Showing posts with label Sikkim. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sikkim. Show all posts

The “Nepalis of Sikkim” and Their Un-Gorkha CM Pawan Chamling

7:59 AM

Writes Upendra For TheDC

If we are to believe the Un-Gorkha CM of Sikkim Mr. Pawan Chamling, apparently the “Nepalis of Sikkim*” are a different breed than the rest of us mortals. He claims while they are purer version of Indian, rest of the “Indian Gorkhas” or “So called Gorkhas have emigrated from Nepal after recruitment into the army.” I applaud him for his knowledge and also his ability to call a spade a spade.

Indeed, “Nepalis of Sikkim” are not Gorkhas and that’s a fact... here are some reasons why

In 2014, a few months after TheDC was formed we got a request from a young girl studying at Lady Brabourne college, Kolkata. She was very upset when she contacted us, so we asked her what had happened? She had informed us that they needed to perform at a cultural show at their college for which they needed traditional dresses. These girls were aware that Sikkim House do have these dresses, so they had requested the Sikkim House manager to let them borrow the dresses for one day – they were declined, since the girls were from Darjeeling and not Sikkim. The girls explained to the Sikkim House manager that they had represented Sikkim in a basketball tournament only a few months ago, and had won the tournament for Sikkim, but the manager wouldn’t budge... “that was sports... this is cultural thing...” is what the manager’s final words were to the girls. Distraught the girls reached out to us, and thankfully we were able to assist them with the dresses.
Sikkim's Un-Gorkha CM Pawan Chamling
When you think about it, it’s a very trivial and small matter, however it clearly exemplifies that the “Nepalis of Sikkim” are not Gorkhas, for no Gorkha would decline to assist someone in need, especially not after those someone had assisted your state to win a basketball tournament.

In 2015, a girl from Sikkim was sexually assaulted and brutalized in Shantiniketan. We were outraged here in Darjeeling, so were the people over social media in Sikkim. However, when it came to providing on the ground support and solidarity, “Nepalis of Sikkim” were missing. In Shantiniketan protest marches were coordinated by PhD students from Darjeeling, so were protest marches in JNU, Jadavpur University, NBU and GJVM organized protest marches all over GTA region. TheDC on our part, coordinated “I Stand With My Sister From Sikkim” campaign in which thanks to Mr. Nawang and Mr. Nadong Bhutia we were able to get National level footballers from Sanju Pradhan to Bikas Jairu to Nirmal Pradhan to speak out against this heinous act. Nadong Bhutia from Kalimpong lead the campaign [details:].

While all of this was happening elsewhere, nothing was happening in Sikkim itself. Shocked at the non-reaction, the editor of a leading online news page had private confided to us, “hamro manche haru k bhako hola esto... they are so indifferent... I feel ashamed...” Almost 20 days after the incident, a group of Bikers finally managed to organize a protest rally in Gangtok, and that was that.

Indeed “Nepalis of Sikkim” are not Gorkhas, for had they been Gorkhas their blood would boil over seeing one of their daughters so brutalized, sexually assaulted and blackmailed.

In October of 2015, around 40 students from Sikkim studying at the Himalayan Institute in Uttarakhand were brutally attacked by around 400 students from Jammu and Kashmir. Some of our readers informed TheDC that the students were living in fear of their life as no one had taken any action to protect them. We took the initiative to call up the institute Director, the Hostel in- charge, the Inspector in-Charge of Kala Amb police station and also the District SP and demanded action. Thanks to social media, following widespread outrage the Sikkim government finally intervened and the students were rescued [Details:].

Thank God, Gorkhas in rest of India are unlike the “Nepalis of Sikkim” who couldn’t care if it does not concern their state. It is most likely that our initial demand for action and pressure we put on University and police authorities helped to protect the life of those students.

In March of 2016, a youth Suraj Subba from Manipal in Sikkim was found sleeping in a park in Delhi. After coming to know that the youth was from Sikkim, representatives from GYASA requested Sikkim House in Delhi to allow him to spend a couple of nights there till his travel arrangements could be made, Sikkim House in Delhi were untraceable and when we here at TheDC approached a Sikkim govt official to get the Sikkim House involved, the first question she asked was, “does he has “Sikkim Subject?” – we were left aghast. Never mind the fact that he was beaten up by drug addicts and all his belongings were looted, for Sikkim to help and intervene they needed to verify his “Sikkim Subject” status first.

Thankfully it was a Darjeelingey Puran Rai who runs “Namaste Cafe” stepped up and provided him with food and shelter, Mr. Arun Dubey, working as a Sales Director for a UK based-firm booked the tickets, and GYASA activists, most of whom are from rest of India, assisted Suraj throughout the process and Suraj reached home to Sikkim safely.

Indeed “Nepalis of Sikkim” are not like the Gorkhas, for we – the Gorkhas care and care deeply, even if it is someone entirely unknown and unrelated to us. Sikkim ma testo hundaina.

You can and I insist you must read this account of how another Sikkimese youth Tirtha Tamang committed suicide and how Sikkim House in Delhi didn’t help him when he needed the help most [].

No Gorkha would leave one of their own to die if they could save him or her in any way, but perhaps such are the specialities of “Nepalis of Sikkim” that they are just too busy, just too rich and just too pure blood to care for such trivialities.

As much as we may not like Bimal Gurung he has always been the 1st to speak out when Gorkhalis across India are threatened or harmed. He was the 1st to speak out in case of brutal rape and murder of a Gorkha in Manipur, he was also the 1st to speak out in case of Shantiniketan. He was also the 1st to speak out in case of recent brutal rape and murder of Gorkha girl in Assam. He has earned my respect in that regard. Even Darjeeling MP Shri. SS Ahluwalia – a “non-Nepali” hai, wrote to the MHRD and Home Minister demanding justice for our sister from Sikkim in the Shantiniketan case, perhaps that is the Darjeeling ko GORKHA influence which made him to speak out while the Govt of Sikkim was still sleeping.

What Mr. Chamling said yesterday was a statement of convenience to keep his vote banks intact, and as a shrewd politician he told the people of Sikkim out loud, what many of them believe to be true privately – that they are not Gorkhas, rather they are “Nepalis of Sikkim.”

However, I’d request the Hon’ble CM to kindly explain what does the word “Nepali” itself mean in reality? Hope he realizes that the very word NEPALI is derived from the country - NEPAL.

Mr. CM claims that “so called Gorkhas came to India and settled after joining the Army,” thus making all of non-Sikkimese Nepalis immigrants. For his political convenience he humiliated the rest of us, and I have no issues with that. However, I feel sorry for those who saw in him a world class GORKHA statesman, which sadly he is not.

During the Sikkim Legislative Assembly elections of 2014, Mr. Chamling had used “Sikkim lai Gorkhaland banauncha” narrative to scare people of Sikkim to vote against SKM, that was the first time I had realized how low Mr. Chamling can go to secure votes. However, in labelling the rest of Gorkhas as being immigrants for his own convenience, Mr. Chamling has shown that there is no end to his politics of opportunism.

I am not sure about the “Nepalis of Sikkim,” however here is an appeal to the GORKHAS of Sikkim, please brood over what Mark Twain had once said, “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason”…

*The phrase “Nepalis of Sikkim” is used to mock the statement made by Mr. Pawan Chamling, and is not the generalization of entire Sikkimese Gorkhas. Please note this is a reaction to his statement and not a commentary on the amazing Gorkhas of Sikkim... we are and we remain one FAMILY, despite what Mr. Chamling may think or say.

Jai Gorkha!!

Via TheDC

Three Gorkha youths rescued the tourist and grabbed the rapist in North Sikkim

1:13 PM
Three Gorkha youths Biren Tamang, Priyanka Tamang & Rajiv Thapa from Gangtok, Sikkim successfully rescued the tourist gal and grabbed the rapist Taxi Driver Prem Rai (22) along with uncle and relatives of the tourist at the sub highway after Kabi Village of North Sikkim around 2 A.M. morning of 15th May’2016.

Priyanka Tamang received the late night call from her colleague residing at Siliguri , West Bengal mentioning that her uncle daughters are missing at Gangtok since many hours and wants cooperation from her side. Priyanka called her friend Biren Tamang and Rajiv Thapa about the incidence and later uncle of the missing tourist also met with Priyanka. 2 vechiles departed from the Gangtok in search of the missing gals , 1 vehicle carrying Priyanka, Biren & Rajiv and another vehicle carrying uncle of one gal and one relative of another tourist gal.

Around 2 AM on the notice of the Priyanka eyes vehicle was found the sub highway of North Sikkim and all of them rushed hurriedly and found that only one gal was there who was senseless. Priyanka taken care of that small gal and Driver Prem Rai was grabbed by others. Driver had used many filthy languages but again he was grabbed and taken to Phodong Police Station of North Sikkim were other 2 gals were there safely with the respected Sikkim Police personnel’s.
Three Gorkha youth  rescued the tourist and grabbed the rapist in North Sikkim
Three Gorkha youth  rescued the tourist and grabbed the rapist in North Sikkim
As per tourist girls statement Driver had given them some substance diluted mineral water and one gal became dizzy and other two flew from their place after getting scolded by the driver. So many stories are there as narrated by Priyanka whose brilliancy has able to rescue the gal and grabbed that rapist driver.

Phodong Police Station , North Sikkim later sent back that culprit to Sardar Thana , Gangtok along with Priyanka Tamang and group with Police Personnel’s and they reached Gangtok around 6 AM in the morning.

Priyanka Tamang have 2 sisters who are studying at Kolkatta, West Bengal and she thinks that every human being should take initiative every time to be part of humanism work. Humanism exists but it should be taken out without fear.

Priyanka Tamang is a Radio Jockey (RJ) at Radio Misty 95 FM Gangtok, Biren Tamang is the Film Director and have own production house name after White Horse Production and Rajiv Thapa is a College Student from Gangtok.

Shared by Suresh Lama, Social Activist Rangpo

Sikkim - bridge collapsed by rain, Road to Mangan, Chungthang, Lachung, Lachen closed

7:23 PM
Sikkim 17th May 2016: Highway road blocked at Rel khola (Ri chu) after Iron Bridge swept away by heavy rainfall approx 99 tourist vehicles which reached Mangan town and maximum back towards east district from Mangan, North district. More than 200 tourists which have stranded at Chungthang, approx 60 tourists at Lachung and 50 tourists at Lachen those who reached yesterday evening on May 16th have stranded as there is no possibilities of trans-shipment today on May 17th as the river water is flowing over slide area and its very risky for commuters, till now no casualties reported.

The Police department staff and district administration headed by SDM Chungthang and Mangan(HQ), up-Adhyaksha(N) with GREF staff have reached the spot and have directed travelers not take any risky steps and vehicles should not ply at night time at risky zones and district administration will try to setup temporary log bridge by tomorrow for transshipment, they informed. All tourism stake holders are requested to contact their standard tourist for safely evacuations informed vice President, TAAS.
Sikkim - bridge collapsed by rain, Road to Mangan, Chungthang, Lachung, Lachen closed
Sikkim - bridge collapsed by rain, Road to Mangan, Chungthang, Lachung, Lachen closed
Similarly, Gangtok via Phodong closed till tomorrow as the BRO has decided to dismantle old Bakcha Bridge.

As SDM Dzongu, informed that the road conditions as of now at lower Dzongu and upper Dzongu, North Sikkim is clear for traffic by afternoon which was blocked by fell down tree due to wind storm. However commuters are requested not ply their vehicles late night for safety reasons.


Reimagining encounters with Hari Prasad ‘Gorkha’ Rai - Mahendra P. Lama

5:09 PM


May 7, 2016- Though I always deeply enjoyed reading literary works of Hari Prasad ‘Gorkha’ Rai and heard so much about him from my revered father RP Lama and his friends at Su-Dha-Pa (Surya Bikram-Dharnidhar-Parasmani) hall of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan in Darjeeling, I had the opportunity to interact with ‘Gorkha’ Rai-jyu just twice—once in New Delhi and the next time in Gangtok. However, both these encounters remained a rare occasion for me. I was struck by his simplicity and his inclusive views on life outside the geographies of Nepali-speaking communities like Sikkim and Darjeeling. In the course of our interaction, my major question was: how did he find life among the Nagas in Nagaland and Ahoms in Assam, and how could he produce so many literary works in not only Nepali literature but also in Assamese and other languages? He was candid and forthright when he said that Gorkhas, by nature, are a very friendly and jovial community and could go along with any community, particularly in a democratic set up. He further narrated how the Nagas and Assamese intermingled with the Gorkhas and extended social and political support for their upliftment. There are moments of apprehensions and misunderstanding but are largely overshadowed by the larger issues of peaceful coexistence and Indianness and more critically social cohesiveness. This was typical of ‘Gorkha’ Rai-jyu, a man who carried a halo of intellectualism in his ever-glowing face. His views are not different than what one hears from other Nepali literary figures in the North East region of India. They all nurtured a feeling of ‘regional oneness’, amidst huge diversity in their approaches to their day-to-day lives.
 Hari Prasad ‘Gorkha’ Rai
 Hari Prasad ‘Gorkha’ Rai
‘Gorkha’ Rai-jyu stands among many distinguished writers of his generation, like Acchha Rai Rasik, Lain Singh Bandel, Siva Kumar Rai, Indra Sundas, Rup Narayan Sinha, and others. Oh! How I loved reciting his famous poem Kamp Uthyo in my college and university days. They always ended with loud chants of ‘once more’. ‘Once more’ not because of the style of recitation but the contents of the poem and high decibels of ‘encore’, not because of the enthralment this recitation generated but for the bourgeoning fascinations of the Gorkha youths towards their own literary traditions. Yes, he used attractively engaging common words and expressions. Many of our friends would actually cry and howl whenever there was an announcement of the arrival of Kamp Uthyo.  I myself used to get goose bumps before I stepped onto the stage and held the microphone.

Another poem I frequently recited in public was Bairagi Kainla’s Mateko Mancheko Bhashan:  Madhyarat Pachiko Sadaksita. We simply photocopied these poems in an old manual photocopy machine at a pretty high cost and distributed it. These recitations still echo in the lawns of the Fraser Hall of St Joseph’s College and North Bengal University in Darjeeling and the Mavalankar Hall of New Delhi. That was the late 1970s and 1980s when Indian Gorkhas across the country were struggling and collectively fighting for the recognition of the Nepali language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India; the decades when the Indian identity of the Indian Gorkhas were brought to the political table and negotiated in the name of a separate state of ‘Gorkhaland’ comprising of Darjeeling and adjoining Dooars region of West Bengal.  This was the time, when in the name of ‘foreigners’, a large number of Indian Gorkhas were inhumanly displaced and ousted in several North East States in the name of ‘cleansing their lands’. This was the time when the Indian nation state failed to protect their own hapless but true citizens amidst the parochial cacophony of ‘foreigners go back’.  History will never forget these atrocities and discriminations against the Indian Gorkhas who valiantly fought and immensely contributed in India’s freedom struggle and in the building of modern India. Who will deconstruct the present history and reconstruct the more inclusive history is a question the Indian Gorkhas have been asking. We lost the game as majority of our political leadership who could take up these issues are literally uneducated, both in terms of acquired degrees and knowledge. This is a tragedy among the Indian Gorkhas.

What I like in Kamp Uthyo (literally meaning uprooting of a camp from his anthology of poems Babari published in 1974) is its depiction of a soldier’s life and its uncertainty; more critically the story of separation that underlines the entire narrative, the beautiful elucidation of a soldier’s dilemma who has made friends around the camps with humans, flowers and nature’s ecology.  The soldier has reached Shillong from Darjeeling, and settles down in the military camp. The depiction of Gorkha soldier’s attachment with his roots in Darjeeling and his unparalleled ability to adapt to a new geography and society makes the reading both absorbing and powerfully touching.

Like in the past, the inimitable soldier has to leave Shillong now as they have to camp in some other frontier. By now, he has friends around with their names typical of a hill society, developed some mutual infatuation with a local girl named Sita and strong attachments with the societal practices, community living styles in Shillong. He realises and accepts that there lies uncertainty in his new destination but like a true soldier he is ready to bravely face death. A sense of sacrifice and unenviable attachment to their motherland prevails in him, something with which Gorkhas are born with. He imagines that flowers will bloom in his cemetery and passersby could assume it to be a magnificent garden. This is the way he personifies the life of a soldier who devours his physical being at the frontiers of battlefield—a superb personification where one is born to die but meaningfully like a Gorkha soldier.

Good bye Shanti! Good bye Bire! 
Good bye my friend Dhane! 

Good bye Manu! What do I say to you 
Never will come that day 

Good bye Hari 
Good bye to all of you! 
The symbols of quietness—my dear Sita 
You are like a Goddess 
Shall always wrap and unfold you into my own story 
My rude sister Maily 
Shall meet you during my dejected moments. 

do say my goodbye to that sister 
who accompanied me to Suna-Kurung falls 
Please count these goodies to the one 
who quietly peeped me from her window panes 

Oh now the bugle is sounding 
I have to go for a ‘fall in’ 
Where a Gorkha has not reached? 
everywhere whether ‘fall in’ or in no ‘fall in’ 

Against the grumping sound of boots 
Six tonner vehicle moved with noise 
We are moving to the next camp 
It’s just a recollection once again 
So many Mannus were killed in Marmma 
Many Danus were left behind in Burma 
Camp is uprooted once again 
I am on a move as a soldier 
Donot know what awaits us 
there in the unknowns, 
May be I will remain dead flat 
in the battlefield not seen now 
And there will blossom bouquet of flowers 
On the cemetery I will remain in 
Some stranger walking past could think it to be a garden 
My bare bones and other remains 
would then quietly narrate my story 
Chanting the gregarious call of Aayo Gorkhali 
(here arrive the Brave Gorkhas) 
I shall reach far beyond 
Good bye forever ! Good bye and again good bye 
My dear Sita 
Forever be near me and nearer me.

His short stories are absorbing and gives us fresh waves of joys and shocks of acute pain and of course, penetrating anguish. He is a deadly connoisseur at creating something that is beautiful. His short story Banani Banki Sundari (beauty from Banani forest, published in Bharati, Kalimpong, 1973) and reviewed in the prestigious Masterpieces of Indian Literature  (National Book Trust, New Delhi, 1997) by this author refreshed memories about the rebellion in Mizoram. In this complex and chilling story, Lainsemi lived with her mother in Mizoram hills and had developed intense love for Captain Raj who was posted there to supervise the operations against the rebels. These rebels once forcedly took away Lainsemi from her home, took her to their camp and invaded her morals from her soul and sent her back bereft of physical value. On her way back, she meets her Captain-lover who was returning from Darjeeling from a short leave. And then she narrates to him all that happened.

‘Gorkha’ Rai-jyu will ever be remembered for many generation to come. Saraswati, one of his three daughters, took the cudgels of bringing together his memories and contributions in a volume. What is of critical importance for his family and friends is to recollect and re-document what he left for posterity as oral history and unpublished manuscripts. Somewhere in the preface of one of his books he wrote:

“I must confess that I have this habit of writing poems and singing them as songs whenever I get the right moment, theme and actors. ... I never took care of these papers which were drafted and corrected from all sides. Many a times I just tore them into several unrecognisable pieces and forgot them for all the time to come.”

Saraswati could revisit his papers and bring them to public purview as societal intellectual property. This phenomenon is universal among the Gorkhas all over. The ‘oral history’ programme, the ‘winter sojourn’ project and the ‘book discussion’ event and of course ‘Ethnicity and Biodiversity Museum’ which we initiated in the very first five years (2007-2012) of building Sikkim University, a national university, in Gangtok have been exactly aimed at realising these objectives.

We started documenting our rich but unrecorded intellectual heritage through ‘oral history’ (Maukhik Itihas) programme. Our teachers and students visited villages and rugged terrains looking for the custodians of this knowledge and interviewed them, recorded them and transformed them into documents and unusual sets of knowledge base and intellectual capital. In the past we steadily lost so much in terms of knowledge and wisdom when our parents and grandparents faded into oblivion. No one documented them and we lost the game. Whereas same traditional knowledge base was capitalised by the Chinese, Japanese and companies like Coca Cola to generate huge development resources and extend and ensure human security. Therefore, in order to connect the oral history programme with the societies and communities in and around Sikkim we simply said:

Baje Mare Boju Mareen, 
Duiwata  pustakalaya  lierai  gae 
Aba yesto  huna dinnau hai

Thereby meaning:

Grandfather passed away, 
Grandmother crossed the horizon, 
Along, took away two beautiful libraries, 
We shall not let it happen again

The ‘winter sojourn’ (Hiundo Yatra) project aimed at connecting the University and higher education with the communities. The students and teachers will go to a destination in Sikkim and around to study themes like water, brooms, cardamom, trafficking of women, cultural heritage, health, pastime games, forest, local women vendors, etc, from an inter-disciplinary perspective. This helped our students and teachers to understand and assimilate the issues within the locales of their university and also connecting the village folks and city dwellers with the higher education. This generated adequate researchable local and regional issues from within our geography, natural resources and communities so that we steadily move to ‘globalisation of locals’ (knowledge, culture, traditional medicinal systems, adaptation story of climate change, food, literary heritage, and also disaster management techniques etc) and not what is dominantly happening now the ‘localisation of globals’ (Jeans, Samsung, Apple, Pizza, Hamburger, KFC, Honda and Toyota). ‘Book discussion’ (Pustak Chalphal) event was designed to imbibe reading habits among the younger generation and take them nearer to their roots where language, literature, culture, music, sports and young talents profusely flourished in the past.

And finally in the initiation and building of Ethnicity and Biodiversity Museum the aim was not only to realign the locals, national and global citizens with the extravagant and prolific cultural heritage and biodiversity of this region but also make museum as a bastion of research and sustainable development discourses.  This is perhaps the first such museum in the entire Eastern Himalayas which was designed by our own teachers and students and management staff with the help of National Museum, National Archives of India and British Council. Rather a proud moment for the hill folks around. There was public fund guzzler-political ‘leaders’ who do not value institutions as they live in the ideology of individualism and destruction of what nature have endowed. Sikkim University initiated all these programmes and built all these institutions blatantly ignoring and sometimes durably exposing this political class with myopic vision and chicken-like thinking. These are the ways forward for all of us who value culture, literature, heritage and renegotiating our children and communities to their glorious past. ‘Gorkha’ Rai-jyu’s writings and speeches very much allude to all these.

Lama is a professor of South Asian Economies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Also served as the Founding Vice Chancellor, Central University of Sikkim. Considered as the architect of the reopening of Nathu la trade route between Sikkim in India and Tibet Autonomous Region in China after 44 years in 2006, he is a member of Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations from India

Via ekantipur

Ganju Lama VC ADC to the President of India for Life

7:24 PM
Ganju Lama was born in Sangmo, southern Sikkim, India, on 22 July 1924. He enlisted in British Gurkha Army in 1942 at the age of seventeen. His parents were both of Sikkimese Bhutia descent and lived in Sikkim, which made him unusual, as he was neither an ethnic Gurkha nor a Nepalese subject. At that time, however, Gurkha regiments were prepared to accept any recruit who closely resembled the Gurkha and lived near the border of Nepal. Ganju Lama's tribe lived in the kingdom of Sikkim. His name was Gyamtso Shangderpa, but a clerk in the recruiting office wrote it down as Ganju, and the name stuck. After leaving the regimental centre in 1943, he joined the 1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles, near Imphal, India.

Ganju Lama was nineteen years old, and a rifleman in the 1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles, in the Indian Army during World War II when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross:

On 12 June 1944, near Ningthoukhong, India , 'B' Company was attempting to stem the enemy's advance when it came under heavy machine-gun and tank machine-gun fire. Rifleman Ganju Lama, with complete disregard for his own safety, took his PIAT gun and, crawling forward, succeeded in bringing the gun into action within 30 yards of the enemy tanks, knocking out two of them. Despite a broken wrist and two other serious wounds to his right and left hands he then moved forward and engaged the tank crew who were trying to escape. Not until he had accounted for all of them did he consent to leave to his wounds dressed.
To the left Ganju Lama and to the right Two tanks destroyed by Rifleman Ganju Lama, 1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles, Ningthoukong, 12 June 1944.
To the left Ganju Lama and to the right Two tanks destroyed by Rifleman Ganju Lama,
1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles, Ningthoukong, 12 June 1944.
A month earlier, during operations on the Tiddim Road, Ganju Lama's regiment had surprised a party of Japanese and killed several of them. He was awarded the Military Medal for his part in the action. Strangely though, this award was actually announced in the London Gazette after his Victoria Cross, appearing on 3 October 1944, almost a month later.

Subsequently India got independence. The man from 7 GR who opted to stay back, formed part of 11 GR (Kirati Regiment) which was raised on 01 Jan 1948. The legendary Ganju Lama opted to stay back and joined 11 GR. In 11 GR he rose to the highest rank of Sub Major and was given the honorary rank of Capt and was appointed life time aide-de-camp(ADC) to the President of India. In 1972, he hung up his uniform.He was declared a very important person or VIP for life and was allowed to fly a personal flag on his car with the letters "VC".


Two ‪Sikkim‬ women referees for Tajikistan

9:01 AM
Writes: Nirmal Mangar

Two women football referees from Sikkim have been short-listed to officiate in the Asian Football Confederation Under-14 Championship that will be held be in Tajikistan from April 26.
Reshmi Chettri, 23, and Phurki Bhutia, 23, who left Delhi for the tourney yesterday are the first women referees from Sikkim to get such an opportunity.

While Reshmi works as a lower division clerk in the state forest department, Phurki is a sport teacher in Gujarat.

The duo have been officiating in several matches, both in the men's and women's categories, conducted by the Sikkim Football Association (SFA).

While Chettri is from Pangthang village in East Sikkim, Lepcha is from Bhushuk Naitam village, also from East Sikkim.

Tajikistan will take part in the tourney along with defending champions Bangladesh, and Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and the Maldives.
(Left) Reshmi Chettri and Phurki Bhutia
"This is a great achievement for our girls as women referees break the stereotype. We are proud of both the girls. This is the first overseas assignment for Sikkim women referees," said the general secretary of the SFA, Menla Ethenpa.

The head referee of the Committee of SFA, Chanchuk Lama, said the selection was conducted by the All India Football Federation and the Asian Football Confederation.

"They (the girls) had to go through the selection process - fitness, theory and practical (levels) - and they were shortlisted after a viva-voce," said Lama.

The final match of the Tajikistan tourney is on May 1.

Both the girls are national-level football players and were appointed as referees by the AIFF in 2012.
Reshmi's father Man Bahadhur Chettri said he was happy with his daughter's selection. "She always wanted to serve football. We are happy with her achievement," said Chettri who works in the forest department.

Phurki's parents, Sonam Gyasto Bhutia and Phampho Bhutia, who are farmers, said their happiness knew no bounds as their daughter had been selected for the overseas assignment.

Via: Telegraph

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

Gangtok Himalayan takes on table topper Neroca FC on Saturday

7:37 PM

April 14 2016 Gangtok Himalayan SC plays against familiar opponent Neroca FC, Imphal on Saturday at Paljor Stadium in its fourth straight home match of the I-League second division final round.

So far, Gangtok Himalayan has been disappointing at its home ground, collecting only two points from three matches. It is also yet to score from open play as its only goal in three home matches came from a penalty shot.

“In all the three matches, we played better than our opponents but we lacked in converting the chances. We are working on how to convert the chances and I am confident that our boys will start scoring goals,” said Gangtok Himalayan coach A Shanta Kumar to media in a pre-match conference today.

Team captain Nima Tamang also rued the chances missed during the matches against Dempo SC, Minerva Academy and Lonestar FC at Paljor Stadium. Sadly, we have been repeating the same mistake but we are working on improving on scoring goals, he said.
Gangtok Himalayan takes on table topper Neroca FC on Saturday
Gangtok Himalayan takes on table topper Neroca FC on Saturday
“We are in a situation now that we have to win all matches. We will give our best performance in the match against Neroca FC,” said Nima.

Gangtok Himalayan SC had earlier lost by a solitary goal to Neroca FC at Paljor Stadium during the first round of I-League. It went to Imphal for the return match and managed to secure a draw.

“We have analysed Gangtok team to be really good. The only drawback that they have is to score goals. We can’t take them for granted and we will give our best in the match against them,” said Neroca FC coach Gift Raikhan.

The match will be interesting, added Neroca FC captain Tomba Singh.

Neroca FC with seven points is leading the league while Gangtok Himalayan is in the fourth position with two points.

Via Sikkim Express

Scheduled Tribe to Gorkhas will lend more power to BJP in Darjeeling Hill

8:19 AM
Apr 9 2016 In the midst of the assembly elections, the Centre has taken a bow in the direction of an ethnic segment with its decision to accord the status of Scheduled Tribe to as many as eleven Gorkha groups in West Bengal and Sikkim. In effect, the Government has conceded a major demand of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. The BJP government’s move is arguably intended to undercut the influence of the ruling party in West Bengal where the Hills go to the polls on 17 April. Small wonder that the “Centre’s order” has been greeted by the GJM as a “tight slap on state policy”. The swipe was obviously against the setting up of separate development boards for different hill tribes, indeed the state government’s public policy plank that the GJM has debunked as “divide and rule”. Beyond that subjective reflection, the morcha must concede that Mamata Banerjee’s decision to put in place the Gorkha Territorial Authority was an attempt to address a volatile issue that has been festering for exactly three decades. It envisages a measure of self-rule, short of statehood. Sad to reflect, the likes of Bimal Gurung are yet to initiate an earnest effort to give the GTA experiment a try. The decision on ST status for Gorkhas will almost certainly lend more power to the elbow of the BJP in Darjeeling, which in 2014 had elected the party to the Lok Sabha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung
during BJP election campaign
The GJMM is known to play the political card to suit its convenience. “Our alliance with the BJP is slowly bearing fruit,” was Mr Gurung’s immediate response, couched in “thank you” letters to Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, and the tribal affairs minister, Jual Oram. As critical as the societal underpinning has been the calculated timing of the decision that was announced in Delhi 48 hours before the first phase of the elections in the predominantly tribal belt of Junglemahal and a fortnight ahead of the vote in a restive and ethnically sensitive region of West Bengal.

Predictably, Sikkim has welcomed the move as a “step towards correction of a historical injustice”. The initiative to fix the ST tag on eleven Gorkha groups would have raised no cavil had the Centre not been so impervious to similar demands raised by at least 100 hill tribes in Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand. The tribes do expect a measure of uniformity in according the ST status, and the Centre’s promptitude in Darjeeling needs to be mirrored in the treatment in other states as well. Not least because certain class groups had been “scheduled” as hill tribes in the 1930 census, but were somehow not included in the list of STs after Independence. Others had lost the status as they had migrated to other states. Regretfully, the Centre’s calibrated approach has been selective.

Via The Statesman

Things Gorkhas need to know about Narendra Modi's election rally in North Bengal

9:26 AM
Here are the four things that Gorkhas need to know about P.M.  Narendra Modi's recent election rally in North Bengal for campaigning BJP candidates for Assembly Election 2016 in Bengal.

1.PM Modi Reasserts Commitment Towards Gorkhas - Credits MP SS Ahluwalia For Pushing for It
Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again touted the process of including 11 Gorkha communities into ST as his government's commitment towards the Gorkhas.
Speaking at Siliguri, he said, "for years the demand for inclusion into ST was pending... But Ahluwalia ji continued to push for it and he told me, I have promised our Gorkha friends we have to make it happen... and that is what made this possible... the process has started in earnest...."

2.PM Modi Contrasts Development in Sikkim vs Darjeeling - Chides Bengal Govt
Coming down heavily on Mamata government for not taking care of the Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars region, PM Modi yesterday said, "look at your next door neighbor Sikkim... today they are the 1st Organic State in India... where as look at this region.. its has everything similar... other than the fact that the Govt in Sikkim cares for its people, where as Bengal doesn't."

3.Darjeeling‬ MP SS Ahluwalia Reminds PM Why We Need a Central University
Taking advantage of the presence of PM Narendra Modi in Siliguri, yesterday Darjeeling MP reminded him of some of the main issues confronting our region. Most important among them was the formation of a Central University in Darjeeling Hills.

4.PM Modi All Praises for ‪Darjeeling‬ MP SS Ahluwalia
Speaking at the public rally yesterday, PM Narendra Modi was all praises for Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia. Modi remarked that "your MP works very hard for his constituents and has even woken me up at midnight to address pressing issues concerning Darjeeling region... with such an MP... even I feel delighted to work harder."
PM Modi also credited MP Ahluwalia for pushing forward the issue of ST status for 11 Gorkha communities.

Bimal Gurung Narendra Modi  at Madirahat..

Gorkha Apex Committee welcomes formation of committee for Scheduled Tribe status to the Gorkha Communities

5:40 PM
Sikkim: The Gorkha Apex Committee has extends its ‘heartfelt gratitude’ to the Central Government for constituting a committee to examine and recommend regarding granting of Scheduled Tribe status to the Gorkha Communities across India.

In a press press release GAC says, “It is indeed a joyous moment and Gorkha Apex Committee welcomes the Central Government of India for the initiative as well as recognizing ‘Gorkha’ as community in Sikkim. It was our sincere Endeavour to clarify the misconception of the community and nationality. Today, such misconception founds no room after Central Government acknowledges the presence of majority Gorkha in the State of Sikkim.”
Gorkha Apex Committee welcomes formation of committee for Scheduled Tribe status to the Gorkha Communities
Gorkha Apex Committee welcomes formation of committee for
Scheduled Tribe status to the Gorkha Communities
GAC has also suggests that the State Government should pursue the demand of Tribal Status for Gorkhas as a single community and should refrain from demanding the tribal status for individual communities. “If state Government pursue the demand of Tribal Status for individual communities it will be difficult for certain communities to get Tribal Status. The rejection of Tribal Status to these communities on the earlier occasion(s) was because of pursuing Tribal status for individual community," it states.

Via Sikkim Talk

A Tale of two stories: Finding Suraj Subba and losing Tirtha Tamang from Sikkim

4:10 PM
Writes: Dinesh Sharma

SURAJ SUBBA, FOUND on 28-03-2016 (Delhi): 
Rajen Chhetry, Delhi Police for North East representative and a Gorkha Youth activist received a phone call from another DPNE representative from Manipur, Timothy Chongthu. Timothy informed Rajen about a youth from Sikkim found sleeping in a Park at Munirka, South of Delhi.

Rajen Chhetry and Sandeep Pandey immediately swung into action and headed to Munirka to meet the boy. 23 years old Suraj Subba said he is from Manipal, Sikkim and had come down to Delhi a couple of weeks ago looking for his Lover and a ‘happy life after’. However, the story did not work out as he had idealized, and he found himself out on the streets a few days after landing in the city.
He has been sleeping in the park for three days and did not have any money to buy food or to go home. Whatever little he had in his bag, cloths and money was robbed at the ghettos near the railway station. Delhi Police Sub Inspector Ranveer from Vasant Kunj Police station had met Suraj the previous day in the park. After inquiry, the police officer had given him Rs. 600 to buy his tickets and go home. However, when the boy was seen in the same park the next day, the police inspector informed Timothy who then reached out to Rajen Chhetry.
Rajen Chhetry with Suraj Subba
Rajen Chhetry with Suraj Subba 
Rajen approached a nearby ‘Namastey Café’ run by a good hearted Gorkha, Puran Rai from Darjeeling. Upon hearing the story, he offered to provide food and shelter for Suraj for the interim few days. Meanwhile, Rajen contacted Sikkim House using the number given in Delhi Police brochures for emergency state help. After narrating the entire story to one Mr. Ganesh over the phone, he requested accommodation for Suraj and arrangements for him to go back to Sikkim. Ganesh told us that such matters are handled by the Resident Commissioner and he provided us his direct number. Unfortunately, all our calls went unanswered.

Having no other option, we asked Suraj if we can put up his information on our Facebook page and try getting some help. We then reached out to different people and online media, Voice of Sikkim, The Darjeeling Chronicles, Indian Gorkhas, and other media outlets. We received massive support on the information posted on GYASA and the associated online media channels page, with people caming back with information about his village and parents.

Earlier that day, GYASA members collected had some money within themselves and handed it to Suraj. Namastey Café owner Puran Rai volunteered to accommodate Suraj till he is settled. Mr. Arun Dubey, working as a Sales Director for a UK based-firm offered to book the tickets and travel expenses for Suraj Subba. Christina and Caleb from Sikkim also called in to offer their help with tracing the family of Suraj in Sikkim.

Then, the next challenge was to get the identification papers for Suraj. Arun Dubey and Rajen Chhetry also helped in arranging identity papers for the journey. Puran Rai, the café owner safely dropped him to the auto-stand. Rajen Chhetry received a call from Suraj after he reached safely back home and reunited with his family on 1st April 2016.

TIRTHA TAMANG, LOST on 3rd April 2016: 
A newly recruited Delhi Police personal from Sikkim, Tirtha Tamang committed suicide at Police Training School, Kharoda Kalan, Delhi. Reportedly Tirtha Tamang was going through depression for some time. With the aim to facilitate integration of North East people in the city, Delhi Police had recently recruited more than 600 police personal from across all North Eastern states. The new recruits had reached Delhi for their training just two days earlier.

As the news of the death reached Robin Hibu IPS, Jt. CP and Nodal Officer for North East folks he tried reaching out to Sikkim House for help. Reportedly, the person at the reception desk informed IGP Robin Hibu IPS that ‘it is a holiday today and he cannot help’. On requesting if he could inform his official, he asked Robin Hibu IPS to do that himself. Finally, Robin Hibu IPS did manage to reach the Resident Commissioner and got someone from Sikkim House to rush to the venue.

The Undercurrent:
If you have observed a striking similarity in these two stories, it is the callousness of the Sikkim House reception desk who is not efficient for emergency response. Both times, the person manning the emergency helpline has reacted badly during emergencies. If the phone number is not meant for such emergency, then Sikkim House should not have published it officially on Delhi Police emergency helpline numbers.

In a city like Delhi, people don’t have time to spend days and night trying to help each other. The state and government machineries in Delhi should be more proactive in helping their citizens. How does it reflect on the state or the region to find its people homeless and begging for food in cities? How difficult is it for the person manning the reception desk to differentiate between a SOS call and a leisure enquiry?

As Delhi Police representatives, we all try to help best in our personal capacity. Under Delhi Police for North East People, the police force is also involving community leaders and social activist to assist the government in handling such issues. However, all these good work by the Delhi Police stops when the state houses keep their doors shut and mouth mum during such emergency. When citizens are willing to help voluntarily, what does it take for the State Houses to involve them and hear them out? The saddest day would be when such good Samaritans get fed up of the Babu culture and the Great Walls of the State Houses.


Centre takes up Gorkha ST demand

8:14 AM
Basant Kumar Mohanty

New Delhi, April 3: The Modi government has started the process that could lead to grant of Scheduled Tribe status to 11 Gorkha communities, mostly living in Sikkim and poll-bound Bengal.

The tribal affairs ministry yesterday set up a committee under joint secretary Ashok Pai to examine granting ST status to 11 communities - Bhujel, Gurang, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakhha and Dhimal - living in Sikkim and other Gorkha-dominated states and areas.

While the Sikkim government called it a step towards correction of "historical injustice", questions were raised about the timing of the decision that comes a day before Assembly elections kick off in Bengal.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is fighting the elections in alliance with the BJP, has been demanding ST status for these communities and will likely make it a campaign point. The three hill seats will vote on April 17.

"It is because of the Morcha's consistent effort that the Centre has taken this initiative. Our alliance with the BJP is now slowly bearing fruit. We are confident of a positive outcome in three months," Morcha chief Bimal Gurung said today.

Ten of the communities have a sizeable presence in the Darjeeling hills. The eleventh, Dhimal, is concentrated in the plains.

The move is controversial as it appears to give priority to Gorkhas while the demand for ST status from about a hundred hill tribes from several states, including Assam, Odisha, Chhattishgarh and Jharkhand, is pending.

"This is politically motivated. It is being done in violation of norms. Many deserving communities are waiting to be included," former tribal affairs minister V.K.C. Deo said.

A.B. Ota, director of the SC & ST Research Training Institute, an Odisha government think tank, said the state had recommended inclusion of a number of tribes. If the Centre is considering including the demand of the Gorkha, that of Odisha should be considered simultaneously, he said.

Yesterday's decision is also surprising because a high-level task force set up by the UPA government on how to select communities for inclusion in the ST list did not recommend any of these 11 communities for inclusion. The task force had submitted its report in May 2014, days before the Modi government took office.

According to existing norms, ST status is granted to a community after Parliament clears a bill amending the list of STs.

While the Centre moves the bill in Parliament, the initiative has to be taken by the respective state government that has to recommend specific communities for inclusion. The tribal affairs ministry seeks the opinion of the Registrar General of India and the National Commission for STs, after which the bill is taken to Parliament.

"As per norms, the demand comes from the state government. The order gives the impression that the demand has not come from the state but is being pushed from the Centre," Deo said.

The UPA government had introduced a bill in 2013 for inclusion of the Nari Kuruvan community of Tamil Nadu and the Thanuhar community of Chhattishgarh, Deo said. "There was no controversy over their inclusion. The bill could not be passed. The NDA is not taking interest in that bill," the former minister said.

The task force on scheduling of tribes, headed by then tribal affairs secretary Hrushikesh Panda, had recommended about 30 communities for urgent inclusion. None was a Gorkha community. A task force member said the list included communities that had been historically ignored. Some were scheduled as hill tribes in the 1930 caste census but were not included in the list of STs after Independence, while others had lost the status because they migrated to some other state.

Tribal affairs ministry sources said the report was examined by an informal group of ministers headed by home minister Rajnath Singh but there has been no movement.

Tribal affairs minister Jual Oram did not wish to comment on the reason for choosing to take up ST status for the Gorkha communities and not the others. "I will find out and tell you," Oram said.

Sikkim's tribal affairs secretary G.P. Upadhyaya welcomed the move.

He said when Sikkim became part of India in 1975, the Union home ministry had asked the state to recommend all the communities for inclusion in the ST list. However, the state only recommended the Bhutia and Lepcha communities despite "Bhutias being the ruling class". In 2003, the state recommended inclusion of two Gorkha communities - Tamang and Limboo.

"These 11 communities are very poor and fulfil all criteria to be included in the schedule. The initiative by the government is a corrective action of the historical injustice," Upadhyaya said.

He said the proposed inclusion would help Gorkhas who are living in Sikkim, Bengal, Uttarakhand and northeastern states.

At present, nearly 700 communities are included in the schedule. They are entitled to reservation in government jobs and education. The government also runs affirmative schemes like residential schools and scholarships for tribal children.


First battalion of only Indian Gorkhas is born

8:40 AM
Comprises only Indian domiciles instead of Nepalese troops as in other Gorkha units of Army

Writes Vijay Mohan

Chandigarh, April 2 The Army has turned over a new leaf by raising a new Gorkha battalion comprising entirely of Gorkha troops of Indian domicile. Traditionally, the majority of troops in Gorkha regiments belong to Nepal.

This is the first Gorkha battalion to have come up in 50 years. The new battalion, the Sixth Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles (6/1GR), christened “Kanchi Paltan”, has been raised at Sabathu in the Shivalik foothills near Shimla, that houses the 14 Gorkha Training Centre.

In 1815, the British had raised the first Gorkha battalion, 1/1 GR, from the remnants of General Amar Singh Thapa’s forces following the Gurkha War fought between the Gorkha kings of Nepal and British East India Company.

Col Avaneesh Chambial is the battalion’s first Commanding Officer. The recruits for the battalion had been undergoing training at the centre for the past nine months and the battalion’s regimental flag was unfurled by the Colonel of the First Gorkha Rifles, Lt Gen Ravi Thogde, at a ceremonial parade on Friday.
Troops of the newly raised 6th Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles along with senior officers at
the 14 Gorkha Training Centre in Sabathu. A Tribune photograph
The Army has several Gorkha regiments — 1GR, 3GR, 4GR, 5GR, 8GR, 9GR and 11 GR. The stipulated ratio of composition of these regiments between Nepalese and Indian domicile Gorkhas is about 70:30. In some units it is 60:40.

The Army’s plans are that each Gorkha regiment will raise an additional battalion in due course as part of the approved force accretions and the ongoing organisational restructuring.

A senior officer said more Gorkhas of Indian domicile i.e. those settled in the hilly regions of northern India and the North-East and even other parts of the country would be recruited and Gorkha regiments were envisioned to have a pan-India footprint. The minimum educational qualification for Gorkha troops was also being raised from matriculation to Class XII.

Three years ago, the Army had raised the Sikkim Scouts comprising locally recruited youth from the state for deployment in the border regions. The unit has been affiliated with 11 GR.

Tribune News Service

Bikal Rai gets a Laptop and Dongle as gift from Chief Engineer from Mumbai

8:51 PM
Sikkim 2nd April 2016 A person from Mumbai had called Bikal Rai more than four years ago after he saw a first Facebook post about Bikal Rai a self made engineer from Sikkim. After he called Bikal the man from Mumbai had a dream to do something for Bikal Rai. His dream came true when he met Bikal in Gangtok today. He gifted him a brand new Laptop and new Dongle.

His name is Jai Shree Ram he came to Sikkim from Mumbai to meet Bikal Rai. He gifted a Laptop and Dongle to Bikal Rai saying these gift for Bikal bhai is from him along with his two friends from Mumbai and a friend from Singapore. Mr. Shree Ram also gifted Rs. 7500 to Bikal Rai thinking that cash will help him to get his Dongle recharged some time.

Bikal Rai gets a Laptop and Dongle as gift from man from Mumbai
Mr Shree Ram also visited the home of Bikal Rai to greet his mother and to query about her health conditions. He's a Chief Engineer in Mumbai Airport. Shree Ram Sir has more dreams about Bikal Rai. He wants to see Bikal Rai in America someday and to make it possible, Shree Ram shared his views with Bikal Rai. Shree Ram also gifted a rechargeable lamp so that Bikal Rai can study in night, in case if there's no electricity.

Via Sikkim Messenger

Limboo, Tamang reservation in Sikkim Legislative Assembly before 2019 elections - Pawan Chamling

9:18 AM
The Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, declared that the Limboo and Tamang Community will get tribal reservation in SLA before 2019 elections and will be able to contest elections from the reserved seats in 2019 elections on the basis of the Burman Commission Report. Sikkim has special protection through Article 371(f) of the Indian Constitution and the binding of 2026 for delimitation Commission will not be implemented for the State of Sikkim.

Seats will be increased to 40 as per the report of the Burman Commission, he added.
The Chief Minister was speaking on the third day of the Budget Session 2016 at the Sikkim
Legislative Assembly on the Private Member Resolution NO. 1 of 2016 entitled "vis-a-vis Seat Reservation for the Sikkimese Limbu and Tamang Tribes in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly" introduced by Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha, Member which was recorded in the House after detail discussion.

The Chief Minister further said that the Government is also very much committed on the protection of 12 seats reserved for the Bhutia Lepcha Community.

He elaborated that with 40 seats the Government will ensure 2 Sangha seats as well and also protect the political interests of the majority Gorkha community of the state.
Limboo, Tamang reservation in Sikkim Legislative Assembly before 2019 elections - Pawan Chamling
Pawan Chamling
It was our government which worked for the Tribal Status of the Limboo and Tamang communities and we will provide seats reservations for them in the state Legislative Assembly, he reiterated.
The Chief Minister during his address to the house elaborated on the various activities and initiatives undertaken by the government for providing reservations to the Limboo and Tamang communities.
While talking about the private member resolution, the Chief Minister said that the Private Member Resolution introduced in the house today is an one sided resolution which is aimed against the interest of the majority Gorkha Communities of the State.

Earlier, Shri R.B.Subba, Minister for Law and Parliamentary affairs department while participating in the discussion placed the legal aspects of the issue while Shri D.D.Bhutia, Minister for Energy and Power Department who is the Chairperson of the High Power Committed illustrated on the terms of reference of the committee and the activities taken by the committee so far.

Source IPR

Naseeb Tamang bags Mr. India Continent 2016

8:51 AM
Indian Gorkha, Naseeb Tamang from Nimtar, 32 no. village of East Sikkim under Sang-Martam Rumtek Constituency bags the Mr. India Continent 2016 at New Delhi, India. Naseeb Tamang by profession is a Gym Owner & a trainer an a well known Disc Jockey in Sikkim.

Mr and Miss India Continent 2016 held in Delhi YWCA organised by Aman Gandhi Film Production
Mr India Continent 2016 Organised by Aman Gandhi Film Production the competition was international level the contestants from Nepal Bhutan Pakistan was their for the competition
"I'm very much happy that I have won the title Mr India continent (Fight For World Peace and Stop Terrorism), I will be working on world peace and I have an agreement of one year with the production house.
Naseeb Tamang bags Mr. India Continent 2016
Naseeb Tamang bags Mr. India Continent 2016

Source: VOS

Post-graduate courses in Bhutia, Lepcha and Limo languages - Sikkim University

10:36 AM
New courses in Sikkim

Gangtok, March 18: Sikkim University plans to launch post-graduate courses in Bhutia, Lepcha and Limo languages from the next academic session, said the assistant registrar of the Sikkim University.

The assistant registrar, Grace Chankapa, said the university had written to the Union ministry of human resource development and University Grants Commission seeking the approval for the courses.

"We may start the post-graduate programmes in three languages if the approval is given to us from the Union ministry of HRD and UGC. The vice-chancellor of Sikkim University T.B. Subba is regularly pursuing the matter with the two agencies. These three languages have been listed as endangered languages by the Unesco," said a senior official of the university.

Chankapa said if the approval was granted by the UGC, Sikkim University would be the first varsity to start the post-graduate course in the three languages.
Post-graduate courses in Bhutia, Lepcha and Limo languages - Sikkim University
Sikkim University
The Sikkim University presently offers post-graduation in 29 subjects, including Nepali. The three proposed languages are taught in government schools and in government colleges at the graduation level in Sikkim.

The students had requested Subba to start the three language courses so that they could pursue further studies in these languages, informed the university officials.

A source in the university said that once the approval was given by the UGC, the university would work on finalising the course and appointing teachers.


Gorkha Rashtriya Congress to contest election with ‪Darjeeling‬-‪Sikkim‬ merger as agenda

11:00 PM
The Gorkha Rashtriya Congress party, which is championing the merger of Darjeeling with Sikkim, today announced its decision of fielding candidates from the three seats in the hills and one from Siliguri for the state Assembly election.

Senior leaders of the party said they would make the merger issue the main election agenda, which is in sharp contrast to the almost customary compulsion of other political parties of making either the demand for a Gorkhaland state or development their principal pursuits.

Formed in 2004, the GRC has made the merger of Darjeeling with Sikkim its sole issue, and has taken up this demand with the Centre over the years. “We will field candidates from the Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Siliguri assembly constituencies,” said GRC convener Subodh Pakhrin. “Our election agenda will remain the merger of Darjeeling with Sikkim as the Darjeeling hills were never a part of Bengal. We believe a merger to be the only plausible solution for the Darjeeling hills.”
Aiming to strike a chord with the popular imagination in the hills, the GRC also intends to make the merger issue a ‘demonstrative’ movement. “Bengal cannot give a Gorkhaland state because Darjeeling was never its part. Therefore, if we win we will go to the Sikkim assembly instead of Bengal. In a way this election will be a demonstrative one for us,” Pakhrin said.
Gorkha Rashtriya Congress to field candidates with ‪Darjeeling‬-‪Sikkim‬ merger issue as agenda
Gorkha Rashtriya Congress to field candidates with ‪Darjeeling‬-‪Sikkim‬ merger issue as agenda
It may be mentioned here that Darjeeling was gifted to the British by the Rajah of Sikkim on February 1, 1835 by executing a Deed of Grant. Meanwhile, the names of the four GRC candidates announced today are that of Ashok Kumar Lepcha (68) from Darjeeling, who is the working president of the party; Dhurba Dewan (47), the GRC assistant secretary who will contest from Kurseong, general secretary Amar Lucksom (69) from Kalimpong; and Rabindra Rai (36) from Siliguri constituency. Rai is an executive member of the GRC.

Arguing in favour of the merger issue, GRC working president Lepcha said, “Till now 27 MLAs from the hills and 15 from Siliguri have been sent to the Vidhan Sabha. But the problems plaguing the hills have yet to be addressed or solved. We believe the West Bengal state assembly can fulfill nothing for us. There are several methods of opposing and hence we have decided that even if we go on to win, we will neither sit in Bengal’s Vidhan Sabha nor take from it our salaries and pensions. We will disclose later as to how we plan to sit in the Sikkim assembly.”

The GRC will be contesting for the first time in the state Assembly election. The party had fielded a candidate in the Lok Sabha election in 2014, though.


Maruni dance to be performed on World Culture Festival by Art of Living

11:56 AM
Writes: Prashant Acharya

A host of traditional Gorkha 'Maruni' dancers from Sikkim, the Darjeeling hills and the Dooars are set to create a world record by performing at the World Culture Festival on Saturday that is being organised by the Art of Living Foundation at Mayur Vihar in New Delhi.

Three hundred and fifty dancers and their team leaders have already reached New Delhi for performing on Saturday evening on a giant stage sprawled across 7 acres of land. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the function in the presence of officials from 155 nations.

The Maruni dancers from Sikkim and north Bengal have undergone rigorous practice over the past two months and will mesmerize an estimated audience of 35 lakh people during the three-day festival, aimed at celebrating diversity among world cultures and uniting peoples across geographical boundaries.

Ramkumar Lama, the dance coordinator from the Dooars, said, "The almost forgotten Nepali folk dance will see a grand revival and get promoted across the world. We intend to make it into the Guinness Book of world records."
Maruni dancers from Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Dooars en route to create world record
Maruni dancers from Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Dooars en route to create world record
Meanwhile, Raj Sharma, the coordinator from Sikkim, said 118 dancers from the state’s West, East and South districts are participating and a huge contingent of Art of Living volunteers from Sikkim have already reached New Delhi to be part of the extravaganza.

“In the days of yore, men used to adorn women’s attire and enact female roles while performing the Maruni dance because women were forbidden to perform in public. But this has changed now, of course,” said Karuna Pradhan, the coordinator from Darjeeling. She said the song for the Maruni folk dance is in the 'Samala' beat and has been written by Rajen Ghimire while the dance choreographer is Lhamu Sherpa.


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