This was followed by the lighting of the lamps by the Chief Guest of the seminar – Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling, the Chief Minister of Sikkim; Shri. Bimal Gurung – Chief Executive, GTA; Shri. P.D. Rai – Member of Parliament, Sikkim; and Shri. R.P.Sharma – Member of Parliament, Tejpur, Assam. Dr Chamling was accompanied by his team of Ministers -Mr U.T. Gyatso, Mr A.K. Ghatani, Smt. Tulsi Devi, Shri. T. Wangdi Lepcha, among others, who were all extended greetings with khadas and momentos.
The seminar was also marked with the release of the report by Dr. Chamling titled - “Gorkha ko Sapana: Gorkhaland” that was based on the National Seminar on Gorkhaland held in April, 2015; complied by the Study Forum, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. The seminar was made lively by the glittering traditional performances by different communities such as the Mangar dance, Gurung dance, Yaka Dewan dance, Newar dance, Khas Hitkari dance, and Khambu Rai dance.
|Gorkha National Symposium (Sangoshti) – Day 2 Chief Guest of the seminar – Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling|
Shri. P. D. Rai, MP Sikkim: He specifically pointed out that the Sikkim Government under the leadership Dr. Chamling have already initiated the process of taking the issue concerning the inclusion of the ten non-tribal Gorkha communities under the Schedule Tribe category. He also passed on the message from the Rajya Sabha member from Sikkim, Shri. Yissey Lachungpa who have extended his full support for the quest of tribal status by the ten non-tribal Gorkhas across India.
R. P. Sharma, MP Assam: Referring to Dr. Chamling as the “evergreen Gorkha hero of India”, he stated that the two day seminar was a historic event, where Gorkhas from various parts of India have come together in Darjeeling – their “maiti-ghar”. He stressed on the success of the 6% Gorkhas in Assam in terms of literacy and proudly claimed that the Gorkhas as the “bhumi putras” of India. He called for the creation of a team under the leadership of Dr. Chamling, Shri. B. Gurung, Shri. P.D. Rai, Shri. R.P.Sharma and few other ministers from Sikkim to look and deliberate into the numerous issues that Gorkha communities face across India.
Shri Pawan Chamling, CM Sikkim: Claiming himself to be one of the representative of the Gorkhas and not just the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Dr. Chamling stressed on the need to reclaim the lost space of the Gorkhas in India. Zealously wanting to contribute towards the wellbeing of the Gorkhas across India, he assured the support of Sikkim in all the endeavours of the Gorkhas including in securing the tribal status for the non-tribal Gorkhas. However, he expressed his reservation about the inclusion of “ten jatis”- he was of the opinion that there could evidently be more than “ten jatis”. He appealed the audience to express foremost their national identity without losing sight of their matriarchal bonds. He pointed out the right to tribal status as well as the right to Gorkhaland is every Gorkha’s “jaivik adkhikar, janma siddha adhikar, prakritik adhikar” he called upon Shri. Bimal Gurung and himself to ponder over the issues confronting the Gorkhas, particularly the Section 7 of the Indo Nepal Treaty (1950), education, capacity building and skill development of the present generation Gorkhas among others. He passionately asserted the historical, cultural, traditional, linguistic and religious relationship that Sikkim and Darjeeling shares. He expressed his desire to hold similar seminars across India and take up and deliberate on different issues of the Gorkhas. In concluding his inspiring speech, he applauded and appreciated the leadership of Shri. Bimal Gurung in taking up development initiatives besides advocating the rights of Gorkhas and the demand for Gorkhaland.
Shri. Bimal Gurung, GTA Chief: Shri. Bimal Gurung started his speech by expressing the significance of such seminars wherein the representatives of Gorkha’s assembled at one place to discuss the issues pertaining to them. He, however, expressed his displeasure about the non-performance of successive governments in Bengal to give Darjeeling its due share of respect and development. He expressed that such seminars be undertaken in bigger ways, in bigger platforms – in Sikkim and other states of India. He called for a united front of the Gorkhas across India in the struggle for Gorkhaland as well as for the inclusion of the tribal status of the non-tribal Gorkhas. He reiterated his commitment to Gorkhaland and reminded the audience that only the central government is entitled to form new states within the federation of India. He stated that the responsibilities of learning and undertaking research activities concerning issues, histories, and contributions of the Gorkhas in India, as suggested by Dr. Chamling, should be a collective endeavours among the Gorkha communities.
Shri. Roshan Giri concluded the seminar by extending his vote of thanks to all the dignitaries, speakers, the organisers, volunteers, performers, media and the audiences.
Also Read Gorkha Rashtriya Sangoshti / Gorkha National Symposium – Day 1