At a public meeting of the Gorkha Yuva Morcha, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s youth wing, in his constituency of Vah-Tukvar, Gurung said: “I had told the youths I should not speak here because if I am to speak or chair (the meeting), your voices would be held back.”
He said: “The youths should speak their hearts out, the youths should talk about dignity, about the land, the land wanting blood. The youth brigade should talk about an agitation like the ’86 agitation, They should talk about lifting guns and wielding khukuris. This is what I had told them.”
Observers said Gurung wanted to draw the Centre’s attention with his speech. At one point in his 45-minutes speech, Gurung said: “I have told the Centre that we have extended all support and it is your duty to show us by doing karma (good deeds).” The Morcha chief’s anger at the state government’s supposed interference in hill affairs was clear.
|Bimal Gurung in his constituency Tukvar|
In the rest of his speech, Gurung repeatedly mentioned the state government’s alleged “discriminatory” attitude towards the hills.
“Everyone is bullying us, looking down upon us,” Gurung said. “We should live a life of dignity and not that of a coward. One should even be ready to give one’s life,” he said.
The 1986 statehood agitation Gurung was referring to had gone on for around 28 months. It was led by Subash Ghisingh, then Gurung’s leader, but later his rival.
Around 1,200 people had lost their lives during the statehood movement.
“The Bengal government is dividing our community. The black policy of the Bengal government towards the hills is creating such a situation that there could even be a division between husband and wife if they come from different communities. One should not give up one’s dignity for a toilet, a one-room house,” Gurung said, criticising chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s plan to make hill bodies for various hill communities.
The state government has announced development boards for 10 communities and among the major initiatives taken up by the boards, one is to construct toilets and houses for people of the respective communities.
Gurung said: “This (meeting) could be a turning point.”
The Morcha chief said he was increasingly feeling that the GTA cannot function. “There has just been too much interference in the working of the GTA. What is the use of a body that cannot even recruit a peon in the hills. Perhaps you will one day find me in a jungle. You must love me even then because I will be there for the cause of Gorkhaland,” he said.
The hill leader reminded the youths that nothing came without struggle. “One does not achieve anything without a struggle and struggle is not about playing madal and chabrung (musical instruments),” he said.
The youth wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today called a mass rally to push for the demand of granting Scheduled Tribe status to the 11 communities of the Darjeeling hills and the plains of Siliguri.The rally was called upon by Mirik Subdivision GJYM President Yogesh Golay and other party cadres.
The Gorkha Janmukti Yuwa Morcha (GJYM) rally started from the Bypess more from eleven in the morning and ended at Receipt Centre Krishnanagar and everyone has been asked to support the demand. The GJM has been demanding tribal status for 10 communities from the hills and one from the Dooars area. The communities from the hills are Bhujel,Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakha (Dewan) and the plains community is the Dhimal.
The Morcha got a boost to its demand after Prime Minister Narendra Modi endorsed it during an election campaign for party candidates in the north Bengal region recently. Earlier this year a committee was also formed by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs to examine and make recommendations.
|Rally for Scheduled Tribe status to 11 communities in Mirik|
The state government too had recommended the inclusion of the 10 hill communities under the tribal status category. At present, the Bhutia, Sherpa, Yolmo, Lepcha and Tamang come under the Scheduled Tribe status. The Bharatiya Gorkha Janjati Sangarsha Mahasangh (BGJSM), an umbrella organisation of the communities demanding tribal status, too has been pursuing the issue with the central government. After the Centre’s initial nod to look into the issue, the Mahasangh has started a mass signature campaign to garner support and make people aware of the demand.
“We Gorkhas have faulted on many occasions with our various demands because of disunity. But the time has come to work together and take forward this demand to its end,” said Arun Ghising, the Thurbu Duptin Samasty Sabhasad .The speakers during the programme were GTA Sabhasads Arun Sigchi,Arun Ghising, Phubu Rai,Mirik Municipality Chairperson Mala Subba,Ladup Ghising and Sunil Ragubangshi in host.
Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha general secretary Amrit Yonzon said a series of programmes will be held following the bike rally. “We have lined up a series of programmes in the month of March starting with a bike rally from Darjeeling to Siliguri to garner popular support for the demand of Gorkhaland. We intend to focus more on the youths and raise awareness among them,” he said. “More than 100 bikes will participate in the rally, the date for which will be announced subsequently. We also plan to hold street corner meetings along the way downhill in places such as Sonada,Kurseong and Sukna.”
According to Yonzon, the point where the bike rally is to end in Siliguri will be decided upon by the administration and the GJYM is awaiting confirmation on this. “A few days after the rally, we intend to hold a three-day public workshop on the statehood issue under the stewardship of our party leaders. We also plan to hold public meetings across the hills focusing on the youths,” informed Yonzon further.
|GJM Bike Rally 2010|
A stone was allegedly thrown on the convoy of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) president Mann Ghisingh in Kurseong town as he returned from a public meeting in Garidhura in the plains on Monday. The GNLF has filed an FIR at the Kurseong police station in this regard, while the police said they have already arrested the accused.
Talking to reporters, GNLF Kurseong branch president Daya Dewan said that they held a rally and a meeting at Garidhura on Monday and that they were returning from there in the evening when one person hurled a stone on the convoy and hit the vehicle of Mann Ghisingh. “The person also used foul languages. However, as CRPF personnel had been deployed there, the person was immediately arrested,” Dewan said.
According to him, the arrested person belonged to the youth wing of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and a resident of Giddhapahar in Kurseong. Sources said he was drunk. Kurseong Police IC Sukumar Ghosh said that as police personnel had already been deployed near the Kurseong Motar stand, the situation did not get out of hand.
Ghosh said that a case has been filed against the accused, Neeraj Khawas. Notably,campaigning for the demand for the sixth schedule status of the Indian constitution for Darjeeling Hills, the GNLF has been organising rallies and meetings at different places in and around Kurseong. Party general secretary Mahendra Chettri said that after Kurseong, they will organise such programmes at different places in Darjeeling and Kalimpong subdivisions.
Source : SNS
The youth wing of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) on Thursday organised a 'mashal' (torch) rally from the railway station to Chowkbazar here for the second time this month in protest against the alleged "divide and rule policy" of the state government in the Darjeeling hills.
"The rally is not only against the divide and rule policy that is being employed by the state government to weaken our demand for Gorkhaland, but the rally is also for the cause of Gorkhaland. The rally is also a clarion call for the Gorkhas to unite," said Trilok Chettri, a leader of the GJMM's youth wing. While talking about re-launching the Gorkhaland agitation at a public meeting in Kalimpong, GJMM and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief, Bimal Gurung had announced that rallies for the cause of Gorkhaland will be conducted in the Darjeeling hills every Thursday.
Following his direction, a mashal rally was also organised in different areas across the Darjeeling hills on 8 October. The mashal rallies, which are supposed to be conducted serially every Thursday, will not be conducted during the festivals. "We will not be conducting the rallies during the festival. Our rallies will be resumed after the festival," Chettri said.
Thursday's rally saw the participation of representatives of members from various frontal organizations of the GJM
Source: SNS, Pic: TheDC
Writes Rajeev Ravidas
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung today announced a fresh round of agitation for Gorkhaland but promised there would be no strikes so that tourists could visit the hills in the Pujas.
Addressing a public meeting organised by the Yuva Morcha, the party's youth wing, at the Mela Ground here, Gurung said: " I am always for Gorkhaland. I will take out a padayatra from Kalimpong to Darjeeling from October 2."
The Morcha president has more than once said the agitation would be democratic in nature.
"We will stay away from strikes during this agitation. We will fight in Delhi, not in Bengal. Tourists are welcome (to the hills)," he said.
Gurung said the Morcha would also extend hundred per cent support to the programme announced by the Yuva Morcha.
|Bimal Gurung in Kalimpong announced fresh Gorkhaland agitation without strike|
Gurung said the party would also organise protests meetings in Delhi during the winter session of Parliament in November and December. "Sixty-seventy thousand people from the hills will converge in Delhi during the winter session of Parliament in November-December. The Nari Morcha will hold protest for five days and the student wing will protest for three days in Delhi. The Yuva Morcha will also participate in the meetings," he said.
Gurung, however, cautioned the state government against disrupting the peaceful agitation. "If Mamata Banerjee creates obstacles, people will take to the streets," he warned.
Observers said the Morcha was keeping away from strikes so that it does not to antagonise the people, including tourism stakeholders, in view of the ensuing tourism season and school examinations. The hills have two tourist seasons: from March to May and from October to November. The academic session of schools in the hills is from February-March to November-December.
"The Morcha cannot afford to antagonise the people at a time questions are being murmured about the party's hold in the hills. The tourism season is very crucial for the economy of the hills, and the Morcha will not earn any friends if it takes to disruptive agitation during that period. November is also the time when schools begin their annual examinations, and large community of parents and students will not take kindly to strife at that time," said an observer.
A prominent hotelier in Darjeeling welcomed the Morcha's decision to keep away from strike. "Bookings for the season are yet to pick up perhaps because of apprehension of an agitation. Today's announcement should put to rest all such fears, and I expect the bookings to go up now," said the hotelier, who wished not to be named.
The last time the Morcha had organised the statehood movement was in 2013. Soon after the UPA had given green light for the creation of Telangana, the Morcha announced the agitation that stretched from the July-end to September, affecting the tourism season that year.
Gurung seemed to be pleased with today's turnout of about 10,000 to 12,000 people at the meeting, which was billed as the Morcha's show of strength in the wake of resignations of senior leaders Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Trilok Dewan from the party recently. , who is the chief executive of the GTA, ruled out resigning as the chief executive of the GTA. "Trinamul is hoping that I will quit so that it could take over the GTA. Why should I please them and quit. Am I a fool?" he asked.
He also lashed out at the chief minister, accusing her of dividing the hill communities in an effort to defeat the demand for Gorkhaland. "Gorkhaland will happen during her lifetime," he said to thunderous applause of the crowd.
Gurung also took a swipe at Chhetri without naming him, saying it was better to have truck with a layman than intellectuals.
"I wanted the man to teach me coma and full stop, but the man has disappeared. I don't know where," he said.
Earlier speakers at the meeting were more vocal than Gurung in lambasting Chhetri.
Darjeeling, Aug. 20: Bimal Gurung today, 23rd Nepali Bhasha Diwas, said fighting with the state government over the Gorkhaland demand was a "mistake" as a separate state can be achieved only through the Centre.
|Bimal Gurung at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan on Thursday. Picture by Suman Tamang|
At a public meeting in Siliguri on April 10, Modi had said; "The dream of the Gorkhas is my dream."
Gurung also spoke about the need to maintain peace in the hills. "There must be peace in the hills. Our party, since its inception (in 2007), has always talked about the need for peace. There was lot of bloodshed in Nagaland, but ultimately, they had to come to the negotiating table," he said.
During the last phase of agitation in 2013, nearly 1,000 Morcha supporters were arrested, including senior leaders.
"Right now, tourists are coming to Darjeeling hills. Funds are also flowing to the GTA. The GTA is a test of our administrative ability and very soon, we will be administering a state," Gurung said at the Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan.
The Morcha chief, who had famously said that Gorkhaland would be created by March 10, 2010, today said: "... we have not lost hope and we will not do anything that will go against our community."
Gurung said he will meet Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling in Gangtok tomorrow and not on August 23. Sources said Chamling is scheduled to leave for Delhi tomorrow.
Gurung will meet Chamling to drum up support for the inclusion of 10 Gorkha communities in the ST list.
Gurung, the chief executive of GTA, today handed over cheques of Rs 2 lakh to each of the next of kin of the 34 people who died in the June landslides. The GTA has decided to give additional help of Rs 50,000 each to Vivek Rai, a Class VI student from Kalimpong, and Selushna Thapa, a first-year student from Mirik, who lost their parents in the landslides.