the unfulfilled aspirations have been doused by temporary promises and in 2017, the ‘Queen of Hills’ was under siege as Gorkhas all around the world stood in unison against this incessant predicament of proving their identity as Indian citizens. Despite dating back to 1907, why is it that the demand for Gorkhaland has fallen into deaf ears? Why is it that despite agitations and protests, the issue still lays unresolved, pushed into the corner of nothingness- like a dormant volcano that erupts from time to time, only to be silenced again. What is it that reignites this movement time and again at regular intervals and leaves it without any solution?
India’s longest statehood demand- Gorkhaland
India’s longest statehood demand- Gorkhaland

History of Gorkhaland demand

The demand for a separate administrative unit in Darjeeling has existed since 1907, when the Hillmen’s Association of Darjeeling submitted a memorandum to Minto-Morley Reforms demanding a separate administrative setup. Also, it may be mentioned that in 1947, the undivided Communist Party of India (CPI) submitted a memorandum to the Constituent Assembly demanding the formation of Gorkhasthan comprising Darjeeling District and Sikkim.

In the 1980s, under Gorkha National Liberation Front’s (GNLF) Subhas Ghising, the movement reached its peak. 1986-88 were on of the most violent years of protest: approximately 1,200 people died. The agitation ultimately led to the establishment of a semi-autonomous body in 1988 called the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) to govern certain areas of Darjeeling district. Eventually, Ghising faded from the limelight and in 2008, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) began spearheading the movement. In 2011, GJM signed an agreement with the state and central governments for the formation of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, another semi-autonomous body that replaced the DGHC in the Darjeeling hills.

The 2013 agitation was also one to remember wherein for the first time in 106 years, all the major political parties of the hills agreed to come together and jointly take the agitation forward. Even in 2017, the agitation bore no fruits. Protests first started on June 5, after the West Bengal government announced an intention that the Bengali language would be made mandatory in all schools across the state. People of Darjeeling and the adjoining areas who are predominantly Nepali speaking, saw this as an imposition of an alien culture upon them. Fuelled by the determination to preserve their own culture, identity and language, this protest soon turned into a full-fledged resurgence of the agitation for a separate state of Gorkhaland. July 30, 2017 saw the culmination of Gorkhas (and also some non-Gorkhas) all over the world taking part in a Global Rally for Gorkhaland. And as the Gorkha Global Rally completes a year in 2018, the issue still remains at large.

Where the problem lies
As is evident from history, agitations and semi-autonomous bodies have not been able to provide any respite to the Gorkhas’ demand. What is clearly lacking here is an accountable and transparent leadership- one that inspires not only a group of people but that which motivates everyone to come along with him/her and move forward for a common cause with renewed strategies and fresh perspectives.

On these lines, Shankar Pandey, a lawyer from Shillong opines, “Talking about leadership, accountable and transparent leadership is the need of the hour. It may be recalled that during Subhash Ghishing’s time, everybody looked up to him in the hope that he would give them Gorkhaland in a platter but the results proved otherwise. In 2017 again, it was the same state of affairs. However, a close look in the 2017 agitation will show a difference in strategic approach. It has been seen that people have learnt their lessons and GJM chief, Bimal Gurung was at the centre of the storm as people were on the lookout for accountability and transparency.”

It has been seen time and again that the major problem with Gorkhaland movement is the attitude of shifting responsibilities to one person or a group of people who display a level of ‘so-called’ leadership which is not even visible to common masses. It is significant to realise that the onus of Gorkhaland falls upon each and every Gorkha residing in any part of the world. Another major problem with the Gorkhaland demand is the presence of power corridor- A sense of democracy needs to be instilled in the minds of leaders.

“Gorkhaland is purely a matter of safeguarding identity”, Mr. Shankar adds. “When we compare the demand for Gorkhaland to those of Telangana, Uttarakhand and the likes, we see that the demand for these states was solely made from developmental point of view but this is definitely not the case with Gorkhaland. However, this does not mean that development is not a major factor in Darjeeling Hills, but identity is a primary force while all others feature subsequently”, he states.

The problem of identity crisis has been haunting the Gorkhas in India since times immemorial. Hence, this is not a fight for a separation from India but a fight of Indians to retain who they are!

Mr. Shankar makes an important point when he says, “The issue of identity can only be solved by statehood and not by any form of autonomous body of governance that has been seen as a solution to douse previous agitations. This is an attempt to dilute the greater demand”.

What is the solution?

“There is a need to set up a mass network of which each and every Gorkha can be part of a larger platform. The movement should not be confined to only the hills of Darjeeling but to all over India. Everybody should come together and take responsibility. There should be Gorkhaland campaigns and we should hold leadership accountable to us. There is no proper information dissemination. Knowledge is power and lack of knowledge makes the people and movement weak”, says Mr. Shankar.

The need for alternate leadership with young people from all fronts of life is the need of the hour. Youth should take up responsibility to cover up the limitations in the movement. A fresh approach is needed. Darjeeling is lagging behind in every front in terms of overall development as compared to other states of West Bengal which all the more justifies the need for demand of separate statehood.

It is a test of endurance and this is not the time to fade away into oblivion. This is infact the only movement that says that Gorkhas want to be part of India with an identity of their own. It is not about ‘Azaadi’ here, it is about ‘Identity’ while upholding the saying ‘Bharat Maata ki Jai!’

“Gorkhaland is not only about protests and agitation. It is time to understand that there are other more influential methods of demanding the same. It is high time we change our approach and work together smartly for a common cause. Even at the grassroot level, it is important for people to know what the movement is all about so that they can form opinions and work towards attainment of a larger cause. Ignorance in this case is definitely not bliss”, he adds

Founding Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University, Mahendra P Lama, while addressing a gathering in Shillong, Meghalaya on the Gorkhaland movement last year also drew focus to an important point when he said, “The problem of Gorkhaland does not belong to only Darjeeling alone but it is a national issue. The identity problem with Indian Gorkhas has increased manifold as we do not have a proper state representation”. Mr Lama was the pro vice chancellor of IGNOU and at the age of 45, he became the youngest vice chancellor of a central university in India.

He emphasises on the need to create a central committee to bring matters concerning all Gorkhas into the fray. For this, Mr. Lama stresses on the need for an organizational structure in the form of a central body that would overarch the national body and the inclusion of a national negotiating team as well. Following this, the next step would be to take the Gorkhaland issue to the National level with Parliamentary discussions on it. The issue should reach political parties, national civil society and other stakeholders including industrial and business houses.

He goes on to state that the orientation of the movement should undergo a major shift from emotional outpourings to more concrete discussions and debate. Tangible restructuring and reorientation of leadership pattern and political action should be carried out while also focusing more on central government to solve the issue rather than approaching the state government thereby confining the movement only to local fronts. It is important that a central committee should comprise of credible faces and influential minds so that the union government will take the plunge and be serious about negotiations.

Gaurav Lama, a supporter of Gorkhaland movement adds, “The movement in 2017 gained much more attraction due to social media. While it is good that the common man was honestly and strenuously involved, we must strive to strike deep into the BJP camp to make inroads. We must try to convince top BJP heads to push this matter forward.

The ruling government must prove to be more than just another power greedy party. They must come forth and stand by their promise of working on making Gorkhaland a reality. This can be achieved only if the senior BJP leaders are serious about Gorkhaland and if there are a bunch of people who shall talk to and remind the BJP senior hierarchy that they have their promises to keep.”

As is rightly said, “We have to tread the unorthodox path. A desperate situation requires a desperate solution”-Mahendra P.Lama

DISCLAIMER- The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TNT- The Northeast Today. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of TNT- The Northeast Today

The writer can be reached at shwetarajkanwar@gmail.com & shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

Via The Northeast Today

GPPK & Gorkha NGOs to organise Balidan Diwas

9:05 AM
DIMAPUR | 8/24/2018: Gorkha Public Panchayat Kohima (GPPK) in association with Gorkha NGOs will be organising Balidan Diwas in memory of Shaheed Major Durga Malla, captain, Neikezhakuo Kenguruse and other martyrs at the Gorkha Public Panchayat Complex, Chandmari Kohima on August 25, 8 a.m.

A press release from GPPK press & publicity secretary, Anup Rana stated that the Gorkha community including the Gorkha defence ex-service man will pay rich tribute to all the martyrs during the program. The organisers have invited one and all to the program.

Via Nagaland Post

 
Copyright © Indian Gorkhas. Designed by Darjeeling Web Solutions