One cannot help musing on another can of worms that the Gorkha Janmukti has opened through Amar Rai, its candidate in Darjeeling for the Assembly Elections.
“In a statement reported in the papers today, Amar Rai claims that Gorkhaland would have been attained a long time ago but for lack of unity, the movement has been set back.”
If that be so, why murder the sixty-year old AIGL leader Madan Tamang? Was he not championing Gorkhaland? In all his interviews, did he not consistently support the Gorkhaland demand? Did he not appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee opposing the Sixth Schedule proposal? Is this how the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha proposes to promote unity?
“The good Professor goes further to expound to his credulous readers, that the views expressed by Rahul Sinha, General Secretary of the BJP, that Gorkhaland will not be created are his own views and not that of the BJP.“
|JAP Anmol Prasad|
“Amar Rai claims that the reason for Ahluwalia not placing a Bill for the creation of Gorkhaland in Parliament is that a Private Member's Bill would have less value. “
Of course it would have less value. But then, if the ruling party is in favour of Gorkhaland, what prevents the BJP itself from bringing such a Bill? Why does Ahluwalia have to bring a Private Member's Bill when he is a powerful member of the BJP, if not for the reason that in reality, the BJP does not support the demand?
“Amar Rai claims ‘The demand for Gorkhaland is a Great War’.“
A Great War against whom, if not the BJP itself? This statement is a clear admission of the fact that the BJP is anti-Gorkhaland. Poor Darjeeling, which elected no less than two BJP Members of Parliament successively. The BJP is in an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha and in a perfect position to table a Bill for the creation of a new state after Cabinet approal. The parties in the Rajya Sabha have not gone on record opposing the demand. What then is the need for a Great War if not for fighting the BJP. If that be so the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha must stop hoodwinking the people, it must come clean and admit that its masters in New Delhi have rejected the proposal for the creation of a separate state.
The sad truth is that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is now rudderless. It's leader does not have the political depth needed for spearheading the demand. It desperately needs patronage from New Delhi to protect itself against the various charges of murder, corruption and violence it has unleashed in the hills through its militia. Therefore it distracts the people by raising miscellaneous issues of development such as the failure of the Gorkland Territorial Administration, the recognition of communities as Scheduled Tribes, water shortage and [its favourite bogey] discrimination by Bengal. Having fastened its toothless gums on the mammaries of the welfare state, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha finds it hard to let go of power. Which is what it should do, if it claims to be the champions of Gorkhaland. The fact of the matter is that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is actually in a crisis and one may expect it to try and reinvent itself as a development-oriented party, if Amar Rai's obsession with affairs municipal is anything to go by.
The role of the intellectual is to speak truth to power. None of us here in Darjeeling can lay any claim to any intellectuality; suffice it to say that when even the districts' educated bourgeoise, made up of the Amar Rais, the Swaraj Thapas, the Rohit Sharmas and the Sarita Rais continue to support and perpetuate a corrupt and violent fascist regime for their own selfish interests, when they fail to stand up and speak the truth to power, the future is very bleak indeed. One cannot but cringe when one hears Sarita Rai announce during her campaign that she would resign from the Legislative Assembly at once, the moment Bimal Gurung gives her the order. And this, even before she has been elected as an MLA.
Be warned: the BJP and its allies will never ever grant Gorkhaland. The real adversary to the creation of a separate state is the Central Government. The BJP does not want the formation of India's 30th state and will never accede to the demand. It's inconsistent and ham-fisted policies in Nepal have deeply coloured its perceptions towards Darjeeling and its people. It fails to see us as fully paid up Indian citizens and will continue to demoralise and distract us by extending patronage our past, present and future Bimal Gurungs so that the movement for a separate state gets driven into the ground. Over and over again. Unless we take our future into our own hands, organise a democratic, secular and broad-based leadership bereft of tin pot dictators like Bimal Gurung.
In a sense Amar Rai is right. It's going to be a Great War after all.