Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts

Jitu Rai's preparations on the Road to Rio 2016 - interview with Olympic Gold Quest

10:00 PM
OGQ spoke to the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, Jitu Rai, about his preparations on the Road to Rio 2016
Q. You were the first Indian to win a quota for Rio Olympics. How did it feel when you won the quota at the world championships in 2014?
Jitu: I was feeling the pressure at the world championship as it was the first Olympic qualification event. I had planned how I would play the final and at the end I was very happy when I won the quota for India at the very first opportunity and with it a silver medal as well.
Q. Take us through your early days in Shooting. How did you come into shooting?
Jitu: In 2007 I joined the Gorkha regiment of the Indian Army. Actually I was not too interested in shooting. I had never even seen anyone shooting. Army coach GR Garbaraj Rai "ne danda laga ke karaya shooting". I am really grateful to him today. The first gun I used was a 9mm pistol. In 2009, I went to the Army Marksmanship Unit in Mhow where I was not selected in the army team and was sent back to my Lucknow unit. After that setback, I worked very hard day in day out to improve my skills in the 10m air pistol event. I started free pistol only in 2013 and I am very glad that I won a quota in free pistol in 2014.
Q. What is your plan in the lead up to the Rio Olympics. Have you changed anything in your training?
Jitu: No I haven’t changed anything since 2014 be it my approach to a match, technical training or physical fitness. I don’t think that I need to train abroad or under a foreign coach or do things differently. I analyse my game myself and plan out the training schedule. I really like to believe in myself and trust the way I train. I am happy with the way my training is going on at the moment. The Indian Army and OGQ have played a very important role in my training. At OGQ, whatever I ask for related to my training, I get only one answer ‘Jitu ho jayega’.
Q. How do you relax and unwind?
Jitu: My way of relaxing is a bit strange. Whenever I take rest I don’t feel relaxed, it is very tough for me when my coach tells me to take rest for a day or two. I am very relaxed and get good sleep only when I do my physical fitness properly.
Jitu Rai
Jitu Rai
Q. Tell us about your family and your native place in Nepal.
Jitu: I hail from a middle class family. My village is in the middle of a forest. I was born and bought up in that forest. My father used to do farming before he joined the army. My father passed away 9 years ago and after that I joined the Army. It was then I thought to myself that I must do something big for my family. My mother was not aware that I was in the Indian shooting team and was winning medals for India till the time she came to New Delhi when I got the prestigious Arjuna Award last year. I am really happy that I have made a career for myself in shooting.
Q. Who is your favorite athlete? favorite Bollywood actor/actress?
Jitu: My favorite player is a volleyball player from my village as he was the first sportsperson I knew and I love playing volleyball as well. My favorite shooter is London Olympic Silver medalist Vijay Kumar. He has guided me a lot in my journey till now. I don’t have one favorite actress because I like everyone (laughs) but my favorite actor is Aamir Khan.

Via Olympic Gold Quest

Adwiti interviews Bipul Chettri - a sneak peek of his new album “MAYA”

11:00 AM

“MAYA” is the name of his new album. The infectious main riff of his songs chants nostalgia, the sound of his voice sends us all into pangs of desperate homesickness. By now you know who I am talking about. Bipul Chettri needs no introduction. His fans across the globe have been waiting with bated breath for the next set of tear-jerking, addictive Himalayan folk songs that tug at every Gorkhali’s heartstrings.

Don’t miss a single word as Adwiti Subba Haffner interviews the chappal wearing, folk song singing, homesickness inducing, our very own humility toting, Bipul Chettri for a down-to-earth interview where he opens up about his creative process, offers his insights on songwriting, his opinion on where Gorkhali music is heading towards, the latest controversy on plagiarism, what it takes to be a “skilled musician” and about how he maintains his “zen” like calm through his musical voyage.
Bipul Chettri's new album “MAYA”
Bipul Chettri Photo credit: Sonam Tashi
ADWITI: “It takes 10 years to become an overnight success” Robin Sharma. 
You rattled the airwaves with your soulful voice, your music and captured the hearts of millions of Nepali speaking population all over the world. Besides being a good singer and having great discipline, what skills/personal attributes is most important to being a successful musician?

BIPUL: Thank you. For me, it was more like 15. (smiles) I prefer to use the word, ‘skilled’ musician rather than a successful one. There are some successful artistes in this industry without great skill as well who become famous overnight and disappear in as much time. I wish there was a recipe for success though. And I can only speak for myself when I say that being proficient at what you choose to do is one of the few attributes that will help in the long run. At the end of the day, it is all done through years and years of practicing while trying to perfect ones art. And it is a never-ending learning process.

ADWITI: From small town, sleepy Kalimpong to Delhi and now performing all over the world, did you dream that your voice and your music would take you places? In an interview you have mentioned that “success” is a subjective word. What is your idea of success?

BIPUL: Never in my wildest dreams! For the longest of time, all I wanted was to become was a classical guitar soloist, and then ‘Wildfire’ happened. Success for me is subjective as every single person has his own standard of the bar being raised and scaled at. Some might just be happy with being a recluse, or some might just want a lot of fame. Money and fame are just numbers at the end of the day and is temporary. For me, success means leaving a body of work behind which people would not mind listening to in 20-30 years from now.

ADWITI: There has been a lot of Bollywood/Hollywood/Western Rock culture that has influenced and infiltrated the music of our region. Where in your opinion is our music (Gorkhali/Nepali music) collectively heading?

BIPUL: From the time, the radio, television and the Internet entered our lives; this infiltration was bound to happen one way or the other. But I also feel that this influence has been the cornerstone of Nepali music having survived in whatever forms it has till now. The whole of the 70s and early 80s was deeply influenced by the Ghazal genre and then rock music started making inroads into the Nepali music scene while folk music has always been there but mostly relegated to the background. But I think there is a sort of mini revival taking place in this area with some good artistes coming through and I think it can only get better in the coming days.

ADWITI: Apart from being a singer/songwriter you are currently the head of the Arts Department in Vasant Valley School, a leading school in India. Given your career success, can you share some advice for struggling musicians, to help them keep moving forward?

BIPUL: I have only been in the Nepali music scene for less than two years, so it would be naïve of me to start giving advice. But all I can say is that keep doing what you enjoy doing. Make music for yourself first rather than the world. If the world likes what you produce, good for you, if they don’t, it really does not matter, as long as you are happy with it. And most importantly, stay humble to your roots.

ADWITI: In our society, can an aspiring musician solely survive on her/his art without the support of an actual or a part/time job? If not. Why?

BIPUL: This is a very difficult question to answer. Most artists are constantly struggling to have their voices heard and their music played and to get paid. There are a lot of musicians doing only music and living their life and I have the greatest of respect for such people as I still think it is difficult to manage in the current scenario especially in our part of the world. One only has to applaud their commitment to trying to earn a decent livelihood in this kind of difficult scenario. But I am certain it can only get better in the long run.

ADWITI: Bipul Chettri is a sensation and very few people from our neck of the woods have not heard of you. For some who have never listened to your music, can you explain your sound in 6 words?

BIPUL: Everyone has their own interpretation of their music. For me, it has to be, ‘The Himalayan Pahari Feeling of Nostalgia’. (smiles)

ADWITI: You are aware that you have multi-cultural fans all around the world, some even look for inspiration from you and your music. Will you sing in any other language besides Nepali? 

BIPUL: I guess I will eventually, but no plans at the moment. Although one of the first original tunes I wrote, ‘Samsara’ was in English, but including it in an album is still an iffy.

ADWITI: You have traveled in many countries since the release of your Debut album “Sketches of Darjeeling”. Can you share with us your favorite memory or experience so far?

BIPUL: There have been so many. One of the best feelings is the large number of people attending our gigs and singing our songs with us during the live shows. The next thing would certainly be the number of lovely people we met during our travels. Everywhere we have performed, from the event organisers to the audience, have been wonderful to us and have treated us like family.

ADWITI: What five artists/songs would I see on your recent playlist?

BIPUL: I honestly don’t have a playlist. “Ghar ma buri ko playlist matrai baj cha”.

ADWITI: Your music gives us a reason to congregate and interact in an environment of joy, nostalgia and celebration. You have a new album coming up, set to hopefully conquer the airwaves again. What is the name of the album? What is the release date? 

BIPUL: Thank you. The new album is ready and sounding good if I may say so myself. The album is called ‘Maya’ and we hope to release it soon. We are trying to tie up a few loose ends after which we will have a release date. We also have a very big surprise coming with it too. So stay tuned.

ADWITI: You are also known for your innovative, experimental way of creating music. What can your eager fans anticipate from your next album that is different from your previous one? 

BIPUL: There is bound to be pre-conceived notions about the sound of the album as people have been used to listening to ‘Sketches of Darjeeling’. The only difference this time around is that most of the songs from this album were written, developed and honed on the road, as you would have noticed from the ‘Soundcheck Series’ on our YouTube page. I have had so many influences, be it in writing/arranging and it has been a fun album to make.

ADWITI: Can you give us a sneak peek? 

BIPUL: There are 8 songs in this album along with ‘Syndicate’ which was released as a Single earlier is also a part of it. All the songs, except for ‘Kahiley Kahi’ are written by me. Kahiley Kahi is a special song because my father recorded (if I am not mistaken) this somewhere in the very early 70s at the British Forces Broadcasting Station while he was serving in the British Army. A colleague and friend of my father sent me this recording and I felt it needed to re-record and heard by the public as well. It has a very Bossa nova feel to it, which was very rare for a Nepali song to sound like that then. I have kept the lyrics and melody as close to the original and am very happy with the final outcome. ‘Junkeri’ and ‘Nau Lakhey Tara’ are acoustically driven while the rest of the songs are with the complete band.

ADWITI: Your songs have a level of depth and intrigue that make people sit up and notice you right away. Could you please share with us the creative process of your new album? Starting from the concept, the people/work/marketing/promotion/expectations involved.

BIPUL: I started writing for this album without any concept as such. The first one I wrote was ‘Syndicate’ and some others thereafter. I figured that most of the tunes were heading towards ‘love’ in the sense of it being real or an illusion for some, being the central or peripheral theme without being conscious while writing about it. But the ‘pahari’ element in the music will always be prevalent in our music.

I don’t have a process of writing as such. Sometimes, the riff/melody comes before the lyrics or vice versa. ‘Syndicate’ was one of the songs where the lyrics came first and the melody/arrangement later. I had initially planned to record it acoustically with just the guitar and a harmonica, but changed it considerably midway as I thought it justified a much larger sound. I also had a fantastic set of musicians in the band to help me achieve that particular sound which I was looking for.

Our Manager looks after all the marketing/promotions so I really don’t know much about that part of the story. I just make the music. (Smiles) But I do know that since we are independent musicians, without any label backing us, we have to lean mostly towards word-of-mouth and online social platforms to help our music get some form of mileage. As far as expectation goes, I have a theory as I mentioned earlier, that I make music for myself first. If the audience also enjoys it along the way, that is a bonus.

ADWITI: Can you please give us an idea as to what happened with the recent plagiarizing attempt by a certain Bollywood music producer who ripped off the main riff of one of your compositions? I believe something similar was experienced by our famous "Musu musu hasee dewna" song. 

BIPUL: I was actually in Kalimpong when all this happened and had no clue until our Manager informed me about it. The said tune had the same guitar riff used in Asaar throughout their composition as well which made it sound alike. Our Manager got in touch with the concerned people in Mumbai and sorted it out after which they removed the track and offered to redo it. So it all ended well. But this is nothing new, especially in Bollywood as you all know. All one can do is to be alert and try and sort it out as amicably as possible. Of course, one can take further action, if they don't agree with your claim, which thankfully we did not have to resort to.

ADWITI: Who alerted your team of this situation? 

BIPUL: There were tons of messages from fans on our Face book page with the link.

ADWITI: This is definitely a “teachable or a learnable moment” for artists? How can they protect themselves from being blatantly plagiarized? 

BIPUL: Well... In India you can go to this address and register your songs or music. I think they charge about Rs. 2000 per song if I am not mistaken. It is essential to safeguard your creations if you intend to keep your Intellectual Property with you.

ADWITI: I believe most of your audience love old/classic Gorkhali/Nepali songs. What can we all do for the curation of our cultural and musical heritage?

BIPUL: All of us love and cherish the past legacy of Nepali music. It is what has helped us get to the point where we are at the moment. I sincerely don’t have a specific answer to this question for the general public but I can only speak for myself when I say that I will keep making the kind of music that I am making and hope it helps in some way preserve some form of it. It would be too audacious to say that I am trying to deliberately help in saving this art form, as there are so many others who are doing much more. But do try and keep listening to our homegrown music is all I can say.

ADWITI: How do you maintain your “Zen” like balance and authentic humility while experiencing your level of recognition and success? 

BIPUL: I think I got myself into the public limelight a little later in life than most musicians did. So I think coming into the scene a little late helped in not giving in too much to the hype that most of the newcomers usually face in this industry. I am also by the end of the day, just a simple music teacher in a school and nothing more than that.

ADWITI: What next for Bipul Chettri? The poet/the singer/the songwriter/the musician/the artist.

BIPUL: I think you are being too kind. Like I said, I write my music with whatever little I know of the language and the art. I just hope to get better and learn from all the experiences that I will face in the coming years.

Some time ago I was chatting with a friend about how we, Darjeelingeys have such a great sense of humor and how our gatherings are always filled with music and impromptu witty exchanges that we temporarily forget all our sorrows and setbacks. She said “my perception of humor is that a person who makes people laugh are doing what we Tibetans call "gewa" as for a few minutes they make people forget their sorrows or pains and have a good laugh, without realizing they make people happy”.

This particular word “gewa” or the meaning thereof comes to my mind when I listen to Bipul Chettri’s music. He is servicing us, the listeners with a nostalgic sliver of our hometown. His music, his songs and his voice has the powerful ability to connect us directly to our emotions and our lives back home - the place where we belong no matter how far we go.

Thank you Bipul Chettri for the “gewa”, for providing us with the experience of being home without actually being there. We wish “ Maya” to reach far and wide, to make more people happy and for you to feel fulfilled and rewarded with more songs that remind us of “home ...calling...home”.

[Adwiti Subba Haffner is an entrepreneur, social worker, writer, freelance journalist, world traveler, mother, wife, yoga/meditation teacher. You can find her at and her website is]

Gokul Sharma Captain of Assam Cricket Ranji Team, A Gorkha Pride!!

2:25 PM
Gokul Sharma is an Indian Gorkha first-class cricketer who plays for Assam and is the Captain of Assam Cricket Ranji Team. Sharma is a right-handed middle order batsman and right-arm off break bowler. Son of Mr. Khadanand Sharma and Mrs. Dil Kumari Sharma. Studied in Model High School, Born and Brought Up in Guwahati. He is also working as an Auditor at Indian Audit & Accounts Department (C&AG of India). His Best innings is 101 against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy in 2010-11.

Full name Gokul Sharma
Born December 25, 1985, Guwahati, Assam
Current age 30 years 167 days
Major teams Assam
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Gokul Sharma Captain of Assam Cricket Ranji Team
Gokul Sharma Captain of Assam Cricket Ranji Team

His Interview With The Gorkha Times Assam

The Gorkha Times Assam asked him some Questions,

-How does it feels to lead the Assam Cricket Team?.
He replies, "It's an honour to lead a team like Assam which have so much of potential and believe to perform at the highest level."

-Who is your Inspiration?
He Replies, "Well in cricket I always idolise Sachin Tendulkar, the way he goes about the game and also the kind of human being he is off the field and in my life my mother is my inspiration because I saw the toughest part she faced in her life, what I really appreciate and like about my mother was the attitude and the way she handled that situation was very learning experience for me"

-His view about "The Gorkha Times Assam"?
He Replies,"I would like to thanks them for promoting cricket and showing great interest for the development of the game. The Gorkha Times Assam is doing a great work by promoting crickets or any other sports,just like to give a big thank to them and keep encouraging the sportsperson"
With this small Interview Conversation, We also came to know about the Great Human Being. We are Proud of you Sir.

You are Sachin Tendulkar for the Gorkhas of Assam. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours, We will be always there to support you.

The Darjeeling Chronicle Editor's Interview That Was Never Published by Catch News

10:23 PM
In the process of their election coverage, Catch News had interviewed TheDC Editor Ms. Rinchu... but perhaps her answers were not what the national media were looking for... perhaps they wanted to hear her rants on GJM vs. JAP rivalry again, perhaps they were not happy with the fact that our editor highlighted the TMC failures instead of going on anti-GJM or anti-JAP tirade... they didn't publish the interview... so we are putting out the same...

Thanks Catch News, our time was well spent after-all

The Darjeeling Chronicle Editor's Interview That Was Never Published by Catch News

CATCH NEWS: In the past 5 years, how much development/improvement in infrastructure have you seen in Darjeeling?
RINCHU: One of the most visible signs of improvement in the infrastructure is in the sphere of road constructions; relative improvement has been seen in the road connectivity from Siliguri to Darjeeling. Our’s is perhaps the only border region in India which touches three countries Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and Tibet (China) is just beyond a hill, and yet our National Highway – 55 is shut down since 2010. Given this, we did not have a proper highway connecting Darjeeling with the rest of India. Thanks to powers that be, they repaired and widened the existing Rohini Road which has gone on to become the lifeline of Darjeeling hills. Of late we have seen slight improvements in the subsidiary road connectivity as well. Even within the Darjeeling municipality, the roads are finally being looked after, after many years of utter neglect.

Most important infrastructure development has been in terms of rural electrification, where numerous villages that had never gotten electricity finally got connected to the grid. Earlier around 167 villages did not have electricity connection in Darjeeling region, today around 60% of those villages do.

In terms of education new College buildings have been completed in Mirik and Bijanbari, and other colleges are being constructed in Pedong, and Gorubathan, model schools have been constructed in Sukna and other parts of Darjeeling hills.

In terms of Darjeeling municipality region, they have started a few pay toilets which were much needed, and over all cleanliness of the municipality region is currently being undertaken.

Other than these there have been minor improvements in terms of provisioning drinking water and proper drainage in small streams, cemented roads or stairs that reaches right up to people’s doors in rural areas and so on.

However, I must highlight that there is way more avenues and scope for improving infrastructure in our region. There are numerous villages that don’t have road connectivity, numerous villages that don’t have basic infrastructure in place – access to drinking water, proper hospitals, schools and colleges, roads and so on.

Even Darjeeling town reels under acute water-crisis every winter, and so do the town of Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik. So the infrastructure development we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg in relative terms of what needs to be done.

CATCH NEWS: How happy are the locals since the implementation of GTA?
RINCHU: To be honest, NO ONE is happy with the formation and implementation of GTA. Everyone feels that GTA is a premature baby that was thrusted upon us as a compromise, that our idiotic politicians conceded to. GTA does not fulfill any of our aspirations, and it does not do justice to the sacrifices numerous Gorkha brave-hearts have made for our nation as well as for the cause of Gorkhaland.

However, the blame primarily lies with Bengal government, as they did not live up to their side of the bargain. They did not transfer all the departments that they were supposed to, they also did not transfer the powers associated with the functioning of those departments they had transferred to GTA; they continued and have continued to interfere in the day to day running of the GTA.

Moreover, with the Bengal government establishing the so called “Development boards” on divisive ethnic lines has created a huge chasm in the hills, and these boards are being run as a proxy representation of Trinmool party in the hills.

Furthermore, Darjeeling region hasn’t seen Panchayat elections since 2005, we are perhaps the only region in India where the provision for Panchayati Raj Under Article 40 of our Constitution and guaranteed by the73rd Constitutional Amendment Act (1992) has not been implemented. Even after the formation of GTA in 2011, the Bengal government hasn’t taken any initiative to implement Panchayat raj in our hills, which is why our rural population is suffering as none of the Central government schemes have reached our rural regions.

The youth are particularly unhappy, as the Bengal government was supposed to have established a separate Subordinate Services Commission, School Services Commission and College Services Commission for GTA region, yet in the past 5 years none of these have been done. All our educated youth are today forced to head to other parts of India or abroad for employment opportunity.

I feel that GTA is today much less powerful than the Zilla Parishad, hence none of the locals are happy with GTA.

As if that was not enough, the party in power Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ran GTA as their fiefdom and allegations of rampant corruption and nepotism abound against GTA and its functionaries.

Having said that, there is a section of population, I call them “Perpetually Optimists” that is moderately happy with GTA, as they feel that even though the real power is vested with Bengal, yet for them GTA represents (to some extent) a degree of autonomy and authority that the Gorkhas have earned for ourselves. Moreover, GTA provides a political space where we can elect our own representatives, whose aspirations align with the aspirations of the majority of the local people.

Most important of all, people are thankful that we don’t have to rely on Bengal to meet our basic needs and wants. GTA is after all something we have earned through our struggles, and to a certain extent it has kept the focus on Gorkhas and our aspiration for Gorkhaland state in the national psyche, imagine in a country with over 1.2 billion populations - that is something which we keep in mind.

CATCH NEWS: Among The Candidates In Darjeeling, Who Do You Believe Is A Better Bet For Darjeeling?
RINCHU: I think from among the choice of candidates that we have, definitely Prof. Amar Rai is hands down the best candidate for Darjeeling MLA seat. He is first an educator, and has over 35 years of experience teaching Political Science to graduate students. From what I have heard from his students, he is very popular among his students. Unlike some other “intellectuals” who require appointments to meet them made through their PAs, Prof. Rai is grounded and accessible, with no unnecessary airs or sense of “intellectualism” about himself. He is the current Chairman of the Darjeeling Municipality so he has enough administrative experience as well; moreover he is perhaps the only Municipal Chairman in Darjeeling’s history who does not use government issued vehicle. He walks to his office and back and uses his private vehicle for all his personal needs. He is widely respected and with this background he is more inspiring as compared to all other candidates.

CATCH NEWS: Do you want the TMC to find its ground in the hills? Do you think that will be good or bad or the people of the hills?
Rinchu: NO I would never want any Bengal based party to find grounds in the hills, be it TMC or earlier CPI(M), as the moment they gain power in Bengal, they tend to treat the hill people as 2nd class citizens. They tend to distort our history, narratives surrounding our place and people and threaten our language, diverse culture and tradition, our unity, question our identity – in short our very existence.

TMC, Good?? Hahaha... what worries me is the fact that TMC has already through its various proxies started to dig its roots in the hills. The formation of so called “development boards” is in and of itself an indication of how low they are willing to stoop to gain power in the hills. What the British did in India, TMC is already doing that – divide and rule. One of my main concern is that TMC is a autocratic party and has no room for dissent, we have already seen how they managed to curtail all voices of protest and dissent during the Gorkhaland agitation. We have seen how deceptive they can be in their not living up to the GTA agreement. We can feel how divisive they can be in the boards that they are forming, I fear that if TMC comes to power in the hills, then the Gorkha community will be divided in such a way that the umbrella term Gorkha which defines us will cease to exist, eventually our very existence, our history, our connections to our place will be eradicated... we will become so distorted that we will cease to exist. It will be genocide of the other kind, a more modern, a more evil and a more pervasive form of genocide.

TMC doesn’t has a fixed ideal or ideology, they are the most opportunistic and power hungry party that will never stop till it devours all that stands between them and power. Sadly some of our hill leaders, particularly of the “intellectual” variety are paving the way for TMC to walk on.

CATCH NEWS: How will the formation of Gorkhaland help the cause of the people of the hills according to you?
RINCHU: Gorkhaland statehood itself is the primary cause of the people of the hills, Terai and Dooars. In India, the Gorkhas are seen as immigrants, where as our history is proof that the majority of us did not immigrate, rather we came with the land. When someone says they are a Bengali, people in India naturally assume they are from West Bengal and no one asks them if they are from Bangladesh. If someone says they are Punjabi, people naturally assume they are from Punjab, and no one asks them if they are from Punjab in Pakistan. If someone says they are Tamil, everyone assumes they are from Tamil Nadu, and no one questions if they are from Sri Lanka. Whereas when we say we are Gorkhas, people ask us if we are from Nepal. When we say we are from Darjeeling in West Bengal, people ask us if we are Bengali, then we say no we are Gorkhas, then they ask us when did we immigrate? This is the “CRISIS OF RECOGNITION” that we have lived and continue to live with. Ironically we are asked this question even in Kolkata, which is supposed to be the capital of the state we live in. We do not have a place-based identity - Our identity was derecognized, when Bengal colonized us after absorbing our district on the 13th of April 1954.

Moreover Bengal has always treated Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars as its colonial outpost, from which they have drained out our resources and wealth for the past 7 decades without making any repatriation. We are literally to Bengal, what India was to the British, a colonial outpost meant to be plundered, robbed and pillaged from.

So formation of Gorkhaland state means restoring back our existence, our control over our land and resources, our control over the wealth that we have always created through tourism, hydro, trade and other avenues.

Our languages will get due recognition and respect. Though Nepali is one of the recognized national languages of India under the VIIIth Schedule of our Constitution, recognized so since 1992, and it is also the Official Language in West Bengal since 1961; and we can choose Nepali as an optional paper in IAS examination, yet till date we cannot opt for Nepali as an optional paper in WBCS. Our language is treated as a 2nd class language, just as we are treated as a 2nd class citizen. When Gorkhaland is formed, this discrimination towards us and our language will end.

Gorkhaland statehood will ensure that we will be able to “live the kind of life that we value living.”

CATCH NEWS: Who will you vote for and why?
RINCHU: I won’t tell you who I am voting for, but I will tell you what I am voting against. I am voting against the division of our community on the lines of development boards. I am voting against the injustice – discrimination, apathy, indifference and subjugation that our people have had to face under Bengal for decades. I am voting against the systematic and systemic marginalization of our community. I am voting against the short-sighted vision of the “intellectual” leaders. I am voting against those people who are power-hungry and put themselves before the cause of Gorkhaland. I am voting against those forces and alliances that are threatening our very existence.

I am not voting for change this time, I am voting for the continuation of the 100 year old struggle that our forefathers had initiated, so that we – the Gorkhas could live the life with dignity, equality and opportunity that our great nation has promised us.

I am voting for Gorkhaland.

Via TheDC

We cannot narrow down our demands to a communal label of Gorkhaland: Harka Bahadur Chettri

8:07 PM
Writes Meenal Thakur

Kalimpong, Darjeeling 14 April 2016: Harka Bahadur Chettri, 54, founder of the two-month old Jan Andolan Party (JAP), is fighting for election to the West Bengal assembly from Kalimpong constituency in Darjeeling district. Chettri, a former star campaigner of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and Kalimpong legislator, broke away from the GJM, which is the dominant party in the hills, in September 2015. A biology teacher by profession, Chettri started his political career with the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) in 1986, which was then the main party of Gorkhas, founded to demand a separate state called Gorkhaland.

Chettri changed many political parties in the course of time, moving from GNLF to Gorkha Democratic Front (GDF) in 1992 and finally to GJM in 2007, campaigning for a separate Gorkhaland all through. In between, he left politics to write for local daily papers like the Wicked Review and Gangtok Times in the neighbouring state of Sikkim and even published his own newspaper in 2001 from Sikkim (it was shut down in six months). In an interview, Chettri spoke about his achievements as a legislator, the Gorkhaland movement, and why he founded JAP among other subjects.
We cannot narrow down our demands to a communal label of Gorkhaland: Harka Bahadur Chettri
Chettri started his political career with the GNLF in 1986, which was then the main party of Gorkhas,
founded to demand a separate state called Gorkhaland. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint
Edited excerpts:
You are fighting as the candidate of a two-month-old party. How will you gather support?

I resigned from the party (GJM) on 18 September 2015 and it was a difficult task to set up a new party with the limited time I had. But as the MLA (member of legislative assembly) there are certain things I have done which helped me find supporters. There was only one government college in Darjeeling, which came up in 1957. I was able to bring two government colleges, two Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) and one polytechnic college in my constituency.

More importantly, I had been campaigning for a district status for Kalimpong for a long time and even raised this issue in the legislative assembly. I was able to get cabinet approval for my proposal though the approval came three months after my resignation. I see this as a historic achievement for Kalimpong.

You were the star campaigner for GJM. Why did you leave the party?

There were ideological differences. On one hand, the party talks about the demand of Gorkhaland as their sole aim but they don’t raise the issue where it matters. The demand should be raised in Parliament, not in the assembly, or municipality or even panchayats and that is what GJM has been doing. Despite having a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from the area and BJP at the centre, no pressure was put on the MP to introduce a bill for a separate state in Parliament.

Moreover, GJM made a mess out of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), which was set up in July 2011.There were many provisions like setting up a GTA Sabha, equivalent to a Vidhan Sabha, which we could have benefitted from but nothing happened. How can you expect someone to handle a higher body like a state when they have failed to handle a much lower body—the GTA.

GJM is merely using this demand as a slogan to be in power.

Do you still stand by the demand for Gorkhaland?

See, one has to prioritize. First you build infrastructure, create resources and once we would have thoroughly exhausted the provisions of GTA, then we demand a bigger body to cater to our aspirations. We have to explore GTA first, and then move to demand a separate state.

Any candidate fighting an MLA election on this agenda will be fooling the people.

I stand by the demand of a separate Gorkhaland but at the same time I also know which forum it needs to be raised on. Tomorrow, if I contest a Parliamentary election, then it will probably be on this plank.

Why did you form a party? You could have fought independently as well.

I am planning this on a long-term basis. I have taken my party’s name away from the normal communal line. A lot of emotional politics has been played since 1952 where parties were just exploiting the communal sentiment of people. I want to make the voters more rational and so they think about issues which immediately concern them. It is not just the Gorkhas who live here, there are other communities as well. They should also feel represented in a full democratic spirit.

We Gorkhas do belong to a community but we are scattered, we are a diaspora all over the country. Then how do we all connect? We cannot narrow down our demand to a communal label.

I want to start a new chapter in Gorkhaland politics.

Did you leave GJM due to your growing proximity to the Trinamool Congress?

Politics in the hills has always been that of fighting with the state (government). I want to put an end to this politics of confrontation and start a new chapter in the politics of cooperation.

By cooperating only I have been able to achieve the construction of the five educational institutions and the formation of Kalimpong as a separate district.

I will always maintain a good relation with the state government as I am going to the legislative assembly and if I burn my bridges, how will I work?

What are the top three issues on which you will fight this election?

Water, roads in rural areas and education. I have made it clear that anyone who fights the MLA (assembly) election on Gorkhaland issue is fooling the people.

What is your biggest challenge in this election?

Mindset. Deeply ingrained communal politics is the biggest problem and people will take time to get over it.

Via livemint

जापले छुट्टै राज्यको बील तयार पारिसकेको छ – डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्री

5:51 PM
कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 10 अप्रेल 2016। गोजमुमो पार्टीबाट बिद्रोह गरी छुट्टै कालेबुङ जिल्लाको मुद्दा बोकेर आएका डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले कालेबुङ जिल्लाकै मुद्दामा यसपल्ट दोस्रोचोटि चुनाव लडिरहेका छन्। गोजमुमो पार्टीको टिकटमा पहिलोपल्ट विधायक बनेका डा. छेत्रीलाई यसपल्ट गोजमुमो पार्टीनै कडा प्रतिद्वन्दि बनेको छ। क्याबिनेटले पारित गरिसकेको कालेबुङ जिल्लाको मुद्दालाई विधानसभामा पारित गर्न आफैलाई पुग्न अनिर्वाय ठानेको कारण उनले यसपालिको चुनावमा मोर्चाकै विरूद्धमा खडा भएका छन्। जसको कारण कालेबुङ विधानसभा केन्द्र सबैको केन्द्रबिन्दुमा रहेको छ। हाईभोल्टेज चुनावी मैदानमा उत्रेका जाप प्रार्थी डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीसित दैनन्दिनी समाचार अनि हाम्रो प्रजाशक्तिका सम्वाददाता डी.के. वाइबाले गरेको विशेष कुराकानी -
 डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्री
प्र. तपाईँहरू यसपल्टको भोट कालेबुङ जिल्लालाई भन्नुहुँदैछ अनि गोजमुमोले यसपल्टको भोट जाति टुक्राउने होइन, जाति जोड्नेलाई भन्ने नारा लगाइरहेको छ। यसविचमा जनता अन्योलमा छन् कसलाई चुन्नुपर्ने भनेर। के लागिरहेको छ तपाईँलाई?

उ जनता अन्योलमा पर्ने कुनै आवश्यक्ता छैन। यहाँ यदि जाप पार्टी अथवा डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीलाई जाति टुक्राउने भनि कसैले आरोप लगाउँदैछन् भने उनले बिभिन्न बोर्डलाई नै जाति टुक्राउने भन्ने बुझेका रहेछन्। जब कि यी बोर्डका सदस्यहरूले कहिलै हामी भिन्न हौँ भनेका छैनन्। उनीहरू सबै हामीसँग एकसाथ छन्। वास्तवमा विमल गुरूङ अथवा गोजमुमोले भनेको ‘जाति’ चैँ ‘पार्टी’ हो। यहाँ पार्टी टुक्र्यो भनेको कुरालाई घुमाएर जाति टुक्रियो भनेको हो।

उ यस्तो बाध्यता हामीलाई होइन मोर्चालाई छ। आज ‘जय गोर्खा र जय गोर्खाल्याण्ड’ भन्न पर्ने बाध्यता पनि उनीहरूलाई नै छ। सबैभन्दा गोर्खाल्याण्ड बिरोधी यदि कोहि छ भने त्यो मोर्चा हो। किन बिरोधी हो भने गोर्खाल्याण्डको जम्मै तन्त्र यतिबेला मोर्चाको हातमा छ। गोर्खाल्याण्ड केन्द्रलाई माग्नुपर्ने अनि मोर्चाकै साथी केन्द्रमा छ। सांसद बीजेपीको हुनपर्ने हो अनि त्यो पनि उसैले सघाएको सांसद छ। तर अहिलेसम्म पातले बाँस, डम्बर चौक र चौक बजार अनि खर्साङको मोटर स्ट्याण्डमा बाहेक मोर्चाले गोर्खाल्याण्डको बील केन्द्रमा उठाएकै छैन। उसैको सरकार, उसैको सांसद हुँदा संसदमा बील ल्याउनुपर्ने अवस्थामा उनीहरूले गोर्खाल्याण्डको बील ल्याउनै सकेको छैन। यो नै मुख्य तक्निकी कुरा हो। यदि उनीहरू गोर्खाल्याण्डको बील सरकार र सांसद हुँदा समेत पेश गर्न सक्दैन भने उनीहरू नै सबैभन्दा गोर्खाल्याण्डको बिरोधी हो। यसकारण जापलाई बाध्यता होइन बाध्यता उनीहरूको हो। हामी काम गर्छौँ अनि काम गर्नलाई जापले भिजन सफा राखेको छ। त्यहीँ भिजन अनि मिशन 2025 मा उल्लेख छुट्टै राज्यको मुद्दालाई हामीले प्रमुखता दिएर घोषणापत्रमा स्पष्ट उल्लेख गरेका हौँ।

प्र. त्यसो भए जापले छुट्टै राज्यबारे के गर्छ त ?
उ जापले छुट्टै राज्यको बील तयार पारेको छ। आजसम्म उनीहरूले बील पेश गर्न त होइन बील बनाउन पनि सकेन अथवा जानेन। यसकारण जापले तयार पारेको छुट्टै राज्यको बील हामी प्रेस मार्फत सार्बजनिक गरेर लोकसभा सांसद एस.एस आहलुवालीयालाई पठाउनेछौँ अनि लोकसभामा पेश गर भन्नेछौँ। यदी बनाएको बील पनि लोकसभामा प्रस्तुत गर्न सक्दैन भने उनीहरूलाई राजनीति गर्ने कुनै अधिकार छैन।

प्र. गोर्खाल्याण्डको बील लोकसभामा किन पेश हुँदैन?
उ लोकसभामा पेश गर्ने बील केन्द्र सरकारले बनाउँछ। केन्द्रमा रहेको बीजेपीको सरकारले उनीहरूको घोषणापत्रमा गोर्खाल्याण्ड त होइन छुट्टै राज्य समेत लेखेको छैन। त्यसो हो भने उनीहरूले किन पेश गर्छ यो बील? मोर्चाको घोषणा पत्रमा लेखेर केन्द्र सरकारले दिँदैन राज्य। उनीहरूको घोषणा पत्रमा केवल लङ पेन्डिङ डिमाण्ड मात्रै लेखेको छ। जसलाई छुट्टै राज्य भनेर भ्रम फैलाउँदै गलत प्रचार गर्ने काम मोर्चाले गरेको छ।
प्र. जापले चुनावी घोषणा पत्रमा छुट्टै राज्यको मुद्दा उल्लेख गरेको छ। कतै यो बाध्यताले मात्रै उल्लेख गर्नुभएको होइन? प्र. यदि जापले बनाएको छुट्टै राज्यको बील लोकसभामा पेश भयो अनि राज्यसभामा पुगेको खण्डमा के गर्नुहुनेछ?

उ यदि मोर्चाले त्यति काम गर्न सक्यो भने हामी पार्टीका कर्मीहरू बसेर विमर्श गर्नेछौँ अनि राज्यसभाबाट बील पारित गर्न काम गर्नेछौँ। साँच्चै लोकसभाबाट पारित गर्न सक्छ भने त्यसबेला जापको कुनै औचित्य नहुनसक्छ। त्यसबेला हामी पार्टी भङ्ग गरेर पनि छुट्टै राज्यको बील राज्यसभाबाट छिराउन मोर्चालाई नै सहयोग गर्न पछि पर्दैनौँ। तर यति काम आँट छ के मोर्चासित ?

प्र. अहिले 11 वटा गोर्खा जात-गोष्ठीलाई जनजाति बनाउने मुद्दा अघि आएको छ। कतै यो चुनावी स्टन्ट होइन?
उ यो चुनावी स्टन्ट मात्रै हो भन्ने हामीलाई शंका छ। केन्द्रले अहिले केवल कमिटि मात्र बनाएको छ। अब बाँकी काम राज्यले गर्नुपर्छ। सिक्किममा सिक्किम सरकारले गर्छ अनि बङ्गालमा बङ्गाल सरकारले गर्नेछ। त्यहाँ यदि राज्य सरकारले जनजातिको निम्ति उनीहरू ठिक छैन भन्ने गलत रिपोर्ट पठाए जनजाति हुनै सक्दैन। यसकारण यस मुद्दालाई पार लगाउन पनि राज्य सरकारसित राम्रो सम्बन्ध हुन आवश्यक छ। यता गोजमुमो पार्टीको राज्यसरकारसित सम्बन्ध राम्रो छँदै छैन। नराम्रो सम्बन्ध भएको ठाउँमा नराम्रो मान्छे पठाउँदा सरकारले दिँदैन। यो सम्बन्ध राज्यसरकारसित मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङको व्यक्तिगत इगोको आधारमा छ। एउटा व्यक्तिको व्यक्तिगत इगोले क्षेत्रका जनताले दुख पाउनुहुँदैन भन्ने मेरो भनाइ हो। यसकारण यदि बङ्गाल सरकारले जनजाति पाउने योग्यको छैन भने विमल गुरुङ रूँदा पनि हुन सक्दैन।

प्र. जिल्लाको मुद्दा पनि त चुनावी स्टन्ट मात्रै देखिन्दैछ ?
उ जिल्लाको मुद्दा क्याबिनेटले पारित गरिसकेको छ अनि यो कसरी चुनावी स्टन्ट हुनसक्छ? जब कि 11 जनजातिको निम्ति केवल कमिटि मात्रै बनिएको छ। यस्तो कमिटि कति बनियो-बनियो अनि पछि कता हराएर गयो। डुवर्सको 396 मौजा गाभ्न श्यामल सेन कमिटि बनियो फेरि त्यस कमिटिको रिपोर्ट जाँच गर्ने अर्को कमिटि बनियो अनि हाल पत्तो छैन। यो क्याबिनेटले पारित गरिसकेको कारण चुनावी स्टन्ट हुँदै होइन।

प्र. मोर्चाले जिते जिल्लाको मुद्दा लम्बिएर जानेछ भन्नुभयो। त्यसो हो भने जिल्ला कालेबुङका जनतालाई दिएको हो कि डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीलाई?
उ जिल्ला निश्चय नै कालेबुङका जनतालाई दिएको अनि जिल्ला ल्याउने माध्यम भने डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्री हो। किन भने मैले जसरी राज्यसरकारलाई बुझाउन सके त्यस्तो बुझाउन सक्ने व्यक्ति गोजमुमोमा एकजना पनि छैन। गोजमुमोले राज्यसरकारसित दुशमनी लिएको छ अनि त्यो दलबाट गएका बिधायकलाई सरकारले पत्तो दिनेछैन। उनीहरूले सरकारलाई बुझाउन सक्ने क्षमता समेत छैन। फेरि भएन कालेबुङका मोर्चा प्रार्थी सरीता राईले यदि विमल गुरूङले भने राजीनामा दिनेछु भनिसकेकी छन्। जनताले काम गर्न पठाएको व्यक्तिले नेताको भनाइमा राजीनामा दिन्छ भने उसले काम गर्न सक्दैन। म काम गर्ने मान्छे हुँ यसैकारण जनताको निम्ति काम गर्नलाई नेताको कुर सुनिन अनि कालेबुङ जिल्लाको मुद्दा उठाए। जिल्ला कालेबुङका जनतालाई हो अनि ल्याउने व्यक्ति डा. छेत्री भनेर जनतालाई थाह छ। यसकारण जनताले जिल्लाको मुद्दालाई नै चुन्नेछन्।

प्र. यदि तपाईँले चुनाव जितेर पनि विधानसभामा जिल्लाको मुद्दा पारित नभए अनि त्यसबेला जनताले राजीनामा मागे के गर्नुहुनेछ?
उ त्यसबेला म जिल्लाको मुद्दाको स्थिति के छ भन्ने बुझाउनेछु। जनतालाई सही तथ्य बुझाएर अघिल्लो काम गर्नेछु। यतिमात्रै होइन कालेबुङ जिल्ला सँगै अन्य चारवटा जिल्ला क्याबिनेटले पारित गरेको छ। यदि विधानसभामा चारवटा जिल्लाको मुद्दा पारित भयो र कालेबुङ जिल्ला छुट्यो भने अनि जनताले राजीनामा माग्यो भने मेरो त्यहाँ बस्ने कुनै औचित्य हुनेछैन। यसकारण त्यसबेला म राजीनामा दिएर फर्कनेछु।

प्र. चुनाव जितेर गए कुन-कुन मुद्दालाई प्राथमिकता दिनुहुनेछ ?
उ पहिलो प्राथमिकता पानीको समस्या समाधान गर्ने रहनेछ। त्यसपछि पर्चा-पट्टा, पञ्चायत चुनाव, बेरोजगार समस्या, अस्थायी शिक्षकहरूको समस्या प्रमुख मुद्दा रहनेछ। यो सबै समाधान गर्नेछु।

प्र. विमल गुरूङले 60 हजार भोटले पराजित गर्छु भनेका छन्। तपाईँ आफ्नो जितमा कति निश्चित हुनुहुन्छ?
उ अहिले म यतिले जित्नेछु भनेर आँकडा दिँदिन। विमल गुरूङले त 2010 मा गोर्खाल्याण्ड ल्याउँछु होइन भने गोलि ठोकेर मर्छु भने। तर उनी अझै जिउँदैछन्। आज मैले लाख भोटले जित्न पनि सक्छु अथवा लाख भोटले हार्न पनि सक्छु। तर आँकडा दिएर अघिबाटै बदनाम हुने काम गर्दिन। जनताको रामो मुड छ यतिखेर। हेरौँ जनताले यसपल्ट आगामी पाँचवर्षलाई हेरेर अनि कालेबुङ जिल्लाको मुद्दालाई पार लगाउँनका निम्ति आफ्नो बहुमूल्य भोट पैसा र सहुलियतमा बिक्री गर्ने हो होइन भन्ने स्पष्ट हुनेछ। यद्यपी म आफ्नो जितमा निश्चित छु।

Source:kalimpong news.

Gorkhas daughter DJ - Ekta Subba (DJ Rachel) interview by TheDC

9:00 AM

OUR DAUGHTERS, OUR PRIDE: Darjeeling's 1st and One of India's Finest Professional Female DJ - Ekta Subba (DJ Rachel)

Darjeeling is the land of music, every street corner you turn to, every house you go into, every restaurant you head to you will feel a unique rhythm in these gorgeous hills of ours. Today we are glad to introduce the story of a girl, who refused to take up a secure job in the State Bank of India to pursue her passion in Music.

Introducing Darjeeling's 1st female DJ and one of India's finest till date.

We sat down for a short interview with her.

Name: Ekta Subba (DJ Rachel)
Mother: Keshu Subba
Fathers: Lt. M Subba
School: St. Joseph's School (Kurseong)

TheDC: What got you into Djing?
DJ Rachel: From the shy girl to a lady who now is brimming with confidence, I had an extreme change of positivity towards my career ever since I started doing what I love-(Djing).

Music is perhaps one language which can bring together all the people in the world, and I always wanted to put my creativity and give back something from my side to the society. I choose my career as a Dj and made myself an epitome of change and I strongly wanted to prove for the sake of women out there, that nothing is impossible if your goals are visionary and that your dreams are practical as well.

TheDC: Did your family object or support your decision?
DJ Rachel: My Family did object and support as well, because after my dad expired I got a job offer in the State Bank of India in place of my dad. I refused it and stuck to what I wanted to be in life. Now everone is proud of what am doing.

TheDC: Can you tell us some of the shows you have performed at? 
DJ Rachel: I have done a lot of Club gigs, corporate gigs, private gigs ,etc in places like Kolkata, Bangalore, Bhutan, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Assam, Patna, Bhuwaneshwar, Bodhgaya…etc

Including Decible, Kstars, Harley Davidson.

TheDC: Who are some of the Artist you have performed with?
DJ Rachel: Cod , Gxsoul, Nepsydaz , Laure.

TheDC: What are the challenges in your field?
DJ Rachel: Coming across various people with different taste of music, trying to set the vibe right and getting the crowd involved and engaged.

TheDC: How do you overcome these challenges?
DJ Rachel: I watch their body language, movement towards the music flow and then I drop a track that doesn’t give them a chance to stop dancing and am very flexible regarding the music genre.

TheDC: Does being a woman help or hinder?
DJ Rachel: It helps and hinder at the same time.

TheDC: How do people react to a female DJ?
DJ Rachel: Depends on individuality,but till now I have come across a lot of positive reaction from people.

TheDC: What msg you want to share with youngsters,who want to follow you?
DJ Rachel: The youngsters who are studying or pursuing some course, I wouldn’t be so theoretical regarding future aspects and ambitions. Just few things that are more necessary than any of the above, I would love to tell them no matter what phase you go through life, no matter how successful you become, you shouldn’t be forgetting your real roots, your inner passion and most importantly the world needs “real you”.

The youth should follow music, art and literature but at the same time should learn to respect the cultural aspects of their family too and never ruin them. Its good to be modernized. Its even better to have your mentality broader, wide but all that matters at the end of the day is - do not have regrets with what decisions you make.

TheDC: Final question, what are your future plans?
DJ Rachel: I don’t know about the future but till the time I can do this… I will keep entertaining people with my music.

We wish DJ Rachel GOOD LUCK in her career and hope that she will inspire thousands of our youngsters to follow their heart!!

Source TheDC

Interview with BHANU ra PALA: By Praneet, Sujeence & Mikma

3:06 PM
“Jojo tapai ley Bhanu ra Pala hernu bha?” was the question my younger brother had asked me a year ago. Soon after that, I googled it and sat down to watch the play.

I was awed by their performance, their catchy dialogue and their brilliant acting. But above all, the play tried to drive home the hard hitting reality of our society at present with a coat of humor.

As the days went by I became a great fan of their dedication, passion and their work and it was my wish to know them better. Ultimately, I got a chance to see their third ever sequence “BHANU RA PALA” live in Delhi at the National Museum on the 13th Sept, 2015.

It was a thrilling experience to watch them live and felt really privileged and happy when I was given a chance to meet them back stage and document their story.

Mr. Lalit Golay who plays the main protagonist ‘Pala’ in the play is also the writer of the play. Pala seemed very charming, lively and humorous in his real life as well. It was he who introduced me to Mr. Madan Bhujel well known as ‘Bhanu’ and other supporting artists in the play.

While I was documenting them back stage, I witnessed their true dedications, hard work and bonding as a team. They spent their time rehearsing, practicing and memorizing their lines. Mr. Lalit Golay (pala) made his fellow artists understand the scene, go through the main dialogue sequences and made the characters work on crucial punch-lines.
Interview with BHANU ra PALA
Interview with BHANU ra PALA
Finally, the curtain of the stage was raised and “Bhanu ra Pala” gradually unfolded its first ever play organized at the National Level following a loud cheer and applause from the audience. The auditorium as exploding with the sound of laughter as the audience laughed their guts out hearing the catchy and humorous dialogues not to forget the acting. By the end of the play, the audience were seen smiling and cheering as the environment itself had become lively. After the play people ran to meet their favourite actors backstage. My curiosity to know more about the play and its actors led me to the main character ‘Pala’ who very humbly agreed to sit for a short chit-chat the next day.

The following account is given on the basis of a short interview with him.

How “Bhanu Ra Pala” was born?
If we go back to the time/ era when 'Bhanu' and 'Ghasi' (reference to the Poem 'Ghasi Kuwa' by legendary Nepali language poet Bhanubhakta Acharya) engage in a conversation where the latter talks about his contribution towards the society. Bhanu being a learned elite is intrigued by the noble thoughts of the common ghasi (grass-cutter)and this makes him the greatest poet of all times. Hypothetically speaking, if Bhanu had lived in today’s era and had such similar conversation, he might have felt much frustrated and suffocated and would come to Pala’s wine shop and vent out all his thoughts. Taking such scenarios in to prospect, the Drama “Bhanu ra Pala” was introduced in the year 2007, on 13th July, the same date when Bhanu Bhakta’ was born.

What made you add other characters to your play?
In the society we come across various characters from different aspects of community, such as a drunker, a policeman, etc. The reason behind introducing a drunker in the act is to show how within a society people are destroying their lives by drinking, even though he knows and understands the pros and cons of the current situation along.

What inspired you to be a theatre artist?
My uncle who was into drama and music who inspired me a lot. “When I was a kid I used to love hanging around with them and I was introduced into the world of drama.”

What was your first act?
Ah! The act was based on the famous writer Shiv Kumar Rai’s story titled “Dakhbangla” where I got a chance to play a small role of “dahi walla”. I still remember the dialogue it was “dahi dahi asali dahi”. I was in class 3 it still gives me goose-bumps.

Why have you portrayed all of your acts in a humorous style?
Each of my play has a lot of humour because I believe that every message be it political or social will reach the people more easily with the help of comedy, which makes my audience laugh, entertain them and brings awareness as well.

What is the reason behind hosting your act in Delhi?
The incessant rain which led to the landslides, destroyed many villages and roads in the sub division of Kalimpong, Kolamkham being one of them. Bikram Parajulee (the policeman in the play) who was a volunteer in one of the relief camps, was told by a local that they needed a school because the children over there were studying in a tarpaulin make shift shelter. This event was planned keeping in mind the children of Kolamkham and their future. Whatever money that they collect through this play would be donated for building a school for the children.

Have you ever thought of writing a book?
Ha ha (laughs)…I have been asked the same question before in one such instance a small kid came up to me and said “there are lots of books in the library but why haven’t you written one?”. That simple question asked by that small child make me think a lot thus, I have written my act “Bhannu ra Palla 3” in a book format.

Write up inputs: Praneet Subba , Sujeence Lama & Mikma Lepcha

Source: Gorkha Youth and Students' Association of India - GYASA

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