Showing posts with label Kalimpong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kalimpong. Show all posts

Widow seeks justice over husband's murder

6:07 PM

Writes : Mukesh Sharma

Kalimpong, 1 June :The widow of Chandan Pradhan whose dead body was found on 30th December at sevoke is asking for justice over the death of her husband.

Chandan Pradhan a contractor by profession was travelling with two of his friend Deepak Agarwal and Prem Puniya on the day of incident.

His body was recovered from a 300ft gorge near Coronation Bridge on NH31 in Kalimpong on 30th December.

He was returning back to home with his two friends but it was said they were engaged in some scuffle with some bikers but later police arrested both of his friend on suspicion.

Today the widow with Reeseka Chhetri , National Secretary of International Human Rights and crime control organization meet Kalimpong SP Ajeet Singh Yadav seeking justice.

After the meeting addressing a press meet widow Bijeta Chhetri Pradhan crying said “ My husband was brutally killed by Deepak Agarwal and Prem Puniya she alleged.

They were arrested but within a month they were out on bail and are roaming openly. From last five month we are seeking for justice.

We had only one male member who was hacked to death. My 10 years old daughter is always crying remembering her dad.

He said Prem Puniya called him on 28th December he stay at siliguri that night and on 29th December evening he said he was returning but he never returned.

She added that we being alone done not went to any political party as we had belief that we will get justice.

We visited Darjeeling SP who gave us a three month time but later Kalimpong being a district SP said it will be seen by new district.

Reseeka Chhetri National Secretary of International Human Rights and crime control organization said a case came yesterday at our office.

Bijeta informed about her case and seeking all the detail we today met SP Kalimpong who has assured us give justice in a month time. She said we will be moving to Kolkataa High court for cancelation of bail plea soon.

[Via : Kalimpong news Express]

Rift between Jan Andolan Party (JAP) and the Trinamool Congress Began

11:05 AM
TMC
Trinamool magic won't work in Darjeeling hills: JAP

Darjeeling, Sept. 26:In an obvious sign of relations souring up between the Jan Andolan Party and the Trinamool Congress, the JAP today rebuffed the TMC’s attempts to make inroads in the hills, asserting no national-level party would be able to usurp power in the region.

The latest swipe comes in the wake of chief minister Mamata Banerjee recently clarifying in a public programme that it was her and her government’s decision to form a separate Kalimpong district.

“We (hills) cherish regional feelings and sentiments when it comes to politics, whatever parties we may be associated with. No national party has been able to rule in the hills as the history of the place shows,” asserted Amar Lama, senior JAP bureau member, today durig a press briefing in Darjeeling.

Going a step further, Lama challenged the TMC to form the government in Tripura first. “Why, Darjeeling hills, we challenge the TMC to first form government in Tripura,” the JAP leader said.
Rift between Jan Andolan Party (JAP) and the Trinamool Congress Began
What has also irked the JAP leadership is the chief minister's reluctance to give credit to the party, the political ally of the TMC in the hills, with regard to the formation of the new district.

Coming out in defence of the party’s president, Lama reiterated that it was the strong pitch made by JAP chief Harka Bahadur Chhetri and the District Demand Committee (DDC) that made the state government decide to create Kalimpong district. “Our party president and the DDC pursued the issue of creating a Kalimpong district relentlessly. It was this untiring effort and pursuance that gave the state government the impetus to come to a decision. The chief minister cannot deny this fact,” said Lama.

The JAP has all along taken credit for the state government's decision to form a Kalimpong district, which apparently was not announced by the chief minister during her latest three-day visit to the hills,

much against popular expectations. Speaing at a programme organised by the Lepcha development board in Kalimpong, Banerjee clarified that nobody had pursued the matter with her to create Kalimpong district. Interestingly, Chhetri who is also the Kalimpong MLA, was among the invitees to the function and was seated on the dais when Banerjee uttered her statement.

The JAP president initially dabbled for a Kalimpong district as a member of the DDC after severing ties with the GJM before he went on to float the JAP to contest the assembly election riding on the Kalimpong district issue. Lama also took offence to the war of words between the state government and the GJM over allocation of funds to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. He said,

“Rather than indulging in making claims and allegations, the state government should ask the Comptroller Auditor General to audit the expenditure accounts of the GTA. It can be done on the basis of section 55, clause 9 of the GTA Act under the Funds and Audit section." Lama also suggested that if at all anomalies were found in the audit, the GTA Sabha should be dissolved then.

Mamata Banerjee has claimed that the state government had allocated Rs 4,000 crore to the GTA for development over a period of four years since the formation of the council in 2012. Refuting the claim,  GJM president Bimal Gurung has announced a 12 hour strike in the hills on September 28, seeking a clarification from the state government.

Via (EOIC)

JAP raps GTA & Mamata on funds
Darjeeling, Sept. 26: The Jana Andolan Party today accused both Mamata Banerjee and Bimal Gurung of indulging in politics over the GTA funds and asked the state government to conduct an audit of the hill body.

Amar Lama, a bureau member of the JAP, today said: "The chief minister had come up with a Rs 1,000 crore figure during a public meeting in Kurseong in March and after a few months, she talks about Rs 4,000 crore in Kalimpong. Instead of speaking on an issue like this at a public gathering, the chief minister should act seriously. The state government should ask the CAG to conduct an audit and if they find financial irregularities, the state should supersede the GTA as is laid out in the Act."

Lama further said the chief minister was raising the funds issue only when her relation with the Morcha was on the rocks. "Why is the issue being raised only when the relation between the two parties has hit a low? Had the relation (between the Morcha and Trinamul) been steady, it seems, the chief minister would have never raised the issue," said Lama.

In the recent Assembly elections, the JAP was in an alliance with the Trinamul Congress.

Accusing the Morcha of failing to be transparent, Lama said: "The Morcha must be transparent on the issue. The GTA, which is controlled by the Morcha, should give a proper reply to funds queries and should not hide details on money matters. However, there was no need to call a general strike on an issue related to claims and counter-claims on funds."

Late in the evening, Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, said the Wednesday strike was also to strengthen the voice of Gorkhaland, which the state government was trying to scuttle in all possible ways. - Telegraph


Kalimpong declared as the 21st district of West Bengal by Mamata Banerjee

7:52 AM
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday declared Kalimpong in the Darjeeling hills as the 21st district of the state. So far, Kalimpong used to be a sub-division under the Darjeeling district. Mamata, who is on a three day tour to north Bengal made the announcement while addressing the locals at the Lepcha Board Foundation Day Programme in Kalimpong.

Mamata also promised the allotment of six core rupees for the construction of proper infrastructure of the newly declared district. "Kalimpong will become a new district. We have allotted Rs 6 crore for building infrastructure here," she said on Thursday adding that tourism must flourish in the hills.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banejee wears a traditional headgear at the 5th founation day function of Lepcha Development and Cultural Board at Kalimpoog in Darjeeling
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banejee wears a traditional headgear at the 5th founation day function of Lepcha Development and Cultural Board at Kalimpoog in Darjeeling
Addressing the people of the hills, Mamata said, "I want to work for the development of Darjeeling Hills. I am proud of the young generation here. If the hills do not progress, Bengal cannot progress."

In December last year Banerjee had announced that Kalimpong will be turned into a new district for ease of administration. However, many see it as a way to snub the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) which has been leading a campaign demanding separate Gorkhaland state.

Mamata's announcement comes as a victory for the newly formed Jan Andolan Party (JAP) whose leader Harka Bahadur Chhetri have been lobbying hard to make Kalimpong a separate district after quitting the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in September.

Mamata Banerjee showers sops on Kalimpong, Bimal Gurung says it’s ‘land of Gorkhaland lovers’
With Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announcing a slew of development measures in Kalimpong — which will soon be carved into a separate district — her one-time political ally Bimal Gurung of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) claimed that the hill town was the “land of Gorkhaland lovers”.

Speaking at the foundation day programme of the Lepcha Board, Mamata said: “The Lepcha Board has already built three thousands of homes for the poor. The various development boards must promote cultural activities and make Darjeeling clean and green. We want Darjeeling to prosper and become the best. Kalimpong will become a new district. We have allotted Rs 6 crore for building infrastructure.” Mamata is currently on a three-day trip to the hills concluding on Friday.

Ahead of addressing a rally in Kalimpong, Mamata met several local leaders, including those from the Lepcha, Tamang, Newa, Bhujal, Khas, Kami, Damai, Saki, Vishwakarma and Gurung communities. She was also accorded the status of ‘Kingchuk Dermit’ — the highest award of the Lepcha community, said Trinamool leaders.

Gurung calls meet to counter Mamata - Morcha seeks to score over Trinamul chief in Kalimpong
Bimal Gurung has decided to hold a public meeting of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's women wing in Kalimpong on Sunday, a day after Mamata Banerjee leaves the hill town, purportedly to show that Kalimpong is "a land of Gorkhaland lovers".

The chief minister reached Kalimpong today and will attend a programme of the Lepcha development board tomorrow, followed by another one of the Tamang development board the day after. She is scheduled to leave Kalimpong on Saturday.

In a written statement today, the Morcha president said Mamata was frequenting the hills, particularly Kalimpong, to "suppress the Gorkhaland voice" with the help of "some vested people who are trying to divide the Gorkha community into pieces" by forming development boards.

Gurung went on to say: "In reality, Kalimpong is a land of Gorkhaland lovers. However, some people with vested interests are belittling Kalimpong. The person who is dividing the Gorkha community is being felicitated as the chief minister who wants good of the Gorkhas."

He called on "Gorkhaland lovers" to look into the issue with all seriousness and asked them to give a befitting reply. "The issue of Gorkhaland cannot be suppressed by temporary benefits. To spread this message to Gorkhas across India, the Gorkha Janmukti Nari Morcha has decided to organise a meeting at Delo on September 25," Gurung said.

"The Nari Morcha members from Kalimpong should attend the meeting to demonstrate to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and anti-Gorkhaland forces the support for Gorkhaland," he added.

Delo is 5km from Kalimpong.

Even though Gurung had yesterday said the Morcha would win any election even if it was held now, his statement today, according to observers, suggests that he feels that the impact of Mamata's three-day visit has to be countered immediately.

Many hope Mamata will make some announcements with regard to the creation of Kalimpong district during her stay there. However, a senior Nabanna official said: "Creation of a new district involves a lot of paper work. But no file regarding creation of Kalimpong has moved yet."

According to sources, the personnel and administrative reforms department would first prepare the proposal and send it to the finance department before seeking clearance from the cabinet. "But nothing of that sort has happened," said a source.

Various web sources


Time for Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the BJP to deliver Gorkhaland - JAP

9:45 AM
Kalimpong, July 6: The youth wing of the Jan Andolan Party today said time had come for both the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the BJP to deliver Gorkhaland to the people of the hills with Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia joining the Union cabinet.

Amir Basnet, the secretary of the Jan Yuva Ekai, said the Morcha had helped the BJP win the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat both in 2009 and 2014 on the promise of getting a separate state for the Gorkhas.
Jan Andolan Party
Jan Andolan Party


Via Telegraph

12 year old boy and 2 people died in an accident in Kalimpong

9:30 PM
Kalimpong, June 27: Three people including a 12-year-old boy died on the spot in a tragic accident in Mul Pala about 25 km from Kalimpong and a person was seriously injured on Sunday night around 10 p.m when a Maruti Omni skidded off the road. The report said the four occupants, including the driver, was returning to Sindebung village from Kafer. Later it was known that they hade gone to Kafer for a Sunday outing.

"It was apparently very foggy and visibility was poor. As soon as we heard about the incident, our team went to the spot and recovered three bodies and rescued the injured person with the help of local people," said a police source. Locals said that the area was covered with dense fog and was drizzling too, which might have caused the accident.

The deceased have been identified as John Tshering Lepcha (56), postmaster of Sindebong post office; his relative Tsheten tamang (12) who was studying in class 6 in chandramaya high school pudung and Sanjay Mukhia (46), resident of Upper Khadalay. The driver Sanjay Tamang sustained multiple serious injuries and was rushed to a hospital.
12 year old boy and 2 people died in an accident in Kalimpong
12 year old boy and 2 people died in an accident in Kalimpong - photo Kalim news
Kalimpong Police, on receiving information of the accident, reached the spot around 12 after which the bodies were recovered with the help of local people.

The bodies were brought to the subdivisional hospital last night and handed over to the relatives of the deceased after post-mortem today.







विधायिका सरिता राईले पहाड़को प्राथमिक शिक्षा, कृषि विश्वविद्यालय, केन्द्रिय विश्वविद्यालयको निर्माण गरिनुपर्ने विषयमा जोड़ दिइन्

10:13 AM
विधायिका सरिता राईले दार्जीलिङ पहाड़को प्राथमिक शिक्षा व्यवस्थाको सुढृढ़ीकरण, कालेबुङको उत्तर बंग कृषि विश्वविद्यालयको पुनर्सञ्चालन, केन्द्रिय विश्वविद्यालय निर्माण गरिनुपर्ने विषयमा जोड़ दिइन्।

विधानसभामा आफ्नो सम्बोधनको क्रममा कालेबुङ विधानसभा समष्टिक्षेत्रका विधायिका सरिता राईले दार्जीलिङ पहाड़को प्राथमिक शिक्षा व्यवस्थाको सुढृढ़ीकरण, कालेबुङको उत्तर बंग कृषि विश्वविद्यालयको पुनर्सञ्चालन एवं अनि सबै वर्गका कर्मचारीहरूको समान सहुलियत अनि अवसर प्रदान गरिनुपर्ने विषयमा जोड़ दिइन्।
गत 17 जूनको दिन राज्यपाल केशरीनाथ त्रिपाठीले समग्र राज्यवासीहरूको पक्षमा राज्यवासीहरूलाई समान विकासतिर अग्रसर गरिनुपर्ने, उत्तर बंगालक्षेत्रका चियाकमान अनि चियाश्रमिकहरूको उत्थान गरिनुपर्ने तथा राज्यमा सर्वाङ्गीन शिक्षा विकास गरिनुपर्ने विषयहरूमाथि आफ्नो वक्तव्य पेश गरेका थिए भने उक्त प्रस्तावहरूमाथि प्रतिक्रिया व्यक्त गर्नको निम्ति विधायिका राईलाई आज 5 मिनटको समय दिइएको थियो। सोही अवधिमा उनले राज्यपालको उक्त वक्तव्यको स्वागत अनि समर्थन गर्दै दार्जीलिङ पहाड़का उक्त तीनवटा महत्वपूर्ण मुद्दाहरूमा विधानसभामा प्रस्तुत गरेकी हुन्।

कालेबुङका विधायिकाले मुख्यरूपमा अव्यवस्थित अनि अचल प्रायः अवस्थामा रहिआएका कालेबुङका उत्तर बंग कृषि विश्वविद्यालयलाई व्यवस्थितरूपमा सञ्चालन गरिनुपर्ने विषयमा जोड़ दिइन्। उक्त विश्वविद्यालयको 30 ऐकर जमीन हालसमाम पनि सुरक्षित रहेको उल्लेख गर्दै विधायिका राईले भनिन्- कालेबुङ दार्जीलिङ पहाड़को सबैभन्दा ठूलो महकुमा हो अनि यस महकुमाभित्र 60 प्रतिशतभन्दा अधिक मानिसहरू कृषिमाथि नै निर्भर रहेका छन्। यसैले सोचनीय अवस्थामा रहेको कालेबुङको कृषि विश्वविद्यालयलाई व्यवस्थित बनाई सुचारूरूपमा सञ्चालन गरिएको खण्डमा यसक्षेत्रका कृषिसित सम्बन्धित उक्त मानिसहरूलाई धेरै सहयोग प्राप्त हुनेछन्। यस क्षेत्रका विद्यार्थी अनि किसानहरूलाई कृषिको क्षेत्रमा नयाँ तकनीक अनि कौशलहरू सिक्ने अवसर प्राप्त हुनेछ। यसैले राज्य सरकारले यस विषयलाई गम्भीरतापूर्वक लिइदिने म उक्त क्षेत्रको विधायिकाको नाताले अपील गर्दछु। यसरी कालेबुङका उत्तर बंग कृषि विश्वविद्यालयको समस्यामाथि बोल्दा आज राज्यका कृषि मन्त्री पुर्नेन्दु बोस पनि विधानसभामा नै रहेका थिए भने विधायिकाले कृषि मन्त्रीलाई पनि यस विषयमा ध्यान दिने अपील गरिन्।
सरिता राई
सरिता राई
यसबाहेक विधायिका राईले दार्जीलिङ पहाड़को प्राथमिक शिक्षा व्यवस्थामाथि पनि चिन्ता व्यक्त गर्दै राज्य सरकारले यस दिशामा पनि पहल गर्न आवश्यक रहेको आफ्नो सम्बोधनको क्रममा विचार व्यक्त गरिन्। मुख्यरूपले दार्जीलिङ पहाड़का प्राथमिक पाठशालाहरूमा लामो समयदेखि शिक्षक नियुक्ति नभएको कारणले गम्भीर समस्या उत्पन्न भइरहेको उल्लेख गर्दै उनले भनिन्- दार्जीलिङ पहाड़को प्राथमिक पाठशालाहरूमा धेरै लामो समयदेखि शिक्षक नियुक्ति गरिएको छैन। अधिकाशं विद्यालयहरूमा सबै शिक्षकहरू अवकाश ग्रहण गरिसकेका छन् भने धेरैवटा पाठशालाहरू प्रधान अध्यापकबिनै अनि केवल स्वयंसेवी अनि अस्थायी अनि पारा शिक्षकहरूको भरमा सञ्चालन भइरहेको छ। यसले गर्दा धेरै पाठशालाहरूमा ताला लाग्ने अवस्था रहिआएको छ भने बाँकी अन्य पाठशालाहरूमा पनि शिक्षा व्यवस्था डावाँडोल अवस्थामा रहिआएको छ। यसैले पहाड़को प्राथमिक शिक्षाको विकास अनि व्यवस्थापन गर्नुको निम्ति सरकारले शिक्षक नियुक्तिको साथसाथै विभिन्न समस्याहरूको निराकरणमाथि ध्यान दिन राज्य सरकारप्रति म अपील गर्दछु। विधायिका राईले सम्बोधनको क्रममा विधानसभामै उपस्थित रहेका शिक्षामन्त्री पार्थ च्याटर्जीलाई पनि यस विषयमा पहल गरिदिने अपील गरिन्।

हिजो दार्जीलिङ विधानसभाका विधायक अमरसिहँ राईले विधानसभामा उठान गरेको सी अनि डी वर्गका कर्मचारीहरूसितै ए अनि बी वर्गका कर्मचारीहरूको पनि वेतन वृद्धि गरिनुपर्ने वक्तव्यलाई पनि समर्थन जनाइन्।
यस विषयमा जोड़ दिँदै उनले भनिन्- सी अनि डी वर्गका कर्मचारीहरूको मात्रै वेतन वृद्धि गरिएपछि दार्जीलिङ पहाड़मा पनि ए अनि बी वर्गका कर्मचारीहरू असन्तुष्ट भएर धरना अनि आन्दोलन गरिरहेका छन्। यसले गर्दा जीटीएलाई प्रशासनिक कार्यहरूमा पनि धेरै बाधा भइरहेको छ। ए अनि बी वर्गका कर्मचारीहरूमा अभियन्ता, शिक्षकलगायत अन्य महत्वपूर्ण ओहोदाका कर्मचारीहरू पर्न जान्छन्। तथापि उनीहरूको वेतन वृद्धि नभई सी अनि डी को मात्रै वृद्धि भएकोले गर्दा तनाखाको हिसाबमा उनीहरू सी अनि डी कर्मचारीहरूभन्दा पछाड़िएका छन्। यसैले उनीहरू आन्दोलनमा उत्रिएका छन्। यस गम्भीर समस्यामाथि विचार गरी राज्य सरकारले यथाशीघ्र समाधानसूत्र निकाल्न आवश्यक रहेको छ।

यसबाहेक कालेबुङका विधायिकाले जीटीएको सम्झौतामा पनि उल्लेख रहेको केन्द्रिय विश्वविद्यालय निर्माणको निम्ति पनि राज्य सरकारले आफ्नो तर्फबाट आवश्यक सहयोगहरू जीटीएलाई पुराइदिने पनि अपील गरिन्।


Gurung announced Rs 50 crore to upgrade Kalimpong Mela Ground into stadium

9:56 AM
Writes Rajeev Ravidas

Kalimpong, June 21: GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung today announced that he had sanctioned Rs 50 crore for the upgrade of the Mela Ground here to a modern stadium, but the project cannot be executed until and unless the land, which is with the Darjeeling Improvement (DI) Fund, is given to the hill body.

Sources at the GTA said the estimated cost of the project that envisaged the construction of both indoor and outdoor facilities, along with proper seating arrangements, was Rs 105 crore.

Addressing the International Yoga Day event at the soggy Mela Ground, Gurung said the project would be a gift to the people of Kalimpong, especially the children and youngsters. "Mela Ground is at the centre of the town. But its condition is like that of a paddy field. I have been trying to build a big stadium at the ground for a long time as a gift to Kalimpong. Just yesterday, I sanctioned Rs 50 crore to build a big stadium at the Mela Ground," he said.
Gurung announced Rs 50 crore to upgrade Mela Ground into stadium
50 crore for the upgrade of the Mela Ground here to a modern stadium
The Mela Ground with a measurement of 110ft X 62ft hosts football matches once in a while and it has cemented galleries which are partially covered. The galleries can at most accommodate 5,000 spectators. Political parties and organisations hold meetings and other events at the ground.

Although the GTA chief executive did not reveal the details of the stadium, sources said a Delhi-based firm had already prepared a detailed project report and the stadium, which would have both indoor and outdoor facilities, was estimated to cost Rs 105 crore. "To begin with, a start-up fund of Rs 20 crore from the Centre's special package has been set aside for the project. According to the chief executive's instruction, an e-tender will be called at the earliest," said a source.

The bulk of the remaining funds for the project, the source said, would be sought from the Union sports ministry by taking the state government into confidence.

However, according to another source, before the GTA can execute the project, the hill body must get possession of the Mela Ground land, which belongs to the Darjeeling Improvement (DI) Fund that continues to remain under the state government despite being a transferred subject as per the GTA Act. "According to the GTA Act, the DI Fund plots should have been transferred to the hill body. However, we are still to get the possession of these lands. Until that happens, the GTA cannot execute the project. The GTA has already written to the state government, seeking the transfer of all DI Fund plots to the hill body," said the source.

Telegraph


Kalimpong, a centre of convergence: trade, town and people

1:06 AM

Writes: Diki Sherpa
[It was said that ,someday in 1940’s A wealthy man , to be specific the director of Rolex watches desired to know this place called “kalimpong” from where such an unusual high amount of Rolex watches is demanded. When the man finally arrived in Kalimpong he was rather stunned to find out the fact that kalimpong was no more than just a small chaotic trade village in the eastern Himalayas.]

In this article I had attempted to explore the distant past of kalimpong, when it was thriving under caravan trade across the Indo-Tibetan border. In this process it not only became a centre for economic enterprise but also emerged as an important converging point of people, ideas and legacies transcending their territories to produce kalimpong as a dynamic urban locale in the early twentieth century.

It all began in 1904, after the so called colonel Younghusband’s expedition to Lhasa. At this point, commerce across the Himalayas was just a mere political expression to safeguard the imperial interest. To facilitate the commerce in the region Jelepla was preferred as a principle route linking the British Empire directly with Lhasa, as the treacherous topography of Nathula did not allow the smooth mobility. Kalimpong located right in the middle of Indo-Tibetan trade route, was a point of transit- trade, replacing Kathmandu as an entrepot for the long distance trade. The goods were received in this entrepot until they were re-exported, primarily to breakdown the burden of long distance trade by single agency. Charles Bell, the British representative in Tibet notes that – “The most important of all the trade routes between India and Tibet takes off from the kalimpong in the dist. Of Darjeeling crossing south eastern Sikkim and enters the Chumbi valley by the Jelepla.” Places such as this witnessed the colossal political and economic changes over the period of time and also primarily owed their importance or rather existence to the caravan trade across the border. Trading practice and the growth of town is “incremental” and “symbiotic”, this processes cannot be seen in isolation. Kalimpong which acted as an entrepot for the Indo- Tibetan trade in the first half of the 20th century was one of such town, where trade was the very raison d’être for its growth. Commodities like woolen and cotton piece goods ,iron ,steel ,brass and copper sheets and wares, stationary ,sugar , gur, dried fruits ,dyes ,chemical ,kerosene ,candles ,lantern ,electronic torches and batteries ,brick tea , aluminum ware , porcelain ,cement ,leather goods ,cigarettes , leaf tobacco and pharmaceutical goods was sent to Tibet in exchange of musk, wool ,yaks tail, silver, gold. As often said by the locals, “almost everything” was carried to Tibet. From Tibet the raw wool constituted the 90 percent of the Tibet’s annual export to India, which in turn some of them find their way to the Indian mills and the remaining was re-exported to Liverpool and America.
Kalimpong, a centre of convergence: trade, town and people

Almost seven years since the trade started, the landscape of the area started to change. To increase the efficiency of the goods circulation, the overland traffic was mechanized, half way though. Teesta valley extension of the Darjeeling Himalayan railway was completed upto Gaillekhola (12 miles from kalimpong) and opened for traffic in 1915. The considerable effort was put to improve the cart road from Teesta bazaar to kalimpong. This “annihilation of space and time” to ensure the increased mobility of goods was directly set against the dire consequence of toiling lives of many. Considering the mountain ecologies, road construction across the asymmetrical hilly terrain presented various Ecological challenges and sometimes even cost lives. All these painstaking hard work of subalterns helped kalimpong at last to gradually glide towards urbanization. Thanks to their dreadful labor, it was no longer oblivion to the social economic and political development that was taking place beyond Teesta.

The rural setting of the was not a hindrance to the business minded individuals; it was trade all that matter. The rural setting began to get transfer and got a further impetus when Rev. J.A graham proposed to develop a Kalimpong into a town. Hence in 1916 it was declared as subdivision basically as a precondition to develop it as a town. While describing Kalimpong as a hill town, it is intriguing to point out that ,it did not presented a prototype of romantic English country home away from congestion of cities and politics of Indian plains. It certainly lacked the typical hill station characteristics like others in the eastern Himalayan or may be in the India. It did not offer a cool climate like that of neighboring

Darjeeling to develop it as a sanatorium or as a seasonal retreat with their colonial social life, gaiety and style. Moreover, even the educational institution that was established did not show any parity with the institution of neighboring hill station. The most prominent educational establishment in the region was St. Andrews colonial homes(1900) which was situated on an estate of 611 acres . The main object behind the establishment was to provide for children wholly or partly of British or other European descent, such an education and training based upon protestant principle, as many fit then for emigration to British colony or for suitable work elsewhere. Other institutions were primarily targeted to train and educate the natives of the region .In 1925 Himalayan hotel was built, the only European establishment of David McDonald to cater the European and British visitors. The total no. of European in 1941 was 529 out of total 11,958 people in town. Therefore it can certainly be said that kalimpong was not a so called favored resort of recreation. It was truly a place set aside for trade and commerce thriving with activity filled with seasonal bustling of the mule caravans to and from the Tibet.

Not so long, Kalimpong originally a hamlet, evolved as a vibrant “social space” in this process, where various individual encountered each other in the similar social and economic sphere. It became an ingress for the Tibetans to enter the outside world and gateway to enter Tibet for many foreign scholars, artists,

adventurers, missionaries. During the times of political instability, it became a major hub of information and working ground for Japanese spies, Tibetan revolutionaries, and British intelligence networks. Scholars argues that, this little town became a major gossip factory for news for the country across the border. Hence, Mr. Dorje Tharchin (Rdo rje mthar phyin) ,A Christian catechist from kinnaur , in 1925,found the location appropriate for the establishment of his press in kalimpong. It was happened to be the first long-lasting newspaper in the Tibetan language, entitled “Yul phyogs so so’i gsar ’gyur me long”, or “The Mirror of News from All Sides of the World”, and later known as “The Tibet Mirror”. It was a small publication but had a far reaching circulation and it found a wide readership in places like Assam, Darjeeling ,Bhutan ,Sikkim, Tibet, Kashmir, Almora ,Himachal and Nepal. Eventually, it became a vehicle for the dissemination of modern idea and information to the monastic land of far Tibet and adjoining areas.

However, the prosperous times were not to last forever. After 1950, with the formation of PLA and the occupation of Tibet, gradually all the wool was diverted to china and American buyers withdrew from the market. Soon after 12 years, boundary disputes and Sino- Indian war resulted into the closing of borders and the trade was brought to a complete halt. Responding to the changing political and Geo-economic transformation in the region, all the traders shifted their business to a more lucrative location and Kalimpong became a sleepy town. The reminiscences of trade still lingers among the locals, and they often temporally create the bygone years as a golden era that Kalimpong has once experienced.

This is just fragment of the whole picture that I have attempted to present, it is beyond the purview of thisarticle to compress and talk about the wider past events.

[Diki Sherpa, MPhil research scholar from the university of Delhi.]

Via DT



 
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