MP Raju Bista Presses I&B Minister for the Upgradation of Kurseong Radio station

10:06 AM

Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met Prakash Javdekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting today regarding highlighted the issue regarding the Kurseong Radio Station and need of its upgradation. MP office has issued a press statement informig about the meeting.

Heres the full press release by Office of MP, Darjeeling.

Today, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met with Hon’ble Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar ji to inform him about the significance of Kurseong Radio Station, and the need to upgrade the existing SW Transmitter to DRM transmitter.

On the 30th of July, 2019 a notice had been issued by Directorate General, All India Radio ordering the shutting down of 21 non-functional Short Wave transmitters, among which SW Transmitter in Kurseong was one.

Following this, staff members from AIR Kurseong had approached MP Bista through GJM Working President Shri. Lobsang Lama and had shared with him their concerns regarding the impact such an order could have on India’s only fully dedicated Nepali language AIR Station.

MP Bista informed the Hon’ble Minister that AIR Kurseong is the only radio station in the country that runs most of its program in Nepali, a language listed under the VIIIth Schedule of our constitution. MP Bista impressed upon Hon’ble Javadekar ji that while he supported the need for shutting down non-functional SW transmitters, however Kurseong’s SW Transmitter was fully functional and was providing service among the listeners from remote rural areas to listeners spread as far as Australia.

He also highlighted how shutting down of the SW transmitter will not only hamper the relay of information but given that our region is right next to China, in terms of National Security too it could pose a risk to remove the SW Transmitter without putting any alternatives in place.

He requested the Hon’ble Minister to:

• Put a stay on the shutting down of SW Transmitter in Kurseong, till the new DRM transmitter is put in place.

• Replace the existing transmitter with a new and modern 300KW DRM Transmitter, instead of merely removing the existing SW Transmitter.

• Develop Kurseong as an Earth Station, so that all the programs in Nepali language is can be created and broadcast nationally from there.

The Hon’ble Minister listened to the requests made by MP Bista and made a note of all the issues raised. He assured MP Bista that Kurseong Radio Station will continue to broadcast programs.

Reacting to the development, MP Bista said, “Since its inception in 1962, Kurseong AIR has contributed immensely to integrate the Nepali-speaking people with the rest of the nation. In our region, people consider AIR Kurseong station as part of our cultural heritage and this station has huge sentimental value and goodwill among the Nepali-speaking communities around the world. This station played a vital role in relaying information and keeping people updated during the 1962 Indo-China war. So we need to make sure that this station continues to broadcast at its full capacity.”

He added, “Because Darjeeling is a high mountain region, the reach of an FM transmitter is very limited, whereas SW transmitter helps reach all important information to the masses. Most of the people in rural Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts listen to all important information and programs, including PM Narendra Modi’s Maanki Baat using SW radio transmission. I have therefore requested Javadekar ji to replace the existing SW transmitter with a new and modern 300KW DRM Transmitter, this way AIR Kurseong will be able to reach a much wider audience internationally.”

He added, “I will do my best to work towards converting AIR Kurseong into an Earth Station, this way their programs can be broadcast via all digital platforms, and it will help our Nepali language singers, song writers, dramatists, artists, poets, story tellers and others to reach a much wider audience internationally.”

Office of Raju Bista
Member of Parliament, Darjeeling"

Fellowship for Nepali Language Research Scholars and Artists

12:46 PM
Ministry of Culture Initiates Fellowship for Nepali Language Research Scholars and Artists

Ministry of Culture has included Nepali and Santhali languages for Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) fellowship after a delegation led by  Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met and requested for so. The delegation included the members from Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha (ANSS). Informing about the meeting and thanking ministry about the swift action taken by Ministry of Culture, Office of MP, Darjeeling has sent out a press release. Here is the full press release:
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista and Delegation with Cultural Minister Prahlad Singh Patel
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista and Delegation with Cultural Minister Prahlad Singh Patel

"Office of MP, Darjeeling
Press Statement, 31st July 2019

On the 18th of July 2019, the Darjeeling MP Raju Bista had led a delegation of Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha (ANSS) members to meet with Hon’ble Prahalad Singh Patel Ji MoS (IC) for Culture and Tourism.

During the meeting with the Hon’ble Cultural Minister MP Bista highlighted how Nepali, despite being one of the National Languages of India under the VIIIth Schedule of our Constitution, had not been accorded due respect and support from the Central Government.

Among other things, MP Bista and the delegation informed the Hon’ble Minister that there was a need for support from the Ministry of Culture to our Nepali scholars and artists, and how Nepali had been kept out of the purview of languages that were receiving Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT).

Today, the Hon’ble Minister announced that the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training Fellowship will now be given to scholars and artists from Nepali language. Speaking to the Press, he said, ‘Under the Ministry of Culture there are provisions for fellowships and scholarships, a discrepancy had been brought to my notice. It had been brought to my notice that Nepali language had not been included under this fellowship and scholarship initiative. We have 22 Scheduled Languages in India, and despite English and Khasi not being a part of the Scheduled Languages Fellowships were being given to scholars in these languages, but despite Nepali and Santhali being part of the Scheduled Languages they were not included. Today, we have included both the languages (Nepali and Santhali) to be included under these Fellowships and Scholarships.”

Reacting to the development, MP Bista said, “ANSS executive members Dr. Khagen Sharma, Durga Khatiwada, Rudra Baral, and Dhaka Ram Kafley had brought to my attention some very important issues concerning the preservation and propagation of our mother tongue. Together, we had requested the Hon’ble Minister to look into our issues, Prahalad Singh Patel ji had assured us that he will take necessary action at the earliest. I am most thankful that the action has been very swift. I remain grateful to the Patel ji for this.”
MP Bista added, “We have raised many other important issues, which requires inter-Ministerial collaboration, with the Ministers concerned, and in due course of time, I will continue to follow up on the issues we have raised.” Among the issues, MP Bista is pursuing are:

1. Establishment of National Council for Promotion of Nepali Language

2. Establishment of Centre for Nepali Language Studies in Central Universities - JNU, DU, Himachal Pradesh Central University, Baba Sahab BR Ambedkar University Lucknow, Nalanda University, Visva Bharati (Santiniketan).

3. Appointment of at least two permanent Nepali language faculty members in Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIL)

4. Greater emphasis on Nepali language publication from National Book Trust

5. Establishment of dedicated Nepali Language channel in Doordarshan and All India Radio

6. Publication of Central Government Notifications and Advertisements in Nepali.

Office of Raju Bista
Member of Parliament, Darjeeling"


प्रणय प्रधान को मृत्यु - गोर्खालीहरुलाई भारत भरी हेपेको कुरा

8:07 PM
गोर्खालीहरुलाई भारत भरी हेपेको कुरा कुनै नया कुरा होइन तेस्मा हामी गोर्खाली जाती डटेको नै छैनौ, "तेस्तो त भै रहन्छ" भनेर टाली दिन्छौ तर हिज आज यो हेपाइ ले रेखा पार गरेको के मलाइ अनि केही जागरुक जन्ताहरुलाई मात्र आभास भएको हो? आज प्रणय प्रधान को मृत्यु भयो अस्पताल मा जो हिजो अस्ति दिल्ली को गुण्डाहरु ले कुटेर मर्नु र बाच्नु हुने स्थिती मा फ्याकी दिएको थियो। 

एति मात्र कहाँ हो र निकै छ नि एस्ता हरु अनि यो सब घटना भै सकेर के गर्छौ र फेस्बुक मा दुई तीन वटा पोस्ट हालेर शोक मनाउछौ, आफू ले मात्र देख्ने बजार को भित्ता मा पोस्टर टाल्छौ अनि बाँस! काम टर्यो मैले गर्ने कर्तव्य निभाए भनेर ठूलो श्वास फेरेर आफ्नो परिवार सङ रमाउछौ तर त्यो मरौ परेको परिवार मा के हुँदै होला अनि त्यो मरौ कस्ले गर्दा परेको हो? हामी आफै ले गर्दा, हो! हामी ले गर्दा त्यो घर मा मरौ परेको हो अरु बेला अरु ले हेप्दा हामी दरो भएर डटेर युद्ध गरेको भए आज त्यो मरौ पर्थेन होला फेस्बुक र त्यो कोसै ले पत्तो न गर्ने भित्ता मा हावा हावा को पोस्टर न टालेर खास रण भुमी मा ओर्लेको भए आज त्यो मरौ पर्थेन।

खुकुरी उठाउनु भनेको होइन, लडाइ गर्नु भनेको होइन खुन खराबा गर्नु भनेको होइन, मानव्ता हराएको सन्सार मा यो हेपाइ खानु परेको स्थिती मा राज्निती ले अलिकती पनि काम गरेको छैन ईतिहास साक्षी छ अनि बर्तमन पनि। के फाइदा करोड करोड को बाटो बनाएर जब हेपाइ मा हिड्नु पर्यो भने, के फाइदा पावर र पोजिसन को जस्ले आफ्नै घाँटी मा बाध्धिएको लुगा सिलाउने धागो पनि चुट्टाउन सकेन भने?

नचिनिने भएछौ भन्ने कविता त भुतकाल मै लेख्नु भएको थियो तेति बेला त न चिनिने भएको थिएछ हाम्रो जाती अब झन के भै सक्यो सबैलाई थाहा छ। प्रणय प्रधान त सबै हेपाइ को एउटा एक्जाम्पल मात्र हो तेस्तो एक्जाम्पल त कति छ कति जो मर्न पनि सक्दैन बाच्न पनि सक्दैन। अनि हामी के गर्न सक्छौ? केइ न केइ, अह! एति गर्न सक्छै फेस्बुक मा एउटा पोस्ट हाल्नु अनि नेताहरु ले कसै ले पत्तो न गर्ने भित्ता मा पोस्टर टाल्नु।

स्कुल कलेज मा एन्टि रेग्गिङ सर्टिफिकेट बनाउनु लगाउछ एड्मिस्सन गरि सकेर रेग्गिङ्ग न होस भनेर, यदि भएको ख्ण्ड मा जस्ले गर्छ तेस्लाइ प्रसासन ले डन्ड दिन्छ हामी गोर्खा जाती पनि त स्कुल भित्रै छौ अनि स्कुल को नाउ हो भारत। किन हामीलाई मात्र छुट्टाउछ? किन हामी मात्र हेप्पिन्छौ?हामी मिलेर किन बस्न सक्दैनौ?हामी डटेर किन लड्न सक्दैनौ? के हामी न बिकि बस्न सक्दैनौ?

आदत भै सक्यो आदत निहुरेर हिड्ने हेपाइ खाने कस्ले जिम्मेवारी उठाउछ हामी हेपिएको? को जिम्मेदार छ हाम्रो हेपाइ को? के हेपिएरै जीवन बिताउने आज प्रणय प्रधान को मृत्यु भएको छ यदि हाम्रो जाती हेपाइ न खाने भए अरु जाती सम्मान भए कसैले आँखा उठाएर हेर्न सक्दैन थियो तर भयो होइन? भोलि हाम्रो जाती को पनि एसरी अस्पताल मा मृत्यु न होस जोगाएर राखौ, यो जन्ता ले याद राख्नु पर्छ नेता ले याद राख्नु पर्छ अनि सर्कार ले याद राख्नु पर्छ।

अनिकेश प्रधान

Darjeeling MP Raju Bista elected as a member of the Tea Board

5:16 PM
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista has been elected as one of the members of the Tea Board of India. When he was asked by a journalist about his further course of action after being elected, he responded as follows:

"As you are aware the Darjeeling Hills, Terai and Dooars along with neigbouring Assam produce some of the finest tea in the world, yet this industry is gradually dying.

Numerous gardens in our region have shut down, the tea garden workers and their families are suffering, and at the same time our tea industry is facing increasing competition internationally.

 My role will be to bring together all the stakeholders – workers, government, and industry representatives to develop a possible road map for the rights of the workers to be protected, rejuvenation of the tea industry in India, and create a healthy win-win situation for everyone.

I will be pushing for a comprehensive review of the Plantation Labours Act 1951, and implementation of the Minimum Wages Act. I am sure other members also share similar sentiments, so we will all work together to make this happen."

Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa - unsung Sino-India war hero

7:55 AM
Remembering forgotten Sino-India 1962 War hero Late Hav. Shere Thapa is no less a martyr than Anyone.

                      ‘Punya Smaran
   Swargiya Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa
                 2 J &K RIF “Bodyguard”
   
       Is veer ne 1962 mein Chiniyo ki chakke udaye
Inka naam yahan ke bacche bacche ke zaban par hain
       Deshvasiyo ki aur se tumhe sat- sat pranam.’

Itanagar , Fri, 19 Oct 2012 ANI
By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)

Itanagar, Oct. 19 (ANI): His light machine gun boomed relentlessly, like a roaring tiger. One after another unsuspecting Chinese soldiers were killed and fell into the Ngo River without anyone to count. The day was October 18 half-a-century ago.

A brave Shere Thapa of the Indian Army's 2 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, hiding in a very advantageous position, fired non-stop as his lone soldier-mate continued changing the carbines.
Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa - unsung Sino-India war hero

The People's Liberation Army of China had sneaked through the Tama Chung Chung Ridge. Thapa had positioned himself on a vertical slope - invincible high mountain ridge on one side, steep slope down to the Ngo stream, the source of the Subansiri River, on the other side. He had located the most strategic place, either to stop or kill the advancing Chinese soldiers.

Thapa did not notice anymore Chinese after emptying all magazines with the fired brash khokas lying scattered. He confidently came out of his bunker for a recce. Death was waiting for him. He peeped towards the heap of corpses with great satisfaction. A wounded, but alive Chinese soldier, lying on the heap along with his colleagues fired, killing him instantly.

The corpses of the Chinese soldiers were piled up so much that the river failed to carry them. This is the folklore. The great soldier is highly revered in the area for his gallantry act.

Comparatively, brave Thapa was no less a war hero than subedar Jaswant Singh Rawat (No. 4039009 of the 4th Garhwal Rifles Bn), who had fought a lone battle against the invading Chinese in Eastern Sector (Tawang). He was conferred the highest military honour, the Param Vir Chakra, for his bravery. Jaswant Garh, a few km ahead of the pass, stands tall today as a testimony to his heroism.

Political interpreter Chader Mangha along with many villagers, who carried supplies, arms and ammunition for Thapa's Army section, were witness to his bravery. Mangha, who died in 1994,was given a commendation certificate by the GoI in recognition of his service to the nation and promoted to the rank of political assistant. He had also narrated the entire episode to his daughter Yating Byaling a resident of Gosing Taying village under Taksing circle, wife of RD Minister Tanga Byaling. Byaling also vouch of the bravery of Thapa and the village folk.

Even the Chinese had respectfully buried him and left a small note praising his bravery. Why none ever bothered to honour his brave act, even posthumously is intriguing? I have high respect for Rawat as he was a great martyr, but Thapa deserves equal honour.

Villagers inhabiting the Indo-China border claim that the PLA had sent its troops through passes, including Taksing, Mechuka, Anini, etc where the forces camped waiting for orders. Had the war prolonged, Chinawould have launched a multi-pronged attack but withdrew its forces after cessation of firing, following 29 days (Oct 18 to Nov 16, 1962) of fierce battle, leading to the humiliating defeat of the Indian Army.
Supply line was cut off following retreat order which never reached the duo. Left with no food and insufficient ammunition, they feared any eventuality and decided to fight till death. Thapa sacrificed his life in Middle sector (Upper Subansiridistrict) while protecting Mother India. His mortal remains were brought to Lemiking, last rites performed and a grave built there. The neglected grave and a bridge named after him are evidences of his heroism.

"The first bridge, named after soldier Shere Thapa, with a 600m steep climb...." is the reference about him with picture of his grave found in 'Secrets of Subansiri, Himalayan Club, recoding the 2005 expedition report by a group of trekkers to famous Buddhist pilgrimage Takpa Shiri; Arunachal Expedition - Takpa Shiri; In Search of Old Pilgrimage Route to Takpa Siri 2005 and India 2005 - Alpine Journal.
Thapa knew well that without any road and communication then, expecting any support from the base camp was well neigh impossible. He decided to face the enemies as a brave soldier of Mother India. Shouldn't he be recognized, albeit late, and due honour given by bringing his heroic story before the nation.

I presumed that martyr Shere Thapa,  might not have a god father or a senior Army officer to recommend their brave act. But with facts surfacing, it is still not late to honour them. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI).

We appreciate and grateful to Hon’ble Minister Tourism Shri Nakap Nalo for rediscovering buried  story of our True Hero, a Martyr of 1962 war Late Hav. Shere Thapa.

 Via All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Welfare Youth Association

Understanding NRC: A Politically Neutral Perspective

8:27 AM
Writes: Phinjo Wangyal Gurung

"Writing is not just a form of divertissement but a healing process that soothes a perturbed and stressful mind, rejuvenates your spirit, and brings you back to life."
National Register of Citizens of India
National Register of Citizens of India - Wikipedia

An atmosphere of dubiety seems to have taken over the hills ever since the announcement that once BJP forms government at the center it will Implement National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India. People are muddled about how NRC will affect the Indian Gorkhas in real time. Contrary to the popular belief, NRC will have a definite impact on the Indian Gorkhas unless certain conditions and safeguards are met. Here in this small write up I will try and dissect NRC from a political neutral viewpoint bringing out only those facts that are related to NRC along with its implications on the Indian Gorkhas once implemented.

What is NRC?
The National Register of Citizens is a register containing the names of all the genuine Indian citizens, it was first prepared in 1951 for Assam. NRC draws its power from the Citizenship Act of 1955 and the Rules framed therein. The main objective of preparing the register is to identify illegal immigrants as foreigners and deport them back to their countries.

Issues Related with NRC
(1) The Question of Immunity
After the publication of the first draft of NRC in Assam last year about 40 lakh people were identified as illegal migrants and were excluded from NRC for various reasons, including some 1,50,000 Gorkhas, despite the fact that BJP had promised that Gorkhas living in Assam would not be excluded. Amit Shah recently made a similar promise from Kalimpong that the Gorkhas living in Darjeeling Hills will not be excluded from NRC. With BJPs protracted and strained history of breaking the Gorkhas trust and faith, only time will tell if he is really going to walk the talk this time.

Once excluded from NRC, the person ceases to be a citizen of India. He will no longer be entitled to the rights guaranteed to an Indian Citizen under the constitution and law including the right to vote. The implementation of NRC should not be taken daintily, it is an issue of profound importance with far-reaching consequence as the fate and citizenship rights of lakh of India Gorkhas is at stake here. Immunity, therefore, becomes a matter of paramount concern for all the Indian Gorkhas.

The question now arises as to why about 1,50,000 Indian Gorkhas were excluded from the register in Assam (similar exclusion can happen in Darjeeling) despite the fact that NDA government had assured them that Gorkhas living in Assam will not be touched by NRC. The answer to this question lies in the Citizenship Act of 1955.

It should be noted that NRC draws its power and authority from the Citizenship Act of 1955, therefore, any question of Immunity can only be granted through an act of Parliament by amending the Citizenship Act . Verbal assurances given at the time of the election in the election manifesto, which itself has no legal support is inutile.

The NDA Government had brought a Bill i.e. Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 which had granted immunity from being declared an illegal immigrant to persons belonging to Hindus, Buddhist, Jains, and Sikhs coming from Bangladesh and Pakistan, however, the said Bill did not mention Indian Gorkhas.  To add insult to injury the Bill did not see the light of the day and died its natural death in the Rajya Sabha. For an Ordinary Bill to be passed into a law it has to be passed by both the houses of the parliament with a simple majority. BJP led NDA still does not have the required numbers in the Rajya Sabha. Although it commands an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha it is still a minority in the Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha is BJPs Achilles Heel. This is the reason why the names of thousands of Indian Gorkhas living in Assam were struck of the National  Register on some flimsy grounds. Despite lofty promises being made the promises were not backed by law. As the commitment lacked legal support it could not be implemented therefore the fate and citizenship rights of thousands of Indian Gorkhas living in Assam still hangs in limbo.

A similar situation is brewing up in Darjeeling, only verbal assurances have been given by the party president. The Bill as it stands today, still does not specifically mention ” Indian Gorkhas”. Even if somehow the party manages to include Indian Gorkhas in the Citizenship Amendment Bill, there is no guarantee that the Bill will pass as BJP is a minority in Rajya Sabha and does not command enough support to pass an Ordinary  Bill in one go. Therefore implementing NRC in Darjeeling without specific legal immunity to the INDIAN GORKHAS is suicidal.

(2) Documentation and related matters
It has been found that the names of many persons in Assam were dropped from the draft NRC only because of minor differences in the spellings of Bengali names into English in different documents.  Several instances were encountered where a single letter variation, for example, “Omar” and “Onar”, was enough to rule that a person was a foreigner. I now ask how many of us in Darjeeling are not facing similar problems? How many of us have all their and the names of their family members correctly spelled in all their documents? To be honest I don’t. If that be the case my name along with the names of my family members will be struck off the NRC if implemented.

Likewise the rural unlettered are typically vague about their date of birth. A person could be excluded from the register if he/she told the NRC tribunal 40 when the documents recorded to be 42.

Rural uneducated women are especially in danger of exclusion from the citizenship register.  Most of them have no birth certificates, are not sent to schools and are married before they become adults, therefore, by the time their names first appear in the voters list these are in a different village where they live after marriage, which is different from those of their parents. They are told by the NRC tribunal that they have no documents to prove that they are indeed the children of the people they claim are their parents. There were cases in ASSAM of being excluded from the citizenship register on this ground alone.

(3) Opaque Process
NRC empowers the Assam police to identify anyone it suspects as foreigners and illegal migrants. How many of us can repose 100% faith and vouch that the police force works with impeccable integrity? If the police are granted such wide powers don’t you think that such power can be abused? Anyone can be picked up by the police on flimsy ground and be declared a foreigner anytime.

The police have also been empowered to refer the cases to a Foreigners Tribunal(FT). It has been alleged that the Tribunals are not presided by judges but by lawyers and in some cases by persons with no legal knowledge, who were appointed by the party.

Moreover, it has also been alleged that the police and the presiding officers in FTs( foreigners tribunal ) work just to fulfill the targets that are set by the party and not to dispense justice.

Not to mention the enormous amount of money one needs to spend fighting these legal cases in the Tribunals proving ones citizenship once declared a foreigner or an illegal migrant under NRC.

(4) The Question of Double Jeopardy
Article 20(2) of the constitution guarantees to every citizen the right not to be prosecuted and punished for the same offense more than once as a fundamental Right. But this principle has been waived off for Foreigners Tribunals(FT). It has been found that even after an FT had confirmed a citizen of India another FT and at times the same FT can again send notice to the same person to prove his citizenship once again. This is a direct violation of Article 20(2) as guaranteed by the constitution of India.

With the entire burden of proving citizenship on one’s shoulders and the arbitrary and opaque multiple forums to which one will be summoned, people deprived of education and resource will be caught in a maze of bureaucratic red tape from which they will find it hard to emerge. There are indeed few parallels in the world where the state itself produces statelessness on the scale and manner that it is doing in Assam and soon in the Hill areas of Darjeeling. Political parties advocating NRC in Darjeeling should exercise caution and do so only after an in-depth analysis of ground realities, after taking into confidence all the stakeholder without which the future and Citizenship Rights of thousands of Indian Gorkhas living in the area could be jeopardized once and for all.

Via The DC

 
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