Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opinion. Show all posts

Gorkhaland 2017: When Miracles Failed and Criticism Invited FIRs

8:28 AM

Writes - @oyeketa

During the 104 days of the shutdown, Darjeeling experienced what every political uprising faces - blockades, food scarcity, police brutality, unlawful arrests, media-blackout, and everything else that can make any movement fall on its knees. But, what broke the back of Gorkhaland agitation in 2017 was its dependence on the ‘miracles of Delhi’ and lack of vision of the incumbent Hills leadership. When the miracle story failed to deliver, the incumbent Hills leadership had to run for covers, lost its credibility, and were exposed for their gross mismanagement Gorkhaland administration in 10-years tenure.

Everybody believed that the GTA, with all its limitation, could have brought major changes in the region. However, the ruling party of the Hills chose to sleep through it for 10 years, before being alarmed by the end their term. The fact is that the politicians never took GTA seriously, and it was only used as an excuse to embalm the egos self-proclaimed leaders.

It was not the public who needed Miracles, it was the Leaders. The public was tired equally of a failed leadership, as it was of the Police brutality. Tragically, the frustration reached a level where the public simply didn’t care. Leaders who were till now sitting on the fence until now too timid to speak up suddenly found a reason to rejuvenate when the promised Miracles failed to arrive and they quickly jumped into the pool.

Without a strong or accountable leader on the ground, rising food scarcity, it was just about a matter of time before the public would receive with both arms whatever little they get from the State government. Today, there is a semblance of normality in Darjeeling Hills, restored through a proxy administration, special economic packages and even forceful coercion. Democracy is yet to shine. But is Darjeeling happy and smiling? I will leave that for you to answer.

Amidst the deaths, heavy police crack-down, and economic hardships, Darjeeling lost control of the Gorkhaland issue and the movement had to be outsourced to people and organizations living outside the region. Starting June 2017, the Gorkhaland movement had its own little 'Arab Spring' moment, whereby the movement which till now was confined to the Hills, spread like wildfire across the globe. It was for the first time in its history of 107-years that Nepali-speaking people of the world came together to show their solidarity and support for the movement. Right from Manipur to Mumbai, and Bangaluru to Kashmir and Kathmandu, UAE, North America, Israel, Hongkong, and Europe, people stood up for Darjeeling. All thanks to Interment and Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and WhatsApp.

It is highly debatable whether the global outcry and Facebookization of Gorkhaland issue actually benefitted the movement. But, thanks to the mobilization, funds were collected to send food to the Hills during the shutdown and to organize legal aid for any other assistance victims. Neither the fund recipients nor the donors are talking about it, is a different matter altogether.

One section of the public is happy and satisfied to see their Social Media walls filled with Gorkhaland protests and support across the globe. Movement supporters and sympathizers were able to speak up, disagree, and even exchange ideas. At the surface, it appeared that the Gorkhaland movement has finally opened up for democratic reforms where people could share ideas and collaborate.

However, there is another section that thinks while the publicity was good, it has created further divisions and polarized groups into extremes. The Leadership vacuum in the 2017 agitation has opened grounds for different individuals and organizations to assume a leadership position. Certainly, ‘the more, the merrier’ did not bring any good. The coveted Gorkhaland leadership soon became the tug-of-war, and the actual issue gets sidelined. The problem becomes dangerous when each group begins to think of themselves as the saviour of the Gorkhaland movement, the place, and its people.

The Politics of Criticism:

Some individuals, parties, and groups spearheading the 2017 agitation grew bigger than the ‘Cause’ itself. And as is the routine, when you become big and powerful, you don’t like dissenters. Any chapter of a history book is full of such example, and Gorkhaland is no exception.

We have witnessed right from the 1980s, that Gorkhaland has very little tolerance for opposition and criticism. The forceful exodus of dissenters, political murders, and persecution are normal to us.

Legal jargons and constitutional terminologies were also a mainstay of the 2017 agitation. The level of legal consciousness is highly praiseworthy but becomes worrisome when it also becomes a tool for threatening anyone who raises a question or criticizes a move. Court notices, FIRs, threats of defamation have been used against one another by those who claim to fight for Gorkhaland.

From a condescending ‘your criticism makes us strong’ to filing FIRs, and threats of defamation became the new tool against those criticizing and demanding accountability. Legal notices, court orders, were sent for criticizing leaders, organization, or even seeking financial accountability. The only difference from the past is that it is done in a much more polite and sophisticated manner than in the past. The underlying message remains the same though – Fall in Line or you Shall be brought down.

So, the bigger question is 'what about Gorkhaland? What good did the global outcry yield for Darjeeling? Are the problems of education, economic sustenance, poverty, employment, any better now? What about the people who sent truckloads of food during the shutdown? Will they need another shutdown to be awakened again? Are we doing anything to uplift education? Is any group adopting villages and schools that was planned so much during the emergency? Is anyone volunteering to help students improve?

To be honest, I cannot sacrifice my comfortable job and life to worry about these petty things. When there is another emergency, I shall send whatever is possible and will help with likes and shares on Social media. What will you Do?

Via TheDC

Darjeeling Unrest 2017: From an agitation to a Leadership Contest

1:55 PM

Writes: Dinesh Sharma

The Gorkhaland agitation of 2017 has been an eye-opener in many aspects. While it did not yield the desired results even after 104 days of the shutdown, it did manage to bring out the inner demon in us, exposing our vulnerabilities, our inability to trust one another, and utter disrespect for the institution of Democracy. The agitation became an open ground for public, politicians, and CSOs for mud-slinging each other and trying to exploit the situation to their advantage.

After the police firing and death of protestors, internet and media shutdown Darjeeling was virtually cut-off from the world. The administration forcefully took the protests off the streets, deploying thousands of para-military forces across the Hills.  With an emotionally charged public and a witch-hunt like a crackdown on Gorkhaland supporters by the administration, Darjeeling was a ticking bomb threatening to explode any time, bringing back the memories of the 1980s violent agitation.

A wise man (name withheld to avoid police persecution) from the Hills observed “call it unfortunate or otherwise, the 2017 agitation was like an audition for ‘Gorkhaland Got Leaders’ show with individuals and organizations staking their claim to the title. The bigger irony is when flag bearers of the movement abandoned Darjeeling, and the epicentre of the movement shifted to Delhi.”

“This is where Delhi protests came to the rescue of the Government” the wise man adds. “Delhi was too far for the West Bengal Government to even take it seriously.”

However, for the Hills political leaders who were too timid and afraid to speak against the government back home, Delhi offered a safe sanctuary. Here, away from the killing fields of Darjeeling.  Delhi became the pilgrimage for all Hill leaders to wash their guilt. It offered them a chance to establish a connection and find relevance to the movement, and they came prepared with the Gorkhaland rhetoric and lofty speeches.

As always, the ignorant and gullible public of Darjeeling believed that the activities in Delhi were a proof that Gorkhaland has become a national discourse and the Central Government would have to come to their rescue sooner or later. It gave a false hope that Gorkhaland could now be a possibility. Roadmaps and vision for Gorkhaland were being discussed in Delhi, while in Darjeeling Hills where it actually mattered, people were still cut-off and were now fighting for survival amidst a total shutdown and food scarcity.

For the ‘educated, sophisticated, and the social-media savvy’ crowd of Delhi, the time had finally come to have a say. Overnight, Samitis and Committees were formed to spearhead the movement. In Delhi, you could speak for Gorkhaland, curse anyone, say anything, without having to worry about courting arrest, staying hungry, or getting shot in police firing. More importantly, organizers made sure to organize events and activities over the weekend to make it convenient for everyone to attend. It was very well organized.

But, the affairs in Delhi soon became monstrous with personal and political biases taking the center stage, rather than the issue of Gorkhaland. Without the threat of being arrested or being a political target, Delhi made much more noise than Darjeeling, to a point where the frontrunners of Delhi protests began to dictate terms on the course of the movement. They wanted a pie of everything, right from a seat reserved at the negotiation table to issuing certificates and approvals of the political leadership in the Hills. And they did so without even having to step a foot in Darjeeling or having a first-hand experience of the ground situation. Intellectuals and eminent personalities soon joined the protestors in Delhi, rendering their advice and services freely. The same intellectuals would later go on to form other ‘eminent organization’ for themselves is another matter.

So, where did Delhi go irrevocably wrong?

If you remember, there was an all-party Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) formed during the peak of the agitation with members from different Hills political parties and intellectuals of the Gorkha community. The GMCC had a wide public support as a think-tank and everybody wanted to be part of GMCC.

As part of a trust-building measure and garnering support, different Delhi-based groups pressurized the GMCC to hold a meeting with the public in Delhi. However, behind the scene was a more sinister plan to disrupt and break the GMCC, by people and organizations who were not invited to be part of it.

An orchestrated assault on members during the GMCC meeting in Delhi was the final nail in the coffin. As the old adage goes “if I am not in it, I won’t let it be” proved true in this case. In a not-so-surprising move, just a few days after the incident, a committee was formed by with the tagline “Group of eminent Gorkha personalities” by members who were once spearheading the GMCC. Currently, the committee is struggling hard to find its relevance in a post-agitation phase and is last heard of preparing a ‘Vision Document for Gorkhaland.’ Strangely enough, the said committee has not even passed a single statement condemning the atrocities in Darjeeling, unwarranted arrests, or even the killings. They also observed solemn silence throughout the entire process of a new administration set up by the state government.

In Conclusion

The key takeaway this time has been the sad realization that the people of Darjeeling have no role in the politics of their land. The narrative is scripted outside of Darjeeling – in Delhi and Kolkata, and a template is handed over to the self-proclaimed political leadership, with strict rules on what to do and more importantly what not to do. Even the so-called local administrators have very little say in the politics of the land.

Democracy in theory roots for a ‘Government of the People, By the People, and For the People. As is the norm, the mandate of the majority public is integral to Democracy. However, the irony is that Gorkhaland, a movement that prides on being Constitutional and Democratic showed very little respect for it. Elected representatives were forced to flee the land, aspirations of the people trampled ruthlessly using brutal force, and the right to expression simply became a joke.


Dinesh tweets under the handle @OyeKeta and can be reached at:

***NOTE: In context, Upendra had sounded an early warning bell against the same lot, you can read it here:

Via TheDC

where is my Home?

8:45 AM
Writes:  Binayak Sundas

There are those Nepalis in India who are from Nepal and hold Nepali citizenship and then there are others who live in India and hold Indian citizenship

In the last few decades there has been a steady rise in literature on experiences of people visiting those parts of their socio-cultural spaces separated by partition. Hence people discover that the land that they grew up thinking as the quintessential other and enemy was not after all so different. The people, that they always thought of as the evil incarnate could have easily been neighbors, friends or even family. Such is the complicated history of the subcontinent and the problems of the concept of the nation-state in the region.

A person from Kolkata may find that he has far more in common with someone from across the border in Dhaka than he has with someone from his own state in Darjeeling. Similarly, a person from Lahore may find that Amritsar is far closer to home than Quetta or Karachi. These dilemmas and complexities have led to a plethora of beautiful, yet melancholic stories that have captured the imaginations of readers and caused them to rethink certain aspects of nature of nationalism and renewed connections across the border.

The partition of Punjab and Bengal in 1947, a tragic event of Himalayan proportions, and its aftermath are very difficult to be compared with anywhere else. It was an incident that was a product of specific historical events that were unique to the region and yet one cannot help, but wonder if similar literature is possible to be written between Indian Nepalis and Nepal’s Nepalis.

I have over the years of my research come across many academic literatures that have tried to clearly make the difference of Indian Nepali from those in Nepal. They have suggested the use of terms such as Nepa-mulya and Bharatiya Nepali, but nothing seems to have quite captured the imagination of Indian Nepalis, as that of the “Gorkha” since nothing speaks of pride like a colonial imaginary construct, used to garner cheap military labor. The two kinds of Nepalis in India are those who are from Nepal but are in India to work and earn their livelihoods and hold Nepali citizenship and the other who have lived in India and hold Indian citizenship.

The common perception is that the accents in their Nepali are the main marker of difference. This is, of course, a mistake since Nepal does not have a unified accent, neither do Indian Nepalis.

During my stay in Delhi, I had the privilege of making a lot of friends from Nepal, the picture that they painted of Nepal and its socio-economic dynamics seemed to be very different from the one that I remembered from the tales of my mother or my brief visits to Dharan and more importantly from the socio cultural and economic scenario in Darjeeling, the hub of Indian Nepalis. The language too seemed different; Bahuns, Ranas and Shah friends spoke a form of Nepali, that they claimed was the equivalent of King’s English. They were mortified when they heard me speak in Nepali, some were out rightly offended, some laughed and one friend said I spoke like a Taba Keta (drug addict) from Thamel.

Tracing the root

On my father’s side, my family was from Dolakha. Once, as my grandfather narrated the story to me, one of my ancestors, a Damai, accidentally touched a Brahmin bride on her wedding day, which caused her to lose her caste and the marriage was called off. By the evening the entire village was gathering for traditional Jhar Katnu (hacking him to death). How else would the groom’s and bride’s family regain lost honor and the rest of the village salvage the entertainment denied to them?

Maybe someone informed them, my family left the village with whatever little belongings they had before the mob arrived.  Realizing that they could never go back home they made their way to the only refuge for the wretched of Nepal: Darjeeling, along with the Brahmin bride. This was a hundred years ago, during the same period the ancestors on my mother’s side were facing a different dilemma.

After the Gorkha state’s victory in Limbuwan hills, the state’s appropriating class were vigorously taking over Kipat (communal land holding) lands of Limbus and converting them to Jagirs (land grants given in lieu of salary). The Limbus rose in rebellion several times but failed. The only two way left for Limbus were: accept the Gorkha rule, new land revenue structure and a debt trapped life or leave the region altogether. My ancestors made way to Munglan (India) in search of the promised life.

The British at that point of time were perpetually caught in one conflict after other both in the western and eastern frontiers and were expanding Gurkha regiments to include the Rai and Limbus as well. This was a departure from the earlier policy of only hiring Magars, Gurungs, Thakuris and Khas. In the Gurkha regiment my ancestor was introduced to the brilliance of the martial race theory and how it manages to gain cheap military labor and can repeat it over generations. My family has served the British and Indian armies for the next hundred years.

I made my way across the River Mechi, but graves of my grandparents were on the other side of the border. I paid a visit to my great aunt and uncle’s graves on Nepal’s side of the Mechi River. Buried on the border, was perhaps a fitting metaphor for what I was to discover in the coming days. On a lighter note, it was a bit ironic that they were buried next to each other. In life they could never stop bickering.

Journey to Nepal

A few brief anxious moments circling Kathmandu and then we landed. My first steps in the city that I had read and written about but never visited. I looked around and saw what the Malla rulers must have seen, large hills surrounding the valley, like massive walls that could never be breached. A fortress that had stood the test of time, of course until Prithvinarayan Shah came. Prithvinarayan too saw the hills and he too realized they were walls, except they were not the walls of a fortress but that of a prison.

He imprisoned the Mallas within the valley until they did not even put up an effective fight, choosing to rely on faith than in a final battle as the Gorkha army walked into the city.  My introductions to the city were the taxi drivers and they were exactly like the ones back home. Their Nepali was exactly like mine, perhaps a bit more polite, which made me wonder where were those who spoke in “King’s Nepali.” I never had a problem with the language while my stay there. The only problem though was that the people in Katmandu and even in Pokhara for that matter spoke too softly and I realized that I must have sounded like I was screaming half the time.

The driver started to complain about administration and corruption. I felt at home again. The night of course belonged to Thamel, I had heard a lot about this place, but nothing prepared me for what I experienced. The Sarangi players made me realize how amateurish the ones in Darjeeling and Sikkim are. The people, the shops, the bars, they could trap anyone here for a long time. I walked around aimlessly until late at night and I made my way back reluctantly to my hotel.

The next day I made my way to the old city and this place felt alien. Don’t get me wrong I loved the place, the culture, the architecture and the people but none of it seemed familiar to me. It was beautiful but foreign to me, the Newari accent seemed curious and it was not one I had heard before, well at least in real life. The Newars in Darjeeling and Sikkim have long given up the language and no hint of this accent remains in their Nepali. The smell and the sight of this place seemed odd. I wondered if the first soldiers of the Gorkha army felt this unease and strangeness of this place.

Perhaps the strangeness of this place was what caused Prithvinarayan to lament about the simple life of home, where people drink from streams than this valley where water comes in cisterns. As I placed my hand on the old walls with the sun uncomfortably on my back, history was alive for me. The debates over socio-economic structures, class relations, the impact of new ruling class, modes of production etc were all forgotten and a different kind of history took its place—the one that had the thrill of living through it, of extending your hand through time to capture a moment gone by, a history of emotions so to speak.

I did not go to any of the palaces though. I watched all of them from across the road. A hundred years ago I would have been flogged for just being this near the royal palaces or any other palaces. I have been inside palaces elsewhere of course, but somehow the resentment here seemed very personal, anger with these Rajput status claiming rulers went back far too long back in history, I doubt if anyone else could even understand it.

The structures as magnificent as they were, just did not impress me, every brick of these palaces was wet with the tears of some indebted peasant who was forced to sell his children to pay the Sarkar and Sahukar. As I blew my smoke towards the palace I smiled to think of the fact that they no longer lived there, at last they would know the pain of leaving their homes behind. All that money, all that eulogies and all that false status, and son had killed fathers and brothers had killed brothers, in the end just dust in the vast expanse of history, like the rest of us.

My mother had lived in Pokhara for two years in her youth, back then when teachers from Darjeeling were in demand in Nepal. A visit to this town was mandatory, but nothing about this place seemed like the stories I had heard. As mesmerizing as the lakeside was it was easily eclipsed by the next place I visited, Mustang. You could write several books about this place and still could not do justice to this desolate beauty.

My mind could not help, but think of all the Newari traders and Tibetan scholars who might have passed through this place or places like this, what they must seem what fears they had and how this place looked to them. My heart also could not but think of all the soldiers of the Gorkha army as they first crossed to invade Tibet and how frostbitten defeated they retreated with the great Chinese general Fu’ Kwan hot on their heels, on his way to invade the Gorkha empire.

Muktinath temple deserves an article by itself, a great remnant of the syncretic traditions of the Himalayan region, perhaps a remnant of the Khas Empire itself. The place perfect for worship, it reminded me so much of the Mahakal Mandir in Darjeeling, thought it also made me lament thinking of the commercialization of the temple at home.

We are all Nepalis

In most places I was asked of my caste, though I don’t think it was so much of the apprehensions but mostly due to curiosity, my Limbu and Damai heritage has given an interesting face. The fun part was when I told them I was Damai, one shopkeeper laughed and when he realized I was serious he quickly diverted the topic, a security guard turned all shades of yellow and some went on  long monologues how caste didn’t matter in modern Nepal, which sort of proved to me that it did.

The one thing I realized was Darjeeling accent was not a unique accent and it was a mere extension of the eastern accent of Nepal with a bit of Janjati and a perhaps a little bit of Madhesi accent. We were not different at all. We are all a part of a larger socio cultural space. We are all Nepalis. As I made my way back across the border leaving behind a place where everyone spoke in my language, into a place where people spoke languages that I did not speak, I wondered where home was.

The author is a PhD researcher at Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Via: My Republica
Author can be reached at:

GORKHAS UNSAFE IN BENGAL – Removal of names from voters list, points to a bleak future

7:21 AM

Writes Upendra

"First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me - and by then there was no one left to speak out for me."
                                                                                                           - Pastor Martin Niemöller

Of late, a very scary trend has started in our Darjeeling hills, notices are being issued to those Gorkhaland supporters who have gone underground or missing, asking for them to show up at various designated Government offices with 'relevant documents by a certain date', barring which their names will be removed from the voters list.' In a democratic nation like India, where Majority will always thrive, this is a very scary scenario unfolding for the minorities, and especially for micro-minority communities like the Gorkhas, it could translate to the end of any and all forms of resistance and rebellion against the powers that be.

Legally and technically, the district administration is entitled to seek revision of voters list, and as per rule if a person doesn’t live at a local address for over 6 months, her/his name can be removed. The most famous such case was the removal of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's name from the Lucknow Municipal electoral list in September of 2017. However, Mr. Vajpayee had been residing in Delhi for long, and the removal of his name didn't really affect his fundamental right as a citizen of our great nation.

However, in Darjeeling region, the district administration is using this rule to target those Gorkhaland supporters against whom various cases have been filed, and who have gone or remained underground, for fear of injustice looms large.

In such a situation, the people who are missing, cannot and in all likelihood will not, file for their names to be transferred to other jurisdiction to register as voters. Removal of any name from an electoral roll means such individuals cannot exercise their basic duty as a citizen of our nation - to elect the government of its choice. In a country like India, where criminals of all hues and colours thrive, it is rare for the state government to pursue individuals in a manner which deprives them of their citizenship rights. Case in point, Vijay Mallya still features in the electoral list in Bangalore, and Sanjay Dutta - a convicted terrorist supporter/helper also features in the voter list of Mumbai.

What is worrisome in this exercise the district administration has embarked upon, is that, it cruelly curtails our 'right to protest' against a powerful government. The government, in such a case may slap severe charges (actual and fabricated) against any individual forcing him or her to go underground, and then the government may proceed to struck off the name from the electoral roll, thus barring that individual from becoming a part of the democratic process of our nation - they won't get to vote or contest in elections. Which translates to the government, if it so desires, being able to slap cases against its political opponents, cause them to run and then remove their names from the electoral roll, thereby emptying the political field.

Moreover, the government may, if it so decides, start this process of review for everyone from the micro-minority community who have lived outside their home constituency for over 6 months. Imagine, if such a scenario were to play out, almost everyone who were yelling 'Gorkhaland' at Jantar-Mantar or writing and shouting for/against it from anywhere outside Darjeeling region, may actually not retain their voting rights in Darjeeling, if the government of West Bengal decides to take a more draconian stance.

What is really worrisome, in all this is the silence of ALL THE GORKHA POLITICIANS. May be, many are secretly rejoicing at the prospect of having the names of their most detested opponents removed from the voting list, but what they seem to fail to realize is that someday, this same tool of oppression can be and will be used against them. As the Nepali adage goes, " ऊसलाई  खाने बाघले तिमिलाई पनि खान्छ है  - one cannot ride a tiger forever, the tiger will eventually get hungry and run out of other animals to devour." Their silence speaks volumes about how strongly they feel about the welfare of our community.

In comparison when BJP threatened to kick out illegal Bangladeshi refugees from Assam, the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee went on record to challenge the BJP and threatened them with dire consequences if even a single Bangladeshi was touched - forget Indians, she fought for the rights of Bangladeshis, and here in our hills, the Gorkha politicians who are busy serving under her, are instead defending cops who allegedly threatened one of our Gorkha mother and a sister with rape.

Perhaps such is the curse of being born a Gorkha, we seem to be loyal to everyone else, but our own people.

The politics of Vendetta which had consumed a generation of our people, has today infested our community again. When Subash Ghising was removed from the hills GJM had rejoiced, today when Bimal Gurung is removed and hounded similarly, GNLF is rejoicing, so is AT-BT group of GJM. While CPRM, ABGL and JAP have maintained a seemingly dignified silence, their silence too speaks out loud about how they feel about the whole issue. In the race to play the politics of vendetta, the Gorkhas are losing big time. Today we have become so fragmented that we cannot even dare to speak against this hounding out of Gorkhas from our own lands.

It has begun with the missing GJM leaders, but I am certain, this is just the beginning. The Bengal government will use this on everyone of us, who dare to raise our voice for the welfare of our community and people. From asking for "Family tree since 1950" to those who went to seek residential certificate the Bengal government has made it abundantly clear that they view all of us with suspicion. If we are not careful today, a day may come when the Gorkhas will be rendered homeless. Much like what happened in the rest of North East could end up happening here, and we may end up being rendered homeless in our own lands.

So, please speak out against what's happening in Darjeeling today. Because if we let this trend continue, soon a day may come, when you may want to speak out, but your tongues may have been cut without you even realizing it.

Remember, "if you are afraid to speak out against tyranny, you are already a slave"

Via TheDC

बिमलकाे अनुपस्थितीमा अाज पनि पहाडकाे जनता भयभित र असुरक्षित महशुस गरि रहेका छन्। – पुरण छेत्री

9:44 PM
बिनय-अनित र ममताले "बिमल गुरूङ" पहाड नचडाेस भन्ने चाहान्छ भने, जनतालाई बिमलले जस्तै जातित्व प्रेम र सुरक्षाकाे प्रत्याभूति दिन सक्नु पर्छ। बिमलकाे अनुपस्थितीमा अाज पनि पहाडकाे जनता भयभित र असुरक्षित महशुस गरि रहेका छन्।

पहाडमा जनता अब के चाहन्छन् ? – पुरण छेत्री : बर्तमान अवस्थामा, पहाडकाे जनताले एक किसिमकाे असुरक्षा महशुस गरिरहेका छन्। चेलिबेटीलाई घरमै अाएर बलत्कार गर्ने र घर जलाउँने खुल्ला धम्कीको बिराेध बिमल गुरूङकाे अनुपस्थितीमा कसैले गर्न सकेनन्। सरकारमा हाम्राे बाेली बिक्छ, भन्ने बिनय-अनितले पनि उताकै पक्ष पाेषणमा गरे।

“हामी पहाडमा शान्ति फर्काउने क्रममा छाै, तिम्राे पुलिस प्रशासनले यसमा खलल पुर्‍याउने काम गर्दैछ, फेरि पहाड अशान्त भएकाे हेर्न चाहान्छाै?” मात्रै भनेका भए, त्याे पुलिस अधिकारीलाई कार्वाही हुन्थ्याे, जनताले सुरक्षित महशुस गर्ने थिए। जनतालाई सुरक्षाकाे अलिकति पनि प्रत्याभूति दिन नसक्ने नेतालाई कुन मुटुले अभिभावक मान्नु?

पहाड भुसकाे अागाे माथि बसेकाे छ। मानिसहरूकाे अहिले पनि घरबाँस छैन। रात दिनकाे पुलिसकाे धरपकडले जनमानस भयभित छन्। सरकारले राजनैतिक दल हेरि – हेरि फरक-फरक व्यवहार गरिरहेका छन्। जनताले कुन पार्टीको समर्थन गर्नु पर्ने हाे, त्याे पुलिस-प्रशासनले तय गर्दैन्। पहाडका बुद्धिजीवीहरू मुखमा दहि जमाएर बसेका छन्।

बाेल्याे कि घरमा पुलिस पठाउँने चलन हावी भएकाे छ। बिनयले उफ्रि – उफ्रि GTA काे खेस्रा जलाए अनि BOA पुरस्कारमा पाए, तर उसकाे पछि बसेर “जिन्दाबाद-जिन्दाबाद” भन्ने अाफ्नै दाज्यु भाईलाई पुलिसले खेदेकाे खेदेकै छन्। मानाै उनिहरूले संसारकाे सबै भन्दा ठुलाे अपराध गरेका छन्। काश्मीरमा भारतिय फाैजलाई घाेक्र्याई-मुन्ट्याई गर्दा “खबरदार गाेली नचलाउँनु” भन्छन्। पहाडमा पुलिसलाई अलिक डेढाे हेर्‍यो भने “UAPA भेट्लास्” भन्छन्। एकदिन त सहनशीलताकाे सिमा नाग्नेछ र जनता यसकाे प्रतिकारमा उत्रेकाे दिन पहाडकाे अवस्था कस्ताे हाेला, अकल्पनिय छ।

अाज बिनय-अनितले बुझ्नु पर्ने कुरा छ, “घरमै अाएर तेराे अामा-चेलीबेटीकाे बलत्कार गर्छु” भन्दा पनि चुपलागेर बस्नु भनेकाे शान्ति होईन। याेभित्र जनताकाे कुण्ठा लुकेकाे छ। जनतालाई धेरै दिन पुलिस-प्रशासनको डर-धम्कीले दबाउँन सकिन्दैन। जनताबाट याे डर हराउँदै गए, यसले एकदिन भयानक रूप लिनेछ।

याे जन अाक्राेस भित्र को कसरी पर्ला भन्ने कुरा अहिले भन्न सकिन्दैन। एउटा अपराधीले, उसले गरेकाे अपराध हेरेर सजाय पाउँनु पर्छ, उसले बाेकेकाे झण्डा हेरेर हाेईन। पहाडमा शान्तिपुर्ण वातावरण चाहिन्छ भने, देशकाे संविधानले दिएकाे अधिकार सबै नागरिकले समान रूपले भाेग्न पाउँनु पर्छ। पहाडवासीकाे हक, हित र सुरक्षाकाे जिम्मेवारीबोध समयमै नगरे यसले एकदिन बिष्फाेटक रूप नलेला भन्न सकिन्दैन।

बिनय-अनित र ममताले “बिमल गुरूङ” पहाड नचडाेस भन्ने चाहान्छ भने, जनतालाई बिमलले जस्तै जातित्व प्रेम र सुरक्षाकाे प्रत्याभूति दिन सक्नु पर्छ। बिमलकाे अनुपस्थितीमा अाज पनि पहाडकाे जनता भयभित र असुरक्षित महशुस गरि रहेका छन्।

Via News Gorkhaland 


8:09 PM
Bimal Gurung and many Gorkhas in the hills have been sent show cause notice in connection with their absence from their home region. It is to be noted that Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri and several others have serious cases sub judicial slapped by the Bengal Government and many GJMM leaders and workers are already behind the bars.

“Keeping GTA election and 2019 election in mind, this is being done since, Mamata Banerjee and her sycophants are aware that if Bimal or his men contests, they will be victorious by huge margin. She wants to ensure they never return to the region so, that she could rule the hills” said a social worker on the condition anonymity.
Mamata Banerjee

Some also fear that West Bengal government wants to label Gorkhas as foreigners and this is a start from the top. “It’s a well known history that if a king is captured, you win the war. She is trying to do the same as Daju is the undisputed Gorkha hero as of today. By making him dysfunctional and immaterial she wants to uproot our community and rule the whole region” said Robin Chhetri from New Delhi.

It is believed that fearing BJP rise in West Bengal, TMC had masterminded the whole plan of Bengali language implementation in the hills along with other parts of the state. She was aware that it will lead to a huge protest and unrest in Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars and, thus she could create an emmergency like situation in the hills and use state machinery to take control of it. With state police openly threatening to shoot out Bimal Gurung, intentions were evident.  It could be a conspiracy to polarise Bengali community votes towards TMC and at the same time take over hills for good.

Hundreds of thousands of North Bengal Gorkhas live in other parts of the country and internationally to make their living. Scarcity of opportunities to work in Darjeeling hills, Terai & Dooars has forced people to move to other cities for employment. “Many comeback during elections to vote. Why should their names be removed from voters list. Bengalis also are present in various part of the country hailing from West Bengal. Are they sent such notices too” asked a furious father whose son works in Hyderabad.

“On one hand she wants all Bangladesi citizens living in India over just 5 years to be deemed Indian citizens and also has soft corners for Rohingya people but, on the other hand she wants Gorkhas who came with land and live here for centuries to be labelled as foreigners. This is hypocrisy and dirty politics” said an angry businessmen from Siliguri.

Via Gorkha Voice


8:20 PM
मैले तीनपल्ट सोधें गोवामा...

“POET SUBASH RAI SOTANG FROM NEPAL”  भनेर मलाई दुइपल्ट भनिएपछि मैले “AM I FROM NEPAL? “ भनेर तीनपल्ट सोधें गोवामा | साहित्य अकादमीद्वारा पणजीको कला अकादमी सम्मेलन कक्षमा सम्पन्न भएको ‘Symposium On Contemporary North-East Indian Literature and Poet Meet’ कार्यक्रममा म पनि Indian Nepali Poet को रुपमा उपस्थित थिएँ | तर जब कार्यक्रम शुरु भयो तब उपस्थित कविहरूलाई मंचमा बोलाउने क्रममा कार्यक्रमकी उद्घोषिकाले मलाई “Poet  Subash Rai Sotang  from Nepal” भनेर बोलाइन् | त्यतिमात्र होइन फेरि पछि कविता वाचनको निम्ति बोलाउँदा पनि त्यही ठेगाना दोहोराइन् |

आयोजकवर्गले भनेअनुरूपनै आफ्नो सम्पूर्ण ठेगाना लेखिएको बायोडाटा अघिबाटै उपलब्ध गराउँदा – गराउँदै पनि आफुलाई ‘नेपालबाट आएको कवि” भनिँदा चुप लागेर नूनको सोझो बन्नु मलाई मेरो मनले दिएन र नै हामी भारतीय नेपाली कविहरू धरीलाई लाग्ने ‘मेड इन् नेपाल’-को छाप हटाउन तथा आफ्नो असली परिचयबारे उनीहरूलाई अवगत गराउन मैले आफ्नो बोल्ने पालो आएपछि आफू नेपालबाट आएको लेखक नभएर भारतीय नेपाली लेखक भएको कुरा स्पष्ट पार्ने सक्दो कोशिश गरेको थिएँ | जुन कुरा त्यहाँ उपस्थित ‘Times of India’ (TOI)-की रिपोर्टरले गोवा पेजमा अलिक अधमरो रुपमा प्रकाशित गरिछिन् अनि त्यही खबर यता ‘Darjeeling Times’-ले पनि आफ्नो वालमार्फत प्रचारमा ल्याएपछि आफ्नो-आफ्नो बुझाइअनुसार विभिन्न प्रतिक्रियाहरू पनि हुँदैरहेछन् | आफ्नो मोबाइलमा भने आफ्नो स्टाटस मात्र हेर्न सकिने सुविधा हुँदा बाहिर के हुँदैछ समयमा थाहै भएन | आज घर आइपुगेपछि त्यो अपुष्ट खबर र त्यसमाथि भएको बुझाइको बाझोलाई ध्यानमा राख्दै त्यहाँ मैले आपत्ति जनाएको सत्यताबारे स्पष्ट पार्न बसें |

जानेर हो कि अन्जानमा हो उद्घोषिकाले मेरो ठेगाना स्पष्टरुपले ‘नेपाल’ बताए पछि प्रतिक्रियास्वरुप मैले मेरो कुरा मंचबाट यसरी राखेको थिएँ –
“Seeking your prior permission, First of all I would like to clarify regarding my address. (यतिबेलै मसितै मंचमा आसीनहरूमा कसैले ‘Yes Yes address was wrong’ पनि भन्दै थिए, म बोलिरहें)-  It was announced from here that I m from Nepal. Am I from Nepal  ? Am I from Nepal ? Am I from Nepal ?  (यसरी मैले तीनपल्ट सोधें, यसबेला मंचमा आसीनहरूमध्ये केहीले भन्दै थिए – “No, No, No”)

Is  Nepal a part of India ?
Is Nepal a part of India ?

(मैले दोस्रो प्रश्न यसरी दुइपल्ट गरें अनि आवाज पनि सुन्दै थिएँ –“No, No, No.” म बोलिरहें)- Here we are talking about ‘Contemporary North-East Indian Literature’ (दोहोर्याउंदै फेरि भनें)- ‘Indian Literature’ And I have been invited here as an Indian Nepali writer. Then how could you say that I am from Nepal? Of course, I speak Nepali, My own language Is Nepali. But I am a Nepali speaking Indian Citizen, and my country is India. Please don’t make me a Nepali foreigner. (यसबेला मुखैमा आयो हिन्दी, भन्दिएँ हिन्दीमा पनि) – हमे विदेशी मत बनाइए | I am from Darjeeling, which falls in India under West Bengal State. (फेरि हिन्दीमा भनिदिएँ)  “ कृपा करके इंडिया का हिस्ट्री, जोग्राफी, राजनीति मत बिगारिएगा, प्लिज |”

त्यसपछि ती उद्घोषिकाले धेरैचोटि मंचबाटै माफी मागिन् अनि आफ्नो उद्देश्य तेस्तो नभएको बताइन् | वास्तवमा प्रोग्राम लिस्टमा नामको पछि ब्रेकेटमा ‘नेपाली’ लेखिएकोले गर्दा तेसो हुनगएको भन्ने आलटाले जवाब दिनथालिन् | मैले प्रतिक्रियामा भनें – “What people think and speak about us in the market because of their misconception, We don’t care but this is an official programme, So this type of error should not  happen.”

कार्यक्रमपछि पनि तिनले व्यक्तिगत रुपमा भेटेर मलाई स्पष्टिकरण दिने कोशिश गरिन्, क्षमा मागिन् | असम, मणिपुर, बोडो साथीहरूले पनि राम्रो जवाब दिएकोमा धाप मार्दै बधाई दिए | उत्तर-पूर्वी राज्यवासीहरूलाई देशले हेर्ने दृष्टिकोण अझ पनि सही नभएको कुरा गरे तिनीहरूले | त्यसरी नै कविगोष्ठी सत्रका अध्यक्ष तथा सुप्रसिद्ध कोंकोणी लेखक पुंडलिक नायकले त मेरो भनाइलाई आधार गर्दै यो देशमा कतिपय जातिलाई घरी घरी आफूहरू राष्ट्रवादी भएको प्रमाण दिइरहनु पर्ने बिडम्बना रहेको प्रसंगको उल्लेख गरे | उनले देशलाई टेरिटोरी मात्र चाहिएको तर त्यहाँको मानिस नचाहिएको झैँ लाग्छ पनि भने | यस्तो कुरा लिएर पनि उत्तर-पूर्वी क्षेत्रका कलमकारहरूले कलम चलाउनु पर्ने उनले बताए |
“समकालीन नेपाली साहित्य”- माथि वार्ता दिन आएका असम तेजपूरका लेखक ज्ञानबहादुर छेत्रीले पनि खुसी हुँदै मलाई भने –“ फलाम तातिएकै बेलामा प्रहार गर्नुपर्छ, अरुबेला गनगन गरेर हुँदैन | तपाईंले ठिक ठाउँमा ठिक्क बोल्नुभो |” उनले अझै भने –“ त्यो उद्घोषिकालाई त रिसाउनु होइन धन्यवाद पो दिनुपर्छ होला अब, कारण उसैको कारणले त तपाईंले हाम्रो कुरा स्पष्ट संगले राख्ने मौका पाउनुभयो |”
मैले पनि कता कता सम्झिएँ – ‘हो त’|

कुरा यसो भाको थियो | त्यसपछि ती टाइम्स अफ इन्डियाकी रिपोर्टर मलाई खोज्दै आइन् र इन्टरव्यु लिन थालिन् | उनी पनि मलाई सोध्छिन् “तपाईं कहाँ जन्मेको भनेर |” मैले म त के मेरो बाजे-बराजु जम्मै दार्जीलिंगमा नै जन्मेका हुन्” भनेर बताइदिएँ | भनिदिएँ- We are the architect of modern India. But people have misconception regarding us because of Indo-Nepal reciprocal treaty and open border.

(अरु थुप्रै कुरा भनें  क्रमश: लेखुँला |)

Note - This is what Poet Subash has posted on  Facebook 


Give a dog a bone

8:21 PM

Writes Gurkha Ritesh

The real problem with people of hills is that we have a large populace of highly qualified people and very tiny percentage of them are educated people in profound sense of education.

The recent agitation gave bruise  and agony into the heart of each and every Gurkha's who truly believed that we could achieve our dream " Gorkhaland" but with some Mir jafar on the ground we failed ...

If we do not realize the importance of collective effort  I am sure after some years we will be minority in our own place. And even if we manage to throw the present lot into the dustbins of history, another mamta banerjee, binay tamang, anit Thapa,man ghishingh ,and neeraj zimba will rise and take us back to were we are today.....

Gorkhas  have now become " Give a dog a bone" and they will never betray their master. But I will never give up in my dreams and my pride, we can see the back date history no revolution was successful in single fight ,it took India 200 years to be free from colonial hand but in between multiple battles , bandh and movement of purpose was seen, but what kept them alive it was indeed a collective effort, none of them gave up and after so many ups and down the so called movement has made us celebrate the 75 th independence day. Let us be slave no more and fight for our land....I m ready are you ???????

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