Showing posts with label Hill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hill. Show all posts

The Actual Virus Plaguing the Darjeeling Hills

8:56 AM
Writes Chandan Pariyar

Darjeeling Hills is boiling with the fear of virus every passing day, disorder and chaos seems to be the order of the day. Yet  Corona isn't the virus that would eventually take us to our grave it would be unhealthy politics of our local leaders.

With 2021 Bengal Election nearing, the political parties in the Hills have found a new crutch to straighten their political leg, the Coronavirus .
COVID 19 No Facilities as Woman Breastfeeds in Bengal Tea Garde.Screengrab from a video taken by The Quint, was taken at a tea garden in Darjeeling run by the Bansal Tea Corporation.

At a time where the notion should have been  'Unity is Strength ,' the political parties are  busy drawing political blood. The leaders have become performers of a cheap roadside show, whether it is becoming a porter carrying loads in jeans and t-shirts, or the superhuman saviour of a district without doing anything much, or walking through the alleys of hospitals wearing a Modi coat. The cast is simple yet it confuses the Hill flock. With the increasing number of  COVID-19 + patients  in the Hills , the political parties are leaving no stone unturn to garner public sympathy. They should understand that the present problem of dealing with the virus should be their priority else there won't  be any public left in hills for their politics and their parties.

Now,more than ever,the people greatly feel the absence of locally elected political body and leaders who would have governed the people and would have been accountable to them. Whereas now our people are running from pillar to post  in desperation, whether it be finding out how to get  back home or asking for quarantine centers and sometimes even fighting with the administration in keeping and following the lockdown rules( a blatant violation was seen in Kalimpong when a lady had returned from Kolkata while Kpg was still a containment zone and had refused to be admitted to the quarantine center, only after huge protest and uproar by the locals, had the administration and the lady relented). With the numbers rising,  their demand of Testing labs in the Hills has still not been met with.  The lackadaisical treatment which has always been metted to the people from the hills and North Bengal with hundreds of  result of the test still unknown, the fear of an unknown fate seems prevailing within the hills.

The nationwide introduction of Ayushman Bharat in which a BPL family would be benefitted with 5 lacks medical insurance has  not been allowed to function by the TMC Bengal govt. The  people are deprived of basic healthcare facilities,whose fault is that? Thousands of poor families would have been benefitted by the insurance but the politiking of the Bengal govt has made sure we are deprived of even the most basic facility. None of the  local leaders address this issues least the hammer of displeasure of their Master's criticism fall on their puny political ambition.It is not important to them .

Another  scheme is Kishan  Saman Nidhi  which benefits 8crore farmers in the  country . This welfare schemes should have aided the farmers of our Hills in this time of crises but since there is no cut to the syndicate the scheme is not implemented. So when these farmers are deprived of their livelihood, will they take the blame?

The condition of the tea garden workers is well known to everyone, their garden opened even when the lockdwown was in strict accordance, their wages have yet to see any increase, many a times tea garden owners have left without issuing salaries and bonuses and have abandoned the garden. The leaders would not have a say, the agreements in Nabana is also not hidden from us.

Now isn't the time for these political parties to dig deep into their differences  rather they should have come together for their people, showing solidarity .However, it seems that  they have sniffed an opportunity  to suck what is left of the Hills people's blood like  parasites, trying to project the guise of working for the people when is reality very little has been actually done. All this so that  it can encash the Bidhan Sabha election in 2021.

These political party have over the years  stripped every bit of life and self respect from the community, the people, wages of the tea garden labourers of the world renowned Darjeeling Tea still miniscule and bonuses not paid,their sons in the exile, hundreds of them imprisoned for demanding their constitutional right, many being shot down,  many tortured to death in jails, unemployment , no Central University, lack of good government hospitals the list could go on forever. Thousands of our youngesters have migrated to cities and abroad not because they want to but because they have to due to lack of any employment. The money they sent back home is what has kept the hearth of many villages burning,it is what saved the people from the food and essential blockade done by Bengal govt during the Gorkhaland andolan of  2018.And yet during this crisis all the local leaders can do is prune themselves, busy soaking their political projection of having done something and nodding their heads and justifying all the mistakes of their masters at Nabanna. They  had just one agenda to fight for their people and for Gorkhaland. But that it seems has taken a backseat. Gorkhaland and the people don't matter to them, they don't want to rise from their luxurious slumber provided by their masters sucking the lives and blood of the hill people .The Hall of Illusions created by Maya has seeped into their beings lulling them into believing whatever is being projected. Through blindness to reality our political leaders has unleashed destruction and anguish upon our people.
All they are ready to do is make silver potholes for us to fall in the trap.

On the contrary the press conferences have become regular, FB pages are advertising the the work of their leaders , but none of them are addressing the real issue which should have been dealt by now, i.e, to Establish  Testing Lab in the Hills, set up more quarantinne centers, community awareness so that none faces discrimination in their villages.

These issues should have been dealt when the lockdown was announced .All parties should have come together to ask for Testing Labs, restrict movement during lockdwown.  While some became busy in providing relief work, others started watching them  with eagles eyes so that in the slightest error  they would inturn condemn them, and perpare their ground.So even after 2 and half months of shut down we are exactly where we were, deprived of basic  amenities to fight the virus.

When the team from Centre visited Kalimpong as then it  was a hotspot did any leader think it necessary to ask for a testing lab? Did they even go and meet the team? Wasn't  it necessary? Now they fight over claiming things to be done. Pathetic is not enough to describe the so called leaders.

If an honest survey was done about the leaders of the Hills, I am sure they will  have nothing good to share of as every person in the Hills know that they have not only conned us out of resources and life but they have stripped us of our dignity. They have to rise from their comfort zones,  provide public service beyond imagination or else their chances of existing in the Hills as a representatives of the  Hill population seemed hazy and blurred. Their lack of  vision would ensure their fall.

With true net testing being started in Kalimpong and Darjeeling from yesterday  there is still a long way for the battle against the Coronavirus. I am looking forward for their anticipation, are you ???



Via the Gorkhali

पहाडमा रोहिङ्या अनि गोर्खा जाती

9:52 PM

थुलुङ भाई

अहिले घरी सामाजिक संजालहरुमा कतिथ रुपले रोहिङ्या मुसलमान पहाडँ(कालेबुङ) भित्र पसेको भिडियो चर्चाको बिषय बनेको छ।

यदि साच्चै नै ती सबै ब्यक्तिहरु रोहिङ्या मुसलमानहरु हुन भने यो समग्र पहाडँ अनि गोर्खा जातीको निम्ति मात्रै नभएर देशको सुरक्षा ब्यवस्था माथी नै हमला हो।के भिडियोमा देखिएको ब्यक्तिहरु भारतीय  मुसलमान हुन अथवा पहाडँ घुम्न आएका साधारण पर्यटकहरु मात्र हुन?कहाँ छन् उनीहरु अहिले? के गर्दैछन्?

पुलिस प्रशासन अनि गोर्खाल्यान्ड क्षेत्रीय प्रशासनका अधिकारीहरुले झट्ट यो बिषय माथी ध्यानसंग छानबिन गरि सत्यता के हो जनता सामु ल्याउन नितान्त आवश्यक छ।कारण यस्ता घटनाहरुले पहाडँमा फेरि अशान्ति शृजना गर्न सक्छ भन्न सकिन्दैन। गोर्खाल्याण्ड क्षेत्रीय प्रशासनको प्रवेस द्वार सुकुना देखि केही मिनेट टाडो सालबाढीमा पनि बिगत दिनहरु भन्दा धेरै संख्यामा अवैध बंगलादेशीहरुको प्रवेस भएको कुरा प्रकाशमा आएको छ अनि उनिहरुले हेर्दाहेर्दै एउटा नयाँ गाउँ नै बनाएको लेखक स्वयं लाई अनुभव छ।तब प्रश्न उठँछ यहा,के यस्ता घटनाहरु प्रशासनको जानकारी बिना घटन सक्छ?के राज्यको खुफिया विभागलाई यस बारे जानकारी हुदैन? प्रश्न गम्भीर छ।अनि त्यो भन्दा गम्भीर कुरो यस्ता कुराहरु प्रकासमा आएपनी प्रशासन किन मौन? राज्य सरकार होस अथवा केन्द्र सरकार दुवैले यो बिसयमा चासो न राखेको झै देखिन्छ।

केन्द्र सरकारको एक रिपोर्ट अनुसार पश्चिम् बंगालमा मात्रै २ करोड अवैध बंगलादेशीहरु बसोबास गर्छन्।
आसाम राज्य पनि अवैध बंगलादेशीहरुको समस्याले ग्रसित छ भने उडिस्सा पनि अछुतो छैन।सन १९७९ सालमा अल आसाम स्टुडेन्ट युनियनले अवैध बंगलादेशीको मुद्दा सरकार सम्मुख उठाएका थिए।तर सरकारले गम्भीरता पुर्वक लिएन,फलस्वरूप वर्तमान समयमा आएर केन्द्र सरकारलाई हस्ताक्षेप गर्न कर लाग्यो अनि असली भारतीय मुसलमान अनि अवैध बंगलादेशी छुट्टाउने प्रक्रिया आसाममा चलिरहेको छ।यी तीन राज्य मध्ये अवैध बंगलादेशीहरुको निम्ति पश्चिम् बंगाल राज्यमा प्रवेस गर्न सबैभन्दा सजिलो रहेको पनि बिगतका कतिपय भाइरल भिडियोहरु अनि घटनाहरुले स्पष्ट बुझाएको छ।

अन्तमा कालेबुङ शहर भित्र रोहिङ्या प्रवेश गरेको कतिथ घटनालाई कुनै राजनीतिकरण नगरी गम्भीरता पुर्वक छानबिन गरि सत्य कुरा उजागर गर्न अहिलेको परिवेशमा आवश्यक छ।

जय हिन्द जय गोर्खा

Separate ministry or policy for mountainous state - IMI

6:35 AM
Separate policy push for mountain states

Vivek Chhetri (Telegraph)

Darjeeling: A civil society group seeking separate development policies for hill states renewed its demand on Friday at a meeting in Darjeeling attended by representatives from 12 hill states.

The Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), floated in 2011, draws members from different walks of life including bureaucracy, politics, academicians and students among others.
Separate ministry or policy for mountainous state

"We believe (government) policies do not really take into the account the realities in mountainous areas. The schemes are drawn up in Delhi and many of the schemes and policies are more suited for the plains," Fantry Mein Jaswal, secretary of the IMI, said after the meeting on Friday.

The IMI has representatives in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Bengal (Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts) and Assam (Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao).

"Probably, (we need a) separate ministry for mountainous states or at least separate policies for hilly states," said Jaswal.

Some changes appear to be taking shape after the IMI's efforts. The ministry of environment, forests and climate change has now created a separate mountain division.

But more needs to be done, IMI representatives stressed and added that most chief ministers of these states had warmed up to the idea. "We have been holding annual summits since 2012 and have been working on different fronts," said Jaswal.

"The project will continue till March 2019 and an Indian Himalayan Region level compendium will be complied to look into these issues," said Praful Rao, president of the Darjeeling Himalayan Initiative (DHI).

"We had the first meeting in Darjeeling. Such consultative work will be held in all hill states," Rao added.

Bengali optional in hills: CM Mamata Banerjee

4:48 PM

-BIRESWAR BANERJEE

Mirik, June 5: Mamata Banerjee today said Bengali would not be compulsory at schools in the Darjeeling hills and in certain areas of the Dooars and the Terai.

The chief minister's about-turn is perceived to be aimed at meeting the twin objectives of soothing the frayed nerves in the hills and retaining the advantage Trinamul had made in recent civic polls.

Despite Mamata's announcement, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha said it would continue to hold processions across the hills till June 8 on the language issue.

Mamata made the announcement at a government programme here amidst an agitation launched by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on the language issue.

"Some persons here are playing politics and trying to divide people. The GTA elections are ahead and as they lack a proper issue, they are spreading rumours. We want to make it clear that Bengali will not be a compulsory language in the hills and in some parts of the Terai and the Dooars," Mamata said.

After the state government had made public its plan to make learning of Bengali compulsory at schools, Mamata and education minister Partha Chatterjee said the decision would be applicable to the hills as well.

However, the chief minister made a U-turn in Mirik today and said Bengali would be the fourth language in the hills.

"If Bengalis can read Nepali, then why can't Gorkhas read Bengali? We want to keep Bengali as an optional language as students in the hills need to know Bengali. In due course, when they will move out to other parts of the state for jobs, this learning will help them. It will be an optional language here," she said.

The change in the decision, observers said, was necessary to ensure that the hills did not shun Trinamul that had just won Mirik municipality and some seats in three other hill civic bodies.

"The decision had led to protests in the hills and the Morcha that was a bit upset after losing Mirik to Trinamul got a pertinent issue to revive its support base. After today's announcement, the situation has again become favourable for Trinamul," an observer said.

Mamata also said the state government would audit the spending of funds by the GTA that is administered by the Morcha.

(Via:Telegraph )

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) threatens bandh in the Hills, Mamata warns no violence

8:19 AM
23rd Sep 2016 Darjeeling Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung has threatened to go for a bandh in the Hills on 23 September if Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee fails to give detail break up of this Rs 4000 crore which, according to the chief minister, has been given to the GTA.

"You carry forward several development schemes which you have already taken up. Our government will give money for such schemes. Don't worry for money. You just go ahead with your goals for developing the Hills," the chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, making it clear that her government would not allow any disruption in the ongoing development in Darjeeling.
Battle between Mamata and  Bimal Gurung
"Yesterday, she had announced that her government has given Rs 4000 crore to the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA). We want a detail break up of this Rs 4000 crore which, according to the chief minister, has been given to the GTA. If the chief minister Mamata Banerjee fails to give any break-up by September 27, we will go for bandhs in Darjeeling from September 28," Gurung said on Friday.

According to a PTI report, GJM chief Bimal Gurung said that CM stated that Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) was given Rs 4000 crore by the state government and that the CM should give details of the money spent.

"Let her give the details of the amount by 27 September. Failing which we will call a bandh on 28 September," he said.

"The state government is forcing us to call a strike," Gurung said in Darjeeling around 1pm today. "An atmosphere of agitation is building up in the hills. Tourists should check the situation before making their travel plans," he added.

Around two hours later in Kalimpong, Mamata said she would not allow any shutdown.

"There will be no bandh. We will not allow negative and disruptive politics," Mamata said, before specifying why tourism was so important for the livelihood of the people in the hills.

Following the call for bandh, Mamata threatened that her government will not allow any bandh in the Darjeeling Hills and will resist any attempts to disrupt the development activities in the region.

Banerjee said that instead of working for development, they are indulging in politics.

"We want peace in hills. We will not allow violence. Enough is enough. We must work for development. We have developed Lamahatta, Mirik, Tiger Hill, Lava Lolegaon. But they want to destroy it all by violence," she said.

"We will not stop the process of development in the hills. We want people to get employment. We are here to address the issues of the hills. If the hills smile, we will smile," she said.

Gurung - already reeling from a spate of defections from the Morcha to Trinamul - said today: "It is not good for a chief minister to speak in excitement. She has given us Rs 238 crore for the development of the hills in the past four years and now, she claims that she has given Rs 4,000 crore. Even if she includes the salaries of staff and administrative expenses, the figure is a lie," said Gurung.

Morcha leaders today rolled out a set of numbers to drill holes into Mamata's claims. Government sources also produced their fact sheet to prove the chief minister's point (see chart).

Amid the debate on whose numbers were right, Gurung issued the strike threat, first call of the kind from the Morcha after more than three years. The last phase of the shutdown went on for a month till September 10, 2013, over the Gorkhaland demand.

The chief minister has announced to set up a development board for the Gurungs in Darjeeling. Mamata  has already formed development boards for ten tribal groups in Darjeeling including Lepchas,Bhutias, Tamangs. Now she has announced to set up Gurung development board in Darjeeling after the Pujas.

He took care to explain the two other reasons behind the strike call - increasing interference in the affairs of the hills by the state government and an alleged attempt to divide the community.

Although Morcha leaders tried to stress that the main reason behind the strike call was to expose the state government, an official said the threat was an indicator that Gurung was getting increasingly restless with the turn of events.

"He is realising that he is losing control over the hills and the strike call is a desperate attempt by him to remain relevant. The state government would not let the strike happen and a confrontation is imminent," said the officer.

To start with, the Trinamul Congress is gnawing at the Morcha's support base by forming development boards.

During the last Assembly elections, the Morcha's winning margin in the three hill constituencies fell by 68.5 per cent, compared to the 2011 results

"The civic and panchayat elections will take place in a few months. Of the four civic bodies in the hills, we are comfortably ahead of the Morcha in Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik. Didi has endeared herself to the rural people in the hills through repeated visits. Gurung is doing all this to retain his turf. He is scared," said a Trinamul insider.

According to him, Gurung is aware that the GTA would become redundant if Trinamul performs well in the civic and panchayat polls as major government projects could be carried out through these elected bodies.

The GTA has already become a fringe player in the hills as the state government is using the development boards to shower benefits on various communities. Today, Mamata handed over a cheque for Rs 10 crore to the Tamang body to build houses for the poor before inaugurating a youth hostel.

"All the development boards are with us. Harka (Bahadur Chhetri, a former Morcha leader) is with us... Bharati Pradhan is with us. Ghisingh's son is with us. We have the support of the hills," said Mamata.

Tomorrow, Trinamul will deal another blow to the Morcha as PWD and youth affairs minister Aroop Biswas will preside over a programme, where hundreds of Morcha supporters would join the ruling party.

Various sources

GJM demands “backward area” status for Darjeeling hills

9:18 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Aug. 12: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today demanded that since the state government had decided to bring the entire population in the Darjeeling hills under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, the Mamata Banerjee administration declare the region a “backward area”  and provide other benefits.

The Morcha, however, said the state government would not do so and the “hidden agenda” of covering the entire hills under the AAY was to cut down on the foodgrains it had promised the people of the region before the Assembly elections.

Under the AAY being implemented by the Centre through state governments, a financially backward family is entitled to 35kg of foodgrains at Rs 2 per kg a month.

The Morcha had assigned members of the party’s Study Forum to “find out the real motives of the state government” in implementing the AAY in the entire hills.
GJM demands “backward area” status for Darjeeling hills
Morcha leader DK Pradhan in Darjeeling on Friday. Picture by Suman Tamang
D.K. Pradhan, convener of the Study Forum, today said: “According to a notification issued by the directorate of district distribution, procurement & supply, food supplies department (memo no: 335(19) FMR/IIS-01/16) dated January 22, 2016, the hill population was included in Hill PDS category. As per the HPDS provisions, 11kg of foodgrains would be distributed per person per month in the entire hills.”

The provision in the notification reads: “The existing population in the hill will now be allotted 6 kg of rice and 5 kg of fortified atta per heard per month @ Rs 2.00 per kg in both cases.”

According to Pradhan, the 11kg of foodgrains were to be drawn under the Centre’s National Food Security Act and the special scheme of the state government.

The January 22 notification regarding hills reads: “The entire population of the hill subdivision will be treated as NFSA plus state special package of for hill (NFSA-Hill) and allocation of 2 kg of rice and 3 kg of atta will be given from NFSA quota. The balance amount of 4 kg of rice and 2 kg of atta will be given as top up over and above the NFSA quota and the expenditure will be borne by the Govt. of West Bengal. Accounts shall be maintained accordingly.”

After the Assembly elections, Pradhan alleged, the state had decided to implement only the AAY under the National Food Security Act in the entire hills so that it didn’t have to bear the additional expenditure of 4kg of rice and 2kg of atta.
Under the AAY, a backward family is entitled to 15kg of rice and 20kg of fortified atta at Rs 2 per kg per month.

“This basically means that a family of four and above will now be getting less amount of foodgrains than what the state government promised. According to the special package announced before the Assembly elections, a hill family of five is entitled to 55kg of foodgrains. The hidden agenda of getting the hill population under the AAY is to ensure that the state government does not have to bear the additional cost of supplying 6kg of foodgrains per person a month,” said Pradhan.

The Morcha central committee member said it was fine for the Morcha if the state provided 35kg of foodgrains to a family under the AAY and the remaining 6kg per head per month.

“We also demand that since the hills have been brought under the AAY, which is for the financially backward families, the state declare the hills a backward area and give benefits for the backward region like exemption from income tax, subsides in transport, fuel, gas connections and electricity,” said Pradhan.

Via Telegraph

Bimal Gurung says he will win all upcoming elections in the hills

12:14 PM
28 May 2016 Gorkha Janamukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung today said he is confident of his party winning all forthcoming elections in the hills and challenged the Opposition to try and defeat the Morcha, especially in the hills. He said so at Bagdogra airport this afternoon upon returning from Kolkata after attending the swearing-in ceremony of the new state government.

Seen in a particularly happy mood while talking to the journalists present, Gurung said, "We have shown everyone by winning all the three hill seats in the Assembly election that the GJM can win every election. It does not matter whether elections are for the Lok Sabha, the state Assembly, the Municipality, the GTA or Panchayats; there may be different methods to fight them, but victory for us is a surety."

When asked about the GJM polling 50 per cent less votes in comparison to the last elections, he replied, "Politics mein idhar udhar to hotahi hai, lekin kya karna kaisa karna woh to aney wale din hi batayega, sirf kaam karte jana hain." (Ups and downs are normal in politics, but what should be done and how it should be done will be determined by the days to come, what is necessary is to continue to work).
Bimal Gurung says he will win all upcoming elections in the hills
Bimal Gurung a file photo
Gurung stressed the popularity of his party is still strong in the hills and this has been proven by the GJM winning all the three seats. On the probability of more community development boards getting formed, he said that is a matter to be decided by chief minister Mamata Banerjee and he has nothing to say. "I simply want to see the all-round development of the hills and the betterment of the people," said Gurung.

Asked whether he had had any discussion with the chief minister on development regarding the hills, he said, "We had no discussions but we will surely meet soon for talks on such issues, let's see what happens next. I am always in a positive mood and will always work for the people of the hills."

Gurung further said he is hopeful of receiving additional support from Mamata Banerjee for developing the Darjeeling hills as she herself has taken charge of the Hill Affairs Department.


Via: ECOI
 
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