Showing posts with label gorkha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gorkha. Show all posts

Gorkha Pride: Major Manoj Pandey and His Gorkha Boys

8:01 AM

Writes: Mr Harpreet

This day 2 years ago: Capt MK Pandey's statue in Lucknow - defaced by his fellow Lucknowites, restored by Gorkhas from his Regiment.

The preferred 'tool' of the Gorkhas? Khukri! These guys are sheer magicians with the Khukri. Can just as easily chop off an enemy's head as they can use the same side arm to delicately remove the offending posters that deface their hero's monument.

Hats off to these simple people from the hills of Nepal / Darjeeling / Sikkim who can put anyone to shame with their single-minded dedication to whatever task they are entrusted with and a cheerful nature that can win over even the most evil of their enemy.

Then there are those that lead them into battle. Capt Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC (P) was a Lucknowite, yet his immortal last words as he fell on the icy slopes of Khalubar were not in his mother tongue but in that of his men.

'Na Chhornu' (Don't spare them) was what he said in 'Gorkhali' as he fell after receiving one final, fatal burst. Even in death, he paved the way for his boys when the grenade in his hand found its mark and took out the Pakis that had fired the last salvo at him.

The enraged Gorkhas of 1/11 GR ensured that their fierce leader's last command was executed with ruthless efficiency. Not a single Paki was taken a prisoner that night at Khalubar. When dawn broke, the battlefield was littered with dead Pakis of the Northern Light Infantry.

A foothold on Khalubar Ridge had been established by the 'Kirantis' of Manoj Kumar Pandey. Restoring our lands till the LoC was but a small formality hereafter.

A huge price had been paid, but willingly. But young Manoj and his 'boys', some of them nearly 2 decades elder to him, knew no other way.

It is these bonds, forged in blood and sacrifice, that ensure that his Gorkhas assume ownership of a memorial in his name, even if in a civilian part of his hometown, and without any second thoughts, let their Khukries flash again to remove the defacement inflicted.

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

The end of Gorkhas' monopoly in Bengal legislative assembly from hills

8:57 AM
After Gorkhas' monopoly, BJP may open account in Bengal legislative assembly with three seats

Writes Madhuparna Das

DARJEELING/KURSEONG: The hills look different this election season — there are lots of Trinamool and BJP flags fluttering around, indicating the mood of its people. And unlike many years of identity politics — often marred by violence — the demand is one of multi-party democracy in Darjeeling, in Bengal.

It has been three decades since GNLF (Gorkha National Liberation Front) chief Subhash Ghisingh monopolised politics in the region. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, or GJM — an offshoot of the GNLF — carried on the legacy after dislodging the late Ghisingh. Interestingly, this time hill constituencies are described as 'advantage' seats for the BJP since the party in power has allied with the Morcha, and it is widely-speculated that BJP will open its account in Bengal legislative assembly with three seats.

"We respect democracy and believe that every party has the right to place their issues before the people. TMC is trying to hold election using the government machinery," GJM chief Bimal Gurung told ET.
In Darjeeling, where no mainstream party could ever get a foothold, Trinamool Congress is doing its best to make inroads and has tied up with GNLF, which went defunct after Ghisingh's forced exile. But Mamata Banerjee injected life into it to counter the GJM. Even though TMC had allied with the GJM in 2011, the two parties fell apart over the autonomy of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

UNEASY ALLIANCE The alliance between GNLF and TMC is also a tenuous one, and is compared to the ties between Congress and CPM. TMC has always opposed the idea of a separate statehood, but has ironically joined hands with the party that once had spearheaded the movement for a separate state — Gorkhaland — decades ago. CPM too announced its support for GJM but did not field a candidate.

Source ET Bureau 


8:28 PM
By-Kryptonite © 

Ink in my pen,
Twinkles the Gorkha name.
Bravest of the braves is our fame.
Our Identity is in mayhem.

Turn the pages of history,
Blood shed,Valour to victory.
Unlock the fierced mystery.
Gained no liberty in our own country.

Standing high,
In the amidst of cloud.
Honour the martyrdom shroud.
All the sacrifices has drowned.

Politicians have to spew.
Happy days to come true.
WILL to CHANGE is in you.
Have FAITH untill bleeds blue.
Aayoo Gorkhali by Gyanuraja97
Aayoo Gorkhali by Gyanuraja97

GJM threatened to drag WB government to court for replacing "Gorkhaland" to "Gorkha' Territorial Administration

8:59 AM
Writes: Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, March 28: Bimal Gurung today threatened to drag the state government to court for “wilfully changing the nomenclature” of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to the Gorkha Territorial Administration in official documents.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has cited at least one gazette notification where “Gorkha Territorial Administration” was mentioned three times.

“The recognition of the word ‘Gorkhaland’ is of utmost importance to us. The word ‘Gorkhaland’ was recognized by the President, governor and the Bengal Assembly when the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Act was passed by the Bengal Assembly and the assent given by the President,” Gurung, president of the Morcha as well as the GTA chief executive, said today.

“From the time we have started telling our supporters about the official recognition that Gorkhaland has received from the government, the administration has been discreetly working to change the nomenclature of the hill body. We will not tolerate this and will drag the state government to court,” he added.
GJM chief Bimal Gurung
GJM chief Bimal Gurung
“Look at the TMC’s manifesto and some of the government documents. They are replacing the word ‘Gorkhaland’ with ‘Gorkha’,” said Gurung.

The Trinamul manifesto for the Assembly election states: “Under the TMC government’s judicious rule, peace has been re-established in the hills. Our hill brethren have also joined the government in its developmental works. We have already initiated a number of progressive policies. Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) has been established for their welfare. Developmental work in the hills is under process.”

Gurung could not immediately recollect the government documents where the “Gorkha Territorial Administration” was mentioned, instead of “Gorkhaland Territorial Administration”. But a Morcha leader said there were at least three or four correspondences from the state government with “Gorkha Territorial Administration”.

“For example, a gazette notification of the Backward Classes Welfare department, issued on February 19, 2015 has repeatedly used ‘Gorkha Territorial Administration’,” he saud.

According to the leader, a paragraph in the notification states: “In respect of area under Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) in the district of Darjeeling, the Principal Secretary of Gorkha Territorial Administration and in absence of this office, the official performing the duties of this officer or any other officer of Gorkha Territorial Administration to be nominated by the state government.”

However, a senior official in Nabanna said: “The state government cannot change the name of the GTA unilaterally when the accord mentions Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. This must be a mistake.”

Via: The Telegraph

Note for Darjeeling Hill Politics

2:36 PM

Writes: Privat Giri 

Human beings are by nature political animals because of their power of speech and moral reasoning. Therefore there is no reason why the people of Darjeeling would not celebrate or condemn particularly when talking about a new political formation at helm. After all Darjeeling is the land of political intrigue. And people here are gradually becoming smart enough not to take everything at face value. While we wait to see how things will unfold in near future, what we may do now is speculate, comment or presume foreknowledge of what might come next. This is what I will attempt to do further, try and sketch and comment on two pertinent challenges concerning the political fraternity and the people of Darjeeling at the moment. 

Through news reports and statements from the leaders of the newly formed JAP, it has been coming to our knowledge that the new party desires to maintain a healthy relationship with the State. We do not yet know how this so called ‘healthy relationship’ will look like but yet attains significance now mainly because of two reasons. 

First, it has come as the heavy criticism from the ruling front who is questioning the sincerity and authenticity of JAP. Secondly and surprisingly, criticism is coming from a party who themselves frequently changes colours when it comes to their relationship with the State. It seems this dichotomy is baffling our leaders and people alike. More importantly the people should be concerned because it is their aspiration for Gorkhaland and their quest to come out the present state of socio-cultural and economic backwardness which is always at stake. It also signifies that hitherto we do not yet have a proper and lasting framework on how to deal with both the State as well as the Centre. 

There is a popular thought in Marxist Philosophy namely the triad thesis-antithesis- synthesis. THESIS is a simple statement or an argument. For example, on the question regarding the nature of our relationship with the Government of West Bengal, saying NO we should be antagonistic to State is its thesis. Counter-arguing in favour of maintaining a healthy relationship with the State may be called its ANTITHESIS. When there are two or many different set of ideas on a single matter, conflict is bound to happen. It is indeed the sign of a true and vibrant democracy and it is where the importance of SYNTHESIS comes. Synthesis strives to solve the conflict between thesis and antithesis by making them arrive at an agreement or consensus through reconciliation and negotiation. 

However, if we take the historical account of the case of Darjeeling, either thesis or antithesis is missing or both are the same. Such arrangement makes democratic deliberation on any issue one sided and is prone to easy manipulation. It may be remembered that there is nothing like absolute truth. Truth arrives out of consensus and remains a living dogma if it goes unchallenged.

I am hopeful that GJMM, JAP and all other political parties respectively and sincerely acts as a potent thesis or antithesis on every matters concerning Darjeeling and Dooars so that the common people gets the best fruit of them. Small place like Darjeeling has very little space in parliamentary form of democracy like India. We cannot afford to adopt the policy of give and take alike Telangana or many other places having ample representation at the Parliament and State Legislatures. So only way forward is to talk. Instances from the history of bilateral relations between India and Pakistan suggest that tables have only been a way forward in spite of numerous provocations from other side of the border. Similarly, it is through eighteen years of negotiations and talks the Naga issue is soon expected to come to a happy conclusion. 

However, it is very important for us to have a concrete strategy or model or framework or any bargaining point. This is something our political leadership and all of us should ponder upon. 

On 27th Jan, the first time released manifesto of JAP calls for attainment of SEPERATE STATE bearing in mind twin concerns of national integrity and security. The very first point of the manifesto attracted skepticism because no party has ever been formed (excluding Pranta Parishad and Swantra Manch) in post colonial Darjeeling without the Gorkha tag. However, in colonial Darjeeling, starting from 1907, the demand for separation surfaced several times but with no specific name. It was always demanded as “separate administrative set-up” by various organisations without having any Gorkha tag. 

The fundamental rationale behind demanding separation during pre-independence was mainly the increasing realisation among the hill people regarding their state of subservience and socio-economic backwardness. Post independence, the demand for statehood was largely guided by increasing crisis of identity suffered by the Gorkhas after they were mass expelled from Burma and North-eastern States.

What we can draw from above is the demand for statehood in Darjeeling has both facets of identity and development and people needs both of them equally. But still this dichotomy is being made problematic and used for timely gains. 

I sincerely hope that our political leadership stop this and instead work towards synthesising them in a manner that both our quest for identity and developmental needs are fulfilled.

On 27th Jan, the first time released manifesto of JAP calls for attainment of SEPARATE STATE bearing in mind twin concerns of national integrity and security. The very first point of the manifesto attracted skepticism because no party has ever been formed (excluding Pranta Parishad and Swantra Manch) in post colonial Darjeeling without the Gorkha tag. However, in colonial Darjeeling, starting from 1907, the demand for separation surfaced several times but with no specific name. It was always demanded as “separate administrative set-up” by various organisations without having any Gorkha tag.

Via TheDC

The gods of war - the Gorkhas

9:49 PM
Writes Bhupesh Bhandari 

Two books provide insights into Gorkha martial traditions, but is it time for a new narrative

Author: Kailash Limbu
Publisher: Hachette India
Pages: 340
Price: Rs 499

Author: Jyoti Thapa Mani
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Pages: 407
Price: Rs 2,795

The legend of the Gorkha warrior was born 200 years ago when the forces of the East India Company collided with the Nepal army. The Gorkhas won many battles but lost the war, and had to cede large territory, which includes present day Uttarakhand and large parts of Himachal Pradesh.
Even before the war could end, the East India Company had started to recruit these hardy men from the hills. They were undoubtedly good fighters. The popular expression Band baj gaya, which evokes images of substantial hardship, dates back to the war when the Gorkha bands used to play their bagpipes and drums before an attack.

The East India Company found them of great utility. And, unlike the upper caste Hindus who formed the backbone of its army till then, the Gorkhas didn't get bogged down by religious and caste-based taboos, and had no bonds of kinship with people from the plains. They were ready to fight anywhere - and anybody.

The East India Company knew they could be a counterpoise to the mutinous Bengal Native Infantry Sepoys. And this is exactly how it played out in 1857 when Gorkha troops helped the East India Company put down the Sepoy Mutiny. The Sepoys, who made the East India Company's conquests in India and beyond possible, were dumped unceremoniously, and all the communities that supported the Company were designated martial races, with the pride of place reserved for the Gorkhas.

After the mutiny, the British assiduously cultivated the Gorkhas, using them against their enemies inside as well as outside India. In the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919, one set of troops that fired on unarmed protesters were Gorkhas. The British kept them segregated from other Indian troops. That's why till Independence, the officer cadre of all Gorkha battalions was exclusively British.

To this day, the legend of the Gorkha solider continues to grow. Two books in quick succession extol the martial traditions and military conquests of the Gorkhas. Jyoti Thapa Mani's Khukri Braves is some sort of a Gorkha omnibus, and is truly spectacular in its sweep, covering the Anglo-Nepal war up to present times. Jyoti, a friend and a fellow highlander, is well versed in the martial history and customs of the Gorkhas, and her research is impeccable.

The Gorkha kingdom at its peak stretched from the Teesta in the east to the Sutlej in the west. Some historians believe that the Gorkha kings had even bigger ambitions - they wanted to extend their rule into Kashmir and beyond. But at Kangra, they ran into the tough-as-nails forces of Ranjit Singh. That is where their expansion ended. Later, when war with the East India Company looked imminent, the Gorkha Darbar even proposed a grand Hindu alliance with the Maratha and Sikh kingdoms, but it failed to excite the others.

War between the Gorkha kingdom and the East India Company was inescapable: all the trade routes to Tibet fell in hostile Gorkha territory. Though the immediate provocation for the war was some border skirmishes in which Gorkha forces had seized some villages that belonged to the East India Company, there was a sustained campaign to suggest that Gorkha rule was oppressive, and the assault was to liberate local people from Gorkha tyranny. According to several accounts, there was a chowki at Rishikesh, where Gorkha soldiers used to sell slaves - Garhwali men, women and children who could not afford to pay their taxes because of a famine.

Jyoti calls these reports exaggerated. She could well be right: after all, the East India Company was the master of mind games and was not averse to mixing fiction with truth to serve its ends. The fact of the matter is that there is still in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the areas vacated by Nepal, a large Gorkha population - people who decided to stay on. Had the locals been hostile, it's difficult to imagine how so many of them could have stayed back. But it is also true that to this day people in Kumaon use the expression Gorkhali Raj to describe anarchy, be it untended fields, dirty homes or bugs in the mattress.

Kailash Limbu's Gurkha, in contrast, is a straightforward account of a British Gorkha solider in Afghanistan, interspersed with tales from Gorkha history and vignettes of life in a distant hill village in Nepal. (The British call them Gurkha, though Gorkha is more correct, as the community draws its name from Guru Gorakhnath.) Though dreary at times, the book gives a good idea of the camaraderie between Gorkha troops on the battlefield.

Limbu is a sensitive writer and captures the nuances of hill life accurately. He tells uniquely hill stories like his grandmother who used to get drunk every evening and then feed the local brew to her grandchildren as well, or the fascination of hill folks with weapons, even if it's a slingshot, and hunting.

There are several books on the Gorkha military history, yet there is not even one account by a Gorkha soldier. Much of the history has been written by the officers of these regiments - it therefore comes heavily laden with their perspective. Limbu's book is the first time a Gorkha soldier has written about his life. In that sense, it deserves shelf space with Sita Ram Pandey's From Sepoy to Subedar, which detailed life in Bengal native Infantry from 1814 to 1857 and was a must-read for all British army officers in colonial times - except that it happens to be far less interesting. (Some commentators feel Pandey gave his imagination a free run while writing his book.)

Most books, including Jyoti and Limbu's books, deal with the martial qualities of the Gorkhas. That obliterates all other Gorkhas from popular conscience: agriculturists, professionals, businessmen. These people resent that bravery has become the calling card of the entire community. In their view, Field Marshall Manekshaw did a great disservice to the Gorkhas when he said: "If a man is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or he is a Gorkha" - it robbed the community of all other attributes apart from bravery. A new narrative may one day emerge - hopefully.

Source - business-standard

First ever Gorkha-Adivasi cultural festival starts in Jaigaon.

6:56 AM
The 1st ever Gorkha-Adivasi cultural festival has started with fanfare in Jaigaon.
The four day festival which is being organized at the local Gopi Mohan ground was inaugurated by GTA Chief Bimal Gurung and Adivasi leader John Barla.
First ever Gorkha-Adivasi cultural festival starts in Jaigaon.
First ever Gorkha-Adivasi cultural festival starts in Jaigaon.
Explaining that the program which has been organized jointly by the Gorkhali and Adivasi communities is an attempt at bringing together people from various communities.
Speaking to the Press, Adivasi leader Tulshi Oraon said "the Adivasis and Gorkhas have been living here like one family for the past 150 years, this is an unbreakable bond we have... but there has been repeated attempts to create friction and rivalry between our communities, so programs such as these are important to build stronger bonds..."
Representing the Gorkhas from Assam, Binod Khanal the Chief Advisor of International Nepali Cultural Council said, "we are displaying close to 2800 items used by our community... some of these are almost extinct now.. so conserving them and displaying them to educate our youngsters is necessary... we took over 40 years to collect this... and we are thankful that people in Dooars are appreciating our hard work."

Via : TheDT

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