Showing posts with label West Bengal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Bengal. Show all posts

Condemn the attempt by D.T.A & C.C.P.A to operate the Tea plantations in Darjeeling

6:00 PM
Shut Down Plantations and Pay Wages to the Workers.

Darjeeling Tea Association and Consultative Committee of Plantation Association has turned deplorable and inhuman by shamelessly requesting the West Bengal State Government to allow the complete operation of Tea Plantations in Darjeeling as reported in the Statesman on 27th March 2020.

How indifferent, insensitive and self- centered can the Plantation Owners/ Company Heads get under this dire threat to the entire human species? Are the members of the D.T.A. and the C.C.P.A – “uneducated”, “illiterate” and so “ignoble” (often phrased as reasons for avoiding quarantines) that they do not understand the seriousness of the pandemic at hand? Then how’s it possible they have a stomach to appeal in such a mean spirited and draconian move to make tea labourers work under present circumstances. Is the common consensus within the D.T.A. and C.C.P.A an absolutely unscientific and superstitious hope and belief that tea workers of Darjeeling would exclusively remain immune to the novel Coronavirus? Or are they of the opinion that the life of our fellow brothers and sisters is so cheap that they can be readily disposed for the sake of a few crores petty profit? Isn’t this move of the D.T.A. and C.C.P.A consolidating the belief that tea plantation workers are merely slaves?

Therefore, in complete solidarity with the workers and their vulnerabilities during this time, we condemn this inhuman, insensitive and draconian move by the D.T.A & C.C.P.A for appealing the State Government to operate the plantations in Darjeeling.
We are confounded to observe that the State Government actually appears willing to deliberate on this request and may even consider it. In a situation where this very government has ordered a complete lockdown throughout the state, how can it even think of taking a contradictory position on the fate of thousands of workers and their dependent families? Especially, when working in the fields and factories entails gathering and socialising in a way that cannot be substantially avoided (which the workers are very much aware of) regardless of the D.T.A & C.C.P.A proposed precautionary measures such as “strict safety and hygiene guidelines”. However, under the same circumstances, in the neighbouring state of Assam, their state government has ordered a complete lockdown of the tea industry vide notification no. L.E. 16/ 2018/ 4035-98 dated Guwahati, 21st March 2020. The plantation owners there have complied to not only shut down the industry but also to cooperate with the government order that states categorically- “not to terminate employment or reduce wages” of any worker whether permanent or contractual and to consider them to be on paid leave. When such a socially relevant decision can be taken by Assam what bothers and stops the West Bengal Government to toe a similar line? What’s so special about Darjeeling that its workers don’t deserve a right to life and safety? It would be utterly draconian if the state government grants the requests of the D.T.A. & C.C.P.A. and we stand firmly against any such move by the government to endanger the workers’ lives.

Moreover, it is imperative now to ask few extremely crucial questions to all administrative and political bodies immediately concerned with the region regarding their positions on the latest move by the D.T.A& C.C.P.A. First, what is the local administration i.e. the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration(G.T.A.) and political representatives like the M.P & M.L.A(s)of Darjeeling going to do to reconcile this division of interests between the Plantation Owners (DTA & CCPA) and that of the workers? Second, what are the positions being opted, perhaps now, if they are truly concerned, by all the local parties proliferating on the soil of the hills? If they cannot be nonchalant to this move by the D.T.A& C.C.P.A to bereave workers from their right to life and security, our best suggestion to all parties is to shut down their clientele based politics and disband their organisations.

Third, our political representatives, especially the M.P. has so far been busy tweeting future plans for the region while the present move by the D.T.A & C.C.P.A is left conspicuously unaddressed by him. Then, what is RajuBista (M.P. Darjeeling) doing at the moment to tackle this new found situation? Whereas, the three MLA’s from Darjeeling hills, who are nowhere to be heard right now, what are they doing about D.T.A & C.C.P.A’s inhuman move to push the workers to risk and endangerment? Shall the State Government, the M.L.As, the M.Pas well as the G.T.A remain a mere onlooker without a voice during such an attack by the plantation owners on the right to life and security of the workers?All of their silences would make any one ask whether the Government, the MLA(s) and the M.P of the region were rather elected by a minority i.e. the handful of lobbying planters. It raises doubt as to who these political representatives from the region are really accountable to? Why haven’t they been able to utter a single word against such an inhuman and deplorable attempt by the D.T.A& C.C.P.A to open and operate tea plantations?

While the whole world is gearing towards international solidarity to fight a global pandemic as it has become impossible for any country to fight it alone. Darjeeling’s manypetty minded planters/ owners are lobbying through D.T.A & C.C.P.A for their parochial interests. To the extent of risking a major section of the Gorkha- Adivasi population who are prominently tea plantation labourers. Their deplorable and inhuman appeal is nothing else but the manifestation of their crude and cruel vision to exploit the workers. Instead of the relieving the labourers fromwork, so they too may stay in house quarantines, by providing them wages in advance, ration and other basic amenities to protect themselves, the D.T.A& C.C.P.A has shown their true oppressive and exploitative character. We thoroughly condemn every word and intention of their attempt to operate Tea Plantations in Darjeeling and stand in complete solidarity with the Workers in such trying times. Hence we demand the State Government to rather ensure that the tea plantation owners' must pay the workers their full wages in advance during the entire lockdown period.

Only way to fight corona in Darjeeling- Shut down the Tea Plantations!

Gorkha Students, JNU                     
Date: 28/03/2020

Gorkhas May Suffer if NRC implemented in West Bengal

11:15 AM
If the NRC Is Extended to West Bengal, Indian Gorkhas May End Up Suffering
Swaraj Thapa

Questions over identity and citizenship of Indian Gorkhas have long persisted, which is one of the reasons behind the community's consistent demand for a Gorkhaland state.

As the debate continues over what will happen to those who will eventually be excluded from the final NRC list, Gorkhas or Nepalis in India would be well advised against rushing in to draw conclusions with regard to the exercise and instead analyse and assess possible implications that it could have on them, their status and identity.

On the face of it, the move to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) initiated at the behest of the Supreme Court to identify undocumented immigrants in Assam is welcome. For Gorkhas of India, who have been beset with an identity crisis and sometimes perceived as foreigners, it would naturally follow that an NRC would be another step in certifying them as Indians. Enlistment in the NRC will after all, affirm citizenship.

However, there are a few reasons why Gorkhas must tread with caution.

Gorkhas are well represented in the army and have given their lives in every battle fought for the country. However, recent news reports state that over one lakh Gorkhas or Nepalis have been excluded from the draft final NRC list. These Gorkhas or Nepalis, of course, will be given an opportunity to submit documents in support of their claim of being Indian citizens. They may be included in the final list or be excluded, if they are identified as immigrants from Nepal.

But this development points to the larger malaise afflicting Gorkhas or Nepalis in India: that of identity and the perception that all Gorkhas are immigrants from Nepal. How does one ensure that Indian Gorkhas do not get excluded from such a list?

In fact, it is this flogging stick that is invariably sought to be flashed whenever Indian Gorkhas or Nepalis have attempted to re-assert their identity and stake their rightful claim in nation-building. The most recent example was witnessed in Darjeeling last year. What began as a protest to oppose attempts to impose Bengali language in all schools in the state, including Darjeeling, soon turned into an agitation for identity and a demand for a separate state.

As the state began to crackdown on the protesters, it wasn’t long before the narrative took a different turn. The top leadership was charged with having links to Nepal’s Maoists. Some of the leaders involved – elected members of the Darjeeling municipality, a former elected councillor – were singled out to be alleged Nepalese citizens and hence foreigners. Systematically, their membership from respective elected bodies were sought to be cancelled and their names struck off the voters list. Reports also began circulating that authorities were considering looking at documentation of the local population dating back to 1950: a message that migrant Nepalese will be weeded out.

Hardly new tactics

Such tactics are hardly new for Gorkhas in India and those in public life have had to face it at every corner. Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has been accused of being a Nepali citizen, notwithstanding that he recently became the longest serving chief minister in the country. M.K. Subba, a three-term former MP from Assam, faced allegations that he was a Nepali citizen. He was expelled from the Congress party in 2014 and suffered a sudden illness soon after. Balkrishna Acharya, the low profile MD of Patanjali Ayurved and arguably among the richest Indians with a reported networth of US$6.5 billion, faced investigation under the UPA government on charges that he was a Nepali citizen and had forged documents to obtain an Indian passport. In Darjeeling itself, Gorkha candidates contesting local polls in Terai regions like Naxalbari and Phansidewa are faced with slogans that they should go back to Nepal. Questioning the identity of Gorkhas of India, make no mistake, has been around for a long time.

Admittedly, one of the key reasons for Indian Gorkhas or Nepalis facing this crisis is the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed by India and Nepal. The open border between the two countries as a consequence of the treaty, allowing citizens of both countries a free passage. Indeed, barring electoral privileges, any Nepali citizen can purchase property in India, do business and even join government jobs at certain levels officially while continuing to remain citizens of Nepal.

Article 7 of the friendship treaty states:

“The governments of India and Nepal agree to grant, on reciprocal basis, to the nationals of one country in the territories of the other the same privileges in the matter of residence, ownership of property, participation in trade and commerce, movement and other privileges of a similar nature.”

There is also a history of Nepali citizens joining the Indian Army, many of whom are now in senior positions. I have met officers in the rank of Colonel, who are Nepali citizens. There is a sizeable migrant population.

An identity crisis

The confusion created by the arrangement in the mind of an average Indian also poses an identity crisis for Indian Gorkhas. While the borders are open, there exists no mechanism for a head count of the people entering or exiting. This makes it difficult to estimate the actual number of immigrant Nepalis in India.

While the 1950 treaty entitles Nepali citizens to live in India, I am apprehensive that should the NRC exercise ever be extended to West Bengal, it could pose problems for Gorkhas or Nepalis because a majority of the population in Darjeeling and surrounding Terai region have rarely maintained adequate documentation with regard to their residential claims. BJP leaders in West Bengal have already saidthey will implement NRC in the state if the party comes to power. Assam and West Bengal, incidentally, have the highest number of Gorkhas in the country.

An attempt to amend the 1950 treaty has been underway for some time now with a joint Eminent Persons Group (EPG) set up by both governments. It has finalised its recommendations. If the EPG is able to recommend a mechanism that will make a clear distinction between Indian Gorkhas and Nepali nationals living and working in India, the former would not face questions over their identity.

A public Indian identity

Historically, Darjeeling and Sikkim, because of the concentration of Gorkhas living there, have led the campaign for a public Indian identity. Leaders from the two places were at the forefront of the Nepali language movement. But naturally, language was also the rallying point for a wider political demand, as witnessed anywhere else. Whether it was the anti-Hindi imposition agitation in the South or the Bengali language movement in Assam, the result was a political consolidation of the forces opposing such moves.

Similarly, Gorkhas or Nepalis of India got together after former Prime Minister Morarji Desai erroneously said in 1977 that Nepali is a foreign langauge and all Nepalis in India are foreigners. It triggered a nationwide Bhasha Andolan, which became a unifying factor in the bid to fashion a distinct Indian identity.

The formulation of Indian Gorkha identity received wider support during the Subhash Ghisingh led Gorkhaland movement of the mid-1980s, not just in the Darjeeling region, but even elsewhere in the country. Although self-rule and identity were the primary objectives, language also played a key role. Ultimately, the Centre conceded and Nepali was included as one of the official languages in the eighth schedule of the Constitution in 1992. Additionally, the Centre also issued a gazette notification in 1988 clarifying that Gorkhas residing in India were Indian citizens.

Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal and Assam contrast

Today, when West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee vociferously takes up the cause of the 40 lakh people excluded from the NRC final draft list – most of them speakers of the Bengali language – one cannot but compare the contrast in her actions with respect to Gorkhas. A poem titled “Identity” that she penned for the 40 lakh excluded from the NRC could well have echoed the pain and anguish suffered by Indian Gorkhas for several decades now.

Yet, it is ironical how Banerjee failed to appreciate the similarities between Bengali speaking population of Assam and Nepali speaking population in West Bengal. Both are multilingual states where minority groups are under pressure from the majority, resulting in identity assertion of the minorities. That was the logical explanation for the flareup over language issue in Darjeeling last year.

There are lessons to be learnt in every movement. While every state is multilingual and mandated to respect the rights of linguistic minorities, political practice has demonstrated that the official language symbolises the state. Speakers of minority languages find that discrimination against them by the majority community is based not on language competence or achievement, but on language identification. The Rajbanshis and Kochs of Cooch Behar have assimilated themselves, adopting Bengali as their language. But Gorkhas have resisted this and have paid the price. As a consequence, Gorkhas of Darjeeling feel that a separate state is the only answer to the problems of identity and discrimination.

An NRC in West Bengal may not be unwelcome, but a clear distinction has to be made between Indian Gorkhas and immigrant Nepalese living in India first.

Swaraj Thapa is a political commentator and activist.

Via The Wire

West Bengal name changed to "Bengla"

8:16 PM
West Bengal Assembly passes resolution to change state’s name to “Bangla”

Writes: Avijit Ghosal

The West Bengal Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday to change the state’s name to Bangla.
West Bengal name changed to "Bengal"

However, the change in name will only happen once the home ministry approves the resolution.

The move follows months of back-and-forth between the state and Centre over the proposal.

The Centre had earlier turned down the state government’s proposal to change the name of West Bengal to ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangla’ in Bengali. The state government, led by chief minster Mamata Banerjee, then decided to send another proposal of changing the name to Bangla in all three languages – Bengali, Hindi and English, state education minister Partha Chatterjee had earlier said.

Incidentally, the state government had decided to rename the state as ‘Bengal’ after its earlier proposal of rechristening it as ‘Paschim Bango’, made in 2011 when the Trinamool Congress took office, failed to get the Centre’s approval.

The primary reason for changing the name of West Bengal is that whenever there is a meeting of all states, West Bengal figures at the bottom of the list which is prepared in alphabetical order.

[Via: HT, file pic]

Bengal govt issues transfer orders to Hill teachers for raising voice for people democratically

9:01 AM

The West Bengal government has issued transfer orders to two government employees for allegedly indulging in “anti-government activities” and “trying to stir up unrest”.

This comes after the district administration wrote to the state school education department, accusing the teachers of “trying to stir up unrest” in the Hills, and requested their transfer to Presidency, Midnapore or Burdwan divisions. The Indian Express is in possession of the letter from the district administration to principal secretary, School Education Department.

Political parties in the Hills, including the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), have slammed the move.

Joyoshi Das Gupta, district magistrate, Darjeeling, told The Indian Express, “There are government servants in different departments, including teachers, who have stayed back in Darjeeling for years without transfers. A section of such officials neglect duty and services, and welfare schemes do not reach the people. Moreover, it has been found that they have been involved in acts unbecoming of government employees and stirring up locals. Action is being taken according to rules. This is to ensure that people get the benefit of government initiatives.”

“In the recent case, the teachers have been found to stir up unrest by making false promises to locals in the name of forest rights. In one case, a teacher was also found spreading misinformation through social media,” she added.

“In the past one year, six or seven such people, comprising teachers and nurses, have been transferred for acts unbecoming of a government employee,” she said.

A senior government official said, “We are keeping an eye on government officials. In a surprise visit, it was found that a school was shut on a working day. We are also following up on cases against government servants during the 105-day shutdown here.”

Meanwhile, one of the teachers who faces action plans to knock on the court’s door.

“I received a transfer letter on Saturday from the state school education department. I will have to go to court. I was involved in a democratic agitation for rights of forest land. I spoke with the local residents and we demanded that Forest Rights Act 2006 be properly implemented in Darjeeling. I think that is why I am being transferred. Education is under Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), but the letter has been sent by the school education department,” Lila Kumar Gurung told The Indian Express.

Gurung, who is also general secretary of Himalayan Forest Villagers Association, has been transferred from Kumai High School in Kalimpong to Rimbik High School, near the Nepal border.

A government official said, “He (Gurung) has been found to stir up local residents. Despite being a government employee, he has been found to make anti-government statements on social media. In a surprise visit, it was found that he stayed absent from school on many occasions. He has been transferred within the Hills. But he wants to stay in the same area.”

GNLF spokesperson Neeraj Zimba criticised the move and targeted GTA chief Binay Tamang. “The transfer order of Sri Lila Kumar Gurung is part of Binay Tamang’s political dealings as openly declared by him in public meetings. For the first time in the history of Gorkha politics, we have seen a nominated stooge openly declare from a public platform that he will politically victimise all those who do not support him. All should protest against this,” Zimba said in a statement on social media.

Despite repeated calls, Tamang could not be reached.

Via indianexpress


5:43 PM

Writes Swadhin Rai

"They said fight and many lost their lives leaving families devastated. We lost our dignity; lost the battle and sold our soul, yet we denied. Time and again we hated the policies and the dividing intention of Mamta Government, when in fact the problem was always with us.

Then again they sponsored us to celebrate through different medium. Celebrate our defeat. They said sing and we sang; dance and we danced. Our soul has completely eroded, emotions out of our reach, we don't even feel and influence on the direction that seems shiny and decorated and yet we talk about achieving our goal.

Listen to the voices of hills. Your smiles are fake. You have lost your voice and the act is just insanity manifesting itself.

When are we going to learn to honor the sacrifices made by people who died for us?

People, hear the voice of hills, she is still mourning."

[In pic: The tender fingers of the youngest daughter of Barun Bhujel affectionately touch her father's face. Barun Bhujel, a ward commissioner and Gorkhaland supporter died, while in the custody of West Bengal Police]

Nursing Admissions 2018 under the Govt of West Bengal

9:30 PM
IMPORTANT: Nursing Admissions 2018

Applications are invited for three year GNM Training Course, including 6 months internship in Nursing Training Schools under the Govt of WB.

1. Age - Between 17 to 27 years as on 01.01.2018
2. Citizen of India, and premanent resident of any district of West Bengal for at least five years preceding the date of submission of application
3. Must be able to read, write and express in Bengali/Nepali
4. Minimum qualification: HS (10+2) exam

For other details please check the pics below, and visit the site:

पंचायत चुनाव में विमल गुरुंग गुट ने दर्ज कराई दमदार उपस्थिति।

4:11 PM

*कालचीनी और नागराकाटा प्रखंड के कई पंचायतों में जीती सीटें

-"यदि केंद्रीय बलों की मौजूदगी में मतदान होता तो और सीटें मिलती" -शिवानंद पांडेय,

सिलीगुड़ी : गोरखा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा में दो गुट हो जाने के बाद भी ज्यादातर मोर्चा समर्थकों ने अपनी आस्था भूमिगत चल रहे मोर्चा नेता व गोरखालैंड टेरिटोरियल एडमिनिस्ट्रेशन के पूर्व मुख्य कार्यकारी विमल गुरुंग में जताई है।
ऐसा संकेत हाल ही में हुए त्रि-स्तरीय पंचायत चुनाव में देखने को मिला। इससे यह माना जा रहा हैं कि विमल गुरुंग का प्रभाव कम नहीं हुआ है। ऐसा उनके समर्थक मानते हैं। भाजपा के साथ गठबंधन कर गोजमुमो विमल गुरुंग गुट ने भाजपा के बैनर तले कालचीनी व नागराकाटा प्रखंड समेत डुवार्स क्षेत्र के विभिन्न ग्राम पंचायतों में पंचायत सदस्य की सीटों पर जीत दर्ज कराई। जबकि यह चर्चा जोरों पर थी कि गोजमुमो पर वर्चस्व विमल गुरुंग का कायम रहेगा या अब उनके खिलाफ ताल ठोंक रहे जीटीए बोर्ड ऑफ एडमिनिस्ट्रेशन के चेयरमैन विनय तमांग का आधिपत्य हो जाएगा। राजनीतिक जानकारों का मानना है कि पंचायत चुनाव के नतीजे से विनय तमांग गुट को करारा झटका लगा है।

गुरुवार को घोषित नतीजे से यह स्पष्ट हो गया कि मोर्चे के कुछ नेताओं के तृणमूल कांग्रेस में शामिल होने के बाद भी मोर्चा समर्थित मतदाताओं का एक बड़ा धड़ा विनय तमांग के प्रति नहीं, बल्कि विमल के प्रति आस्था रखता है। कभी गोजमुमो में नंबर दो का स्थान रखने व गोजमुमो केंद्रीय कमेटी के प्रचार सचिव रहे विनय तमांग के अलग गोरखालैंड मांग के प्रति नरम रूख अपनाए जाने के साथ ही मोर्चा के अंदर ही विनय तमांग के खिलाफ आवाज उठानी शुरू हो गई थी कि वे तृणमूल कांग्रेस के 'बी' टीम के रूप में काम कर रहे हैं। पंचायत चुनाव से पहले देखा भी गया कि कालचीनी ब्लॉक में गोजमुमो के कई नेता पार्टी छोड़कर तृणमूल कांग्रेस में शामिल हो गए थे। वहीं पंचायत चुनाव के परिणाम से साबित हो गया कि विमल के सामने नहीं आने के बाद भी डुवार्स क्षेत्रों में उनके समर्थकों की कमी नहीं है। विमल गुट ने भाजपा के साथ मिलकर चुनावी चुनावी लड़ाई लड़ी। उसी समय तृणमूल ने दावा किया था कि कालचीनी इलाके में विमल का प्रभाव सीमित हो गया है। जबकि जयगांव एक नंबर ग्राम पंचायत में मोर्चा के साथ गठबंधन के आधार पर भाजपा को मिला थी सात सीट, जबकि जयगांव दो नंबर ग्राम पंचायत में तीन सीट। वहीं जयगांव के पास के मालंगी ग्राम पंचायत के 24 सीटों में से भाजपा-मोर्चा गठबंधन को 11 सीट मिली थीं, वहीं तृणमूल कांग्रेस को 10 सीट मिली। कालचीनी प्रखंड के गारोपाड़ा ग्राम पंचायत के कुल 20 सीटों में से भाजपा-मोर्चा गठबंधन को 10 सीटें मिली था, जबकि तृणमूल कांग्रेस को सात सीटों से ही संतोष करना पड़ा। दलसिंगपाड़ा ग्राम पंचायत के 13 सीटों में भाजपा को आठ सीट व तृणमूल कांग्रेस को पांच सीट प्राप्त हुई थी।
इसी तरह से नागराकाटा प्रखंड के चंपागुड़ी ग्राम पंचायत के 25 सीटों में भाजपा-मोर्चा गठबंधन को 16 सीटें तो तृणमूल को मात्र नौ सीटें मिली।

इस बारे में गोरखा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा केंद्रीय कमेटी के सदस्य व विमल गुरुंग समर्थक मधुकर थापा ने बताया कि पंचायत चुनाव में तृणमूल कांग्रेस के ¨हसा व अराजकता के बाद भी कई सीटों पर मोर्चा समर्थित उम्मीदवारों ने जीत दर्ज की। अगर केंद्रीय अर्धसैनिक बलों की मौजूदगी में मतदान कराया जाता तो और सीटें मिलती।

Darjeeling, Kalimpong to benefit from 'Nijo Griho Nijo Bhumi Prokolpo'

7:34 AM

Darjeeling: Now, Darjeeling and Kalimpong will finally benefit from "Nijo Griho Nijo Bhumi Prokolpo" of the Bengal government.

The scheme is being routed through the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in the Hills. The "Nijo Griho Nijo Bhumi Prokolpo" was launched on October 18, 2011 by the Chief Minister of Bengal, whereby 5 decimal of land is provided to the homeless, landless beneficiaries.

"This scheme along with the rest of Bengal was earlier available in the GTA area. Initially 25% of the applicants benefitted from the scheme. However, the scheme was stopped under the GTA. We have decided to reintroduce the scheme again through the GTA and have been given a go ahead by the State Government," stated Binay Tamang, Chairman, GTA.

In a meeting on May 14, the GTA and state government officials decided to reintroduce this scheme in the Hills. A follow up meeting was held at the GTA Chairman's office in Darjeeling on Friday attended by Land reform Officers, Block Officers and GTA officials.

"Application made earlier will also be processed along with fresh ones. Earlier there was hardly any promotion of the scheme in the Hills, hardly anyone knew about the scheme. This time, we will be giving advertisements in newspapers and TV channels so that people come to know about the scheme and the deserving ones get the benefit," added Tamang.

Applicants can submit applications in Block Offices, Block Land and Land Reforms Office and Gram Panchayat offices as per their convenience.

Committees have been constituted in each of the 8 blocks comprising Block Development Officer, Block Land and Land Reforms Officer and a member of the Board of Administrators, GTA.

Applications for the Kalimpong 1, Kurseong, Mirik, Sukhiapokhari, Rungli Rungliot and Darjeeling - Poolbazar Block will be received from June 4 to June 9. For Kalimpong 2 block, it will be from June 11 to 16 and for Gorubathan block from June 18 to 23.

The applications will be scrutinised by the committee formed in each block and then will be recommended by the Sub Divisional Land and Land Reforms Officer to the GTA. The GTA will then forward the list to the state following which land documents will be handed over by the state government.

When questioned on the fate of tea garden workers, who have been demanding documents since long, Tamang stated: "Tea gardens are leased land of the State Government. The workers can apply. The concerned departments and the state government will then decide," added Tamang.

[Via: Millennium Post]

हामीहरु रोहिङ्या होइनौं,हामी सबैजना कोलकाता सोनापुरको वासिन्दा हौ अनि खाटी भारतीय हौ

2:32 PM


केही दिन अघि सोसियल मिडियामा भाइरल बनेको भिडिया जहाँ कालेबुङको थाना डाँडा अघि एक हुल मुस्लिम समुदायका युवकहरु वाहनबाट उत्रिएको देखाइएको थियो।

त्यहीँ भिडियोमा देखिएको एक सदस्य शेख शहनशाहले पत्रकारहरु लाई जानकारी दिदै भने हामी रोहिङ्या हैनौ,हामी खाटी भारतीय हौं।अनि हामी सित मतदाता परिचयपत्र देखि लिएर अन्य सम्पुर्ण आवश्यक परिचयपत्रहरु छ्।हामी कोलकाताको सोनापुरको वासिन्दा हौं।अनि हामी १५ जनाको समुह कालेबुङमा एक धार्मिक कार्यक्रम लिएर आएका हौं।

भिडियोमा हामीलाई रोहिङ्या भनी देखाईएको छ जुन पुर्णतः गलत अनि झुठो हो।

हामी प्रायः जसो मुस्लिम धर्मको संस्कृति अनि धर्म प्रचारको निम्ति देशको एक स्थान देखि अर्को स्थानहरूमा गइरहन्छौ।अनि मस्जिदमा बस्ने गर्दछौ।त्यस्तै एक कार्यक्रम लिएर हामी कालेबुङ आएका हौं।

कोलकाताको सोनारपूरमा शिक्षकको रूपमा कार्यरत शेख शेहनशाहले बताएअनुसार कालेबुङमा आएको टोलीमा बेसि जस्तो बिध्यार्थीहरु छ्न।जस्ले भर्खरै मात्र उच्च माध्यमिक परिक्षा दिएर बसेका छन्।आफ्नो समुदायको धार्मिक कुरा सिक्न अनि धर्मबारे जानकारी आदान प्रदान गर्न नै उनीहरू कालेबुङ आएका हुन्। “हामीलाई थाहा थिएन हाम्रो भीडियो बनाएर यस प्रकारको अफवाह पनि फैलिनेछ। यद्यपि जे पनि अफवाह फैलिरहेको छ यो पूर्णतया झुटो अनि भ्रमक हो”- उनले अझ भने।

अर्कोतिर कालेबुङको मुस्लिम सङ्गठनका पदाधिकारी  अञ्जुमन इस्लामियाले पनि भाइरल भीडियो अनि अफवाहमाथि आफ्नो आपत्ती जनाएको छ।सङ्गठनका मुख्यसचीव मसुद सुल्तानले पनि कतिथ भीडियोमा देखाइएका मानिसहरू कालेबुङ्को ठाकुरबाडी स्थित मस्जिदमा धार्मिक कार्यलाई लिएर आएको बताउँदै अकारण यस्ता अफवाह फैलाउनेमाथि कार्यवाही गर्नुपर्ने आफ्नो माग प्रति जोड दिदै भने। “कतिथ भीडियोमा देखाइएका मानिसहरू रोहिङ्या भनेर देखाइएको खबर पुर्ण रुपमा झुठो हो।भिडियोमा देखाइएका कोही पनी रोहिङ्या होइनन् उनीहरु सबैजना एक धार्मिक कार्यलाई लिएर आएका इस्लामिक धर्मावलम्बीहरू हुन्। यसरी मस्जिदमा इस्लामिक धर्मावलम्बीहरू बाहिरबाट आउने क्रम नौलो होइन। उनीहरू आउँछन् जान्छन् तर उनीहरूको भीडियो बनाएर झुटो खबर फैलाउनु उचित होइन”- उनले भने।

केहि वास्तविकता न बुझी सामाजिक सञ्जालहरुमा यस्तो झुटो खबर फैलाउनु एउटा अपराध हो।यस्तो नहुने अपराध गर्नेहरूलाई खोजेर प्रशासनले कार्यवाही गर्नुपर्छ। किनभने यस्तो भ्रामक कुराहरूको कारण गर्दा भोलिको दिनमा यदि कुनै ठुलो काण्ड भएमा त्यसको जिम्मेवार कस्ले लिने? यसर्थ प्रशासनले झट्ट यस दिशामा उचित कार्यवाही गर्नुपर्छ”- उनले आफ्नो माग राखे।

No democracy in Darjeeling: NCW chief

6:09 AM
District administration denies allegation that it prevented people from meeting Rekha Sharma during her four-day visit

Observing that there was no democracy in the Darjeeling hills, National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma, who concluded her four-day visit to the hills on Wednesday, said she would send her report to the President of India, Union Home Minister and the Chief Minister of West Bengal.

“During my visit I did not feel that I am in a corner of independent India… There is an attempt to suppress people. From the very day I made plans to visit the hills I was discouraged from coming here,” Ms. Sharma told journalists at Siliguri in Darjeeling district.

Shutdown ‘excesses’

She said she met about 150 complainants from Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts who alleged police excesses during the 104 days of shutdown from June to September 2017.

“I will recommend inquiry by an independent investigation agency and will summon the SPs of Darjeeling and Kalimpong and the IG of North Bengal who served during the shutdown,” she said.

Ms. Sharma alleged that the police went house to house preventing people, particularly women, from meeting her.

The Darjeeling district administration denied the allegations made by the NCW chief. “The NCW should be responsible and specific about the allegations it makes. Why should I stop anybody from meeting her? If we wanted to prevent her from meeting people, we could have stopped her at Bagdogra. She did meet a number of people in the hills,” said Joyoshi Dasgupta, the District Magistrate of Darjeeling.

Ms. Dasgupta said she was unaware of the Ms. Sharma’s visit. “There should have been a newspaper ad announcing the NCW inquiry. Had there been wide publicity, more people would have met the NCW team,” she said.

The NCW chairperson alleged that the police are occupying the houses of people who escaped facing arrest and their names are being removed from the voters’ list.

“I have seen a woman with 45 cases, a woman picked up while going to buy vegetables… In a prison I met a woman political prisoner with 70 cases against her,” she said.

Referring to a matter where a police officer was allegedly heard threatening a resident with violence, rape and burning down the house, the NCW chairperson said that the administration has done nothing in the matter. Citing the case of a woman losing one eye in tear-gas shelling, Ms. Sharma said that many women did not receive any medical intervention from the State administration after the shutdown.

I have seen a woman with 45 cases, a woman picked up while going to buy vegetables... in a prison I met a woman political prisoner with 70 cases against her

Rekha Sharma

National Commission for Women chairperson

Via The Hindu

9th April, 2008 Black Day when democracy was crushed by West Bengal - Bimal Gurung

2:54 PM

गणतन्त्रको हनन र कालो दिन।

९ अप्रैल २००८ को दिन आफ्नो बास भूमि गोर्खाल्याण्ड राज्यको मांग गर्दै गणतान्त्रिक एवं शान्ति पूर्ण जुलूसमा सहभागी हुदा दार्जीलिङ मोडमा बंगाल पुलिसले बर्बरता अनि अमानवीय ढंगमा भूतपूर्व सैनिकहरू माथी लठ्ठी चार्ज गरेर रक्ताम्मे बनाएर बंगालको प्रशासनले आत्यचारको सब हद पार गरेको त्यो कालो दिन यस संसारमा सूर्य-जून रहञ्जेल गोरखा संसारले भुल्ने छैन अनु यस कालो दिनको हामी अन्तर्आत्माबाट बिरोध गर्दछौं।

जसले हिन्दूस्तान देशको रक्षाको खातिर आफ्नो बैश जवानी देशको सिमानालाई दिए अनि कति सैनिकहरूले देशकै लागी शहीद भए तर त्यही जातिको देशमा संवैधानिक पहिचान र चिन्ह्रारीको मांग गर्दा बंगालले लठ्ठी चार्ज गरेर भारत माताको रक्षा गर्ने सब सैनिकहरूको अपमान गरेको छ।

बंगालमा खाटी बंगाली अनि हामीसबै जातिको सुरक्षा छैन रौन्गिया र बंगलादेशीहरुको मात्र सुरक्षा छ यसैले आज मलाई खानेले तपाईहरुको पालो पर्खिरहेको छ । सचेत,सजग,जागरूक हुने अपील,अनुरोध गर्दछु।

अन्तमा पूवसैनिकहरु दनु भएको त्याग,बलिदान खेरो जान दिने छुइन ढिलो छिट्टो हाम्रो गोर्खाल्याण्ड अवश्य हुनेछ।

जय गोरखा। जय भारत।
बिमल गुरुङ,
अध्यक्ष, गोजमुमो, भारत।


Black Day when democracy was crushed by West Bengal

On 9th April, 2008 ex-servicemen who had been marching peacefully in support of our right to have a state of our own - Gorkhaland, were brutalized by the West Bengal police at Darjeeling More. The inhuman treatment and humiliation meted out to our ex-servicemen by West Bengal government and it police will not be forgotten by Gorkhas living across the world. We condemn the brutality meted out then, and also the brutality unleashed now.

These same soldiers who risked their lives to protect our motherland, many of whom have been martyred protecting her sovereignty, were humiliated in the streets of Siliguri. They were brutally beaten up, their medals bloodied by the West Bengal police for demanding our constitutional right to have a state of our own. In dishonouring the Gorkha soldiers, West Bengal police insulted all the soldiers who have served our mother land.  

In Bengal, us Gorkhas, the ghoti Bengalis, and all the indigenous communities are not safe. Only Rohingyas and illegal Bangladeshis are. The same tiger that seeks to devour me today, will be waiting to make you its prey tomorrow.  Therefore, I request everyone to remain mindful, alert and conscious.

Once again, I assure you all that the sacrifices made by our ex-servicemen won't go in vain, it may take us time, but Gorkhaland will be formed.

Jai Gorkha, Jai Bharat
Bimal Gurung
President, Central Committee
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha

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


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

Bhaichung Bhutia Treated like outsider in TMC

1:17 PM

Gangtok: Former Indian soccer star Bhaichung Bhutia has broken his silence on his resignation from Trinamul last month, accusing a section of party leaders of treating him like an "outsider" while signalling a political career in home state Sikkim.

"Since I was an outsider (in Bengal), I was opposed not just by the public but even by people in my own party," Bhaichung told The Telegraph on Wednesday, weeks after he had announced his resignation through a tweet.

Trinamul leaders declined comment but sources in the party claimed Bhaichung was trying to cosy up to the BJP to start his innings in Sikkim, where he is now on a Yuva Yatra (youth march) with some friends "to understand the ground reality".
Bhaichung TMC

"All that we get to hear is not reflected on the ground. There are good and bad things happening. We want to see the place, meet people and know the reality," Bhaichung said. Bhaichung said he would take a call on formally joining Sikkim politics before Assembly elections that would coincide with Lok Sabha polls next year. But options are limited for Bhaichung in his home state, where the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front is a member of the North-East Democratic Alliance, formed as a part of the BJP's "Congress-Mukt Northeast".

"People like Bhaichung, who make lateral entry into politics, normally join the ruling party... It is sad that he is complaining about Trinamul. The party gave him a lot of respect," said a Trinamul leader.

Trinamul nominated Bhaichung from the Darjeeling parliamentary seat in 2014 but he lost to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-backed BJP candidate S.S. Ahluwalia. Mamata Banerjee fielded him against CPM veteran Asok Bhattacharya in Siliguri in the 2016 Assembly polls, but he lost. Later, In June 2016, Bhaichung was made chairman of the North Bengal Board for Development of Sports.

"Bhaichung, was not very visible in Siliguri since the end of 2016. Finally, in February this year, he walked out of the party," said a Trinamul source.

On Wednesday, Bhaichung said "the lessons he learnt in Bengal" would hold him in good stead. Unlike in Bengal, where he was "thrown down from the top", he said he would work his way up from the bottom in his home state.

Bengal police staged encounter, planted AK47s to frame me:Bimal Gurung

7:48 AM

Pramod Giri, HT,  Oct 18, 2017, Kolkata: The Bengal government “staged” the encounter in which police sub-inspector Amitava Malik was killed in Darjeeling on October 13, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung alleged in an audio message released on Wednesday. Gurung however did not mention Malik’s name.

Neither he nor any of his men were present at the spot where Malik was shot and the AK47 rifles and other weapons were all planted, alleged Gurung. He said the rifles were part of the cache of arms earlier seized from members of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) in north Bengal.

The government claimed after the incident that a large cache of arms and ammunitions were recovered from a training camp of the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP). In the audio message, Gurung alleged the encounter was “staged” by the Bengal government to tarnish his image and corner him politically.

Gurung said, “It is a conspiracy hatched by the state government and the killing of the police officer was also a part of larger conspiracy.”

Gurung, who is in hiding for almost four months, said: “Neither did we have a camp nor did we carry arms and ammunition. The administration is doing this so that I cannot appear before the people of Darjeeling. But no conspiracy can stop me from reaching out to them.”

He reiterated that he will appear before his supporters on October 30.

“The weapons police claimed to have recovered from a GLP camp were planted. These were recovered from KLO militants when they surrendered. They weapons were planted to defame me and finish the Gorkhaland movement. The Bengal police is conspiring to kill me,” said Gurung who is facing serious charges under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Without naming Benoy Tamang and Anit Thapa, the two expelled GJM leaders who are now heading the board of administrators of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, Gurung said, “Two or three people are trying to sell the entire Gorkha community but I will not let them succeed.”

500 crores for GTA

12:27 PM

Since the month of June, the Gorkhaland Agitation has damaged and destroyed many Government and private properties in the Darjeeling hills. Within this three months, many violent incidents took place like burning down of the offices, properties, conducting raids and many others.As a result, the loss of the total properties approximately is more than one thousand crores.

The Chairman of GTA Binay Tamang had demanded the allocation of fund to the State Government for the initiation of renovating works of the damaged properties and also to restart the various development works which have been in complete halt since June in the hills.

Responding to the same the Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee has allocated Rs 500 crores for the development of hills yesterday.Chief Minister has clearly said that the above fund has to be utilized in a proper way, especially keeping in mind the cleanliness of the hills.

According to their plan, the GTA has to submit the fund utilization certificate to the State government. After that, the State Government will again allocate the funds.

As per source, the GTA members are quite satisfied with 500 crores allocated by the State government for the development of the hills.

Via Darjeelinghills


11:22 AM

BJP West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh Saturday said the party had never talked about Gorkhaland nor was it in favour of formation of states on the basis of any linguistic group or community.
“We had never talked about Gorkhaland. Didi (Mamata Banerjee) had signed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration accord. We are not in favour of creation of states on the basis of any linguistic group or community. We had said this earlier too,” Ghosh told reporters in Alipurduar.
“If states are to be created on the basis of linguistic group or community, we have to support everybody like Kamtapuris, Rajbanshis. They also demanded separate states. We don’t support this.”
“If states were created on that basis, others cannot live there. Assam has more Gorkha population than Bengal. What will happen there?” he asked.
The state BJP chief, however, said the Centre will look into whether any new state will be created or not. Asked that local BJP leaders had attended the meeting called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is spearheading the movement for Gorkhaland, he said “Only one leader had gone there due to political pressure in the hills”.
The GJM is an ally of the BJP.
On cases filed against GJM chief Bimal Gurung by the police, Ghosh said “Most of these cases are false. Such cases were also filed against me. I had challenged them to arrest me.” Ghosh held Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responsible for the current unrest in the hills.
“She had signed the GTA agreement. If she believed that GTA can usher in development then why was separate fund given to the district magistrate? Why were 11 development boards formed in the hills?” he asked and alleged that it was done to weaken Gurung and the GJM.
It would be easier for the Trinamool Congress to expand its organisation in the hills if Gurung is arrested, he added.

( news credit by wake up darjeeling )

Via: PTI


10:05 AM

Writes Upendra

Bengal, once one of the leading lights of India – where thinkers, philosophers, scholars, reformers and revolutionaries of all hue and colour found acceptance and thrived. The land of Raja Rammohan Roy, Ramkrishna Parmahansa, Swamy Vivekananda, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Amartya Sen; the land of which it was once said, “what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.’

Today, I honestly shudder to think, what if, our nation starts to think like Bengal tomorrow? I fervently hope, our nation doesn’t.
The land of revolutionaries like Charu Mazumdar today arrests people over inane Facebook posts that TMC cadres find offensive, the land of Raja Rammohan Roy arrests Professors for sharing a cartoon, the land of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore shuts down a Nepali language TV channel because of the comments made by its viewers online, the land of Netaji hounds out everyone who are fighting for their rights as enshrined in the constitution of our nation, the land of Amartya Sen files cases against journalists for writing the truth, and most tragic of all, the land of Swami Vivekananda which allows for such distortions of a festival – Durga Puja -  so sacred and dear to us all, despite our religious affiliations.

In Bengal today, a rape in the heart of Kolkata city is discarded as ‘sajaano ghotona – staged event’, the Chief Minister offers ‘picchone baas – bamboo in the backside’ to her detractors, a mentally ill woman Otera Bibi is paraded nude, slapped and kicked, and lynched by the “intellectual” public to death, and 24X7 news channels help spew lies and fabricated truths.

I shudder to think, what will become of India and her people – if we all start thinking like Bengal today?

The level of political discourse has fallen so low in Bengal, that if Kolkata 24X7 portal is to be believed, today a Transport Minister designs a Durga Puja pandal showing TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee as Maa Durga, and the leader of Gorkhaland movement Bimal Gurung as a Demon.

I don’t honestly mind how you portray Bimal Gurung, but Mamata is no Durga, and I take offense to any such portrayal.

Imagine if someone portrayed Mamata as a Demon, how would the powers that be, in Bengal react? Would they tolerate any such portrayal?

But, it’s ok… because the one being portrayed as a Demon is despised and hated by everyone in Bengal – for he dared to lead a movement seeking a separate state of Gorkhaland. This does make him a fair game and the people he represents to be Demonized. TMC stalwarts must take pride in how well they have managed to promote ‘Freedom of Expression’ in Bengal.

A close friend of mine from Kolkata asked me recently, if I rued the leader we had?

I said “Yes ! I wished we had a different Chief Minister.”

Via The DC

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