Showing posts with label gorkhaland news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gorkhaland news. Show all posts

Political Players for Gorkhaland: Their Potentials, Problems and Prospects

9:35 AM
TMC
Writes: Animesh Rai*

Once again after the fascinating 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Darjeeling hills have started to witness intriguing contentions between the different political parties. As the state Legislative Assembly election is drawing closer new parties with new principles are emerging while the old and dominant ones are engaged in finding new affiliations to fulfill their long pending objectives. Day in day out, large number of people are seen changing their party associations. These political dynamics signify the growth of new aspirations and approaches within the regional polity. Various parties have come forward with multiple means to achieve more or less a common grounded objective of - development and statehood. Their activism and promises have indeed enthralled the entire hills with political warmth in the cold climes of winter and of course, with a hope for better spring and summers.

This write up is an attempt to highlight some of the basic approaches adopted by the four active political parties in pursuit of development and statehood demand. It also briefly touches upon their strength, shortcomings and mobilisation strategies and concisely concludes with the condition of polity at hand.
Political Players for Gorkhaland
Political Players for Gorkhaland
At present the political parties that are working vigorously for the upcoming elections are the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and Jan Andolan Party (JAP). Each political group, their perspectives, pros and cons has been dealt in an orderly manner.

The GJMM under Shri Bimal Gurung is the dominant party in the hills. It emerged in 2007 and revived the Gorkhaland movement and continues to advocate the formation of a separate state for the Indian Nepalis within the Indian Union. It has a very strong support base mostly in the tea garden belts which represents more than seventy percent of the total population of the district. In order to achieve its goal the party has been vehemently supporting the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).

Both in 2009 and 2014 the GJMM backed the BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha elections and in both the cases made them victorious with a huge margin of votes. Although the first attempt was futile as the BJP could not form the government. The second trial is expected to be fruitful with BJP in power at the centre. Quite confident with this great hope and trust, the present GJMM supremo at times roars in public meetings "The ball is in our court and it is near the goalpost…we are about to score a goal" meaning that they are very close in achieving Gorkhaland. Moreover, the benevolent words of the present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the 2014 election campaign at Siliguri declared "The dreams of Gorkhas are my dreams" has consequently given a lot of consolation to the Gorkhas across the country for the fulfillment of their century old dream of a separate state.

The party believes that BJP is sympathetic towards the Gorkhas and has high hopes that BJP which had earlier carved out three new states during their NDA I regime will also eventually create Gorkhaland. GJMM is mobilising its support base through pad yatras, the door to door foot campaign organised in different wards of the district. They have also taken up the issues of granting Schedule Tribe status to ten hill communities and regularization of more than five thousand casual workers working under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). There are possibilities that they may enter into alliance with Congress and Communist party to fight against TMC in the forthcoming polls.

The unfortunate situation for the party is its failure to convince the BJP of West Bengal, to garner their support for the cause of Gorkhaland. The state BJP is only in favour of development and political stability in the hills but completely against the partition of Bengal for Gorkhaland. Secondly, the murder case allegation of the late Madan Tamang, the leader of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) on the main leaders of the GJMM has given them a bad name and fame. The critics point at these inhumane and barbaric character of the leaders and decline from supporting them. The murder case file has not been closed down but the investigation is still going on. Lastly, the BJP does not have a majority in the Upper House of the Parliament to pass the bill in favor of Gorkhaland. Probably the reason for GJMM to ally with Congress and Communists is to gain their support in the Upper House that is if and when the BJP introduces and passes the bill from the Lower House. Unfortunately, the issue of Gorkhaland has not even been raised by the BJP in the parliament till date.

The TMC is the dominant party in West Bengal and the head of the party, the present Chief Minister (CM) of West Bengal Shri Mamta Banerjee has gained popularity for being one of the most efficient CM in the nation. The party does not support the cause of Gorkhaland but emphasize on development and peace in the hills. In the former years TMC and GJMM shared a good relationship but it started to deteriorate on the matters relating to the transfer of various allocated departments from the state to the GTA. Infact, GTA an autonomous but an unconstitutional body was conferred to GJMM by the TMC government in the presence of the central government officials in 2012. Once their relationship degenerated TMC shifted their focus of development from economy towards ethnicity by using an alternative model, establishment of tribal development boards in the GTA arena. TMC believes that through such boards every marginal and tribal group of hills would develop on equal lines. The party seeks to mobilise supporters by forming such development boards. It is also to be noted that the present CM has visited Darjeeling district for the maximum number of time as compared to the former state CMs. She says she loves Darjeeling and her people and will soon turn it into Switzerland but she can never think about the separation of Darjeeling district from Bengal.

GJMM is the most vocal adversary of TMC. The party is disliked for segregating the sense of collective Gorkha community by dividing the group into several sub-groups, all in the name of development boards. Opponents also believe that TMC is trying to suppress the Gorkhaland movement by disintegrating the Gorkha community. The concept of development board formation is also seen as a tool of disrupting the traditional cultural homogeneity of the region.

GNLF under the late Subash Ghising came into existence in the mid 1980's and it was the first party to demand Gorkhaland in a legitimate and vocal manner by provoking Article 3A of the Indian Constitution. The party saw the plight of Indian Nepalis or Gorkhas in the Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 and demanded its abrogation. After his demise in 2015, his son Shri Mann Ghishing has been made the new party president. GNLF is empowering its support base by reviving its old demand of Sixth Schedule for Darjeeling which was slumped down after the party's failure to remain in power since 2008. This special statute of autonomy was particularly designed for the tribal areas of North East (NE) India and both the state and centre were in favour of bestowing this plan for the region. Drawing from the experience of NE states, it became evident to the leaders that most of the present day states of that region were earlier placed under Sixth Schedule before they became a state. Almost all the backward and scheduled areas of the colonial administration have been made states in the post-independent India. So far, Darjeeling is the only remaining historical backward area that has not been converted into a state. So, for GNLF the foundation stone for Gorkhaland is to bring the region under the Sixth Schedule first and concomitantly, follow the political footprints of NE states. The party had aligned with TMC in the 2014 MP elections and may club with them in this year's state elections as well.

However, the opposition groups argue that for an area to be brought under Sixth Schedule it has to have more than fifty to sixty percent of the tribal population which in case of Darjeeling district does not fulfill the required criteria. The opponents also asserts that if Sixth Schedule is granted then the region will be declared a tribal area, majority of population which comprise of non-tribal groups would be debarred from many socio-cultural, politico and economic engagements and tbenefits. It is directly seen as a device to divide the regional society.

JAP was recently formed in January 2016 by a group of erudite personals. The party is headed by Dr. Harka Bahadur Chettri, the former GJMM spokesperson. He parted ways with Morcha in September 2015 when he turned down the party chief's order to resign from the post of the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA). He resigned from the party but continued to remain as an independent MLA from Kalimpong. He also shares a very close relationship with the CM. The party has well known experts drawn from the pool of academia, lawyers and activists from pressure groups. The first point in their manifesto is development of the region and an attainment of a separate statehood. Although a separate statehood is also their demand, they do not stress on using the concept - Gorkhaland. They believe that Gorkhas are not the only ones inhabiting in Darjeeling district and Dooars but the region has also been a home for many other ethnic minority tribes and communities since ages. They go for integrative approach of accommodating every group of the region. They have an impression that the direct use of pro-ethnic terms like Gorkhaland would exclude the members of other communities. Moreover, the concept Gorkha has direct connections with the small hill district in western part of Nepal and with the conquerors and founders of the kingdom of Nepal. The use of the term may provide more space for political criticism and opposition rather than favour and support when the issue is placed at the national level. Therefore, they apparently hold that using the ethnic term Gorkha at present may not be very appealing in the sight of the opponents and the government, particularly while placing the issue of a separate state which calls for ethos of greater national interest and integration. Prof. Mahendra P. Lama, the Founding Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University and currently the Chairman of JAP had earlier asserted that the name of the state can be easily amended later once the state is achieved, what is really required at the present hour is the understanding and strategy of placing the demand in the right place, right Ministry and active lobbying with the government. They call for politics of rationality over the politics of emotionalism.

JAP aspires to have a corruption free administration and believe in maintaining a healthy relationship with both the state and central governments. They prefer to put forward the issue of statehood through rational and robust discussions and deliberations. They are mobilising support with the demand for land rights in tea gardens and cinchona plantation areas along with the implementation of Minimum Wage Act and creation of Kalimpong districts and other sub-divisions in Mirik and Bijanbari. They may form an alliance with the TMC in the upcoming elections.

Since the members of the new political group do not use the term "Gorkhaland" and believes in maintaining a healthy relationship with the state government they are looked down by their rivals as brokers of the state and referred as "Mir Zafars - the traitors." These politicians are seen as opportunists and agents of West Bengal government by their opposition forces and their party is seen as a sub-TMC party. The GJMM chief has strongly claimed that this party will not last for more than a month or two. Their antagonists have also circulated posters spreading the message to be aware of the motives of the JAP leaders.

Now emphasizing on the probable alliance pattern for the upcoming elections the two hill parties GNLF and JAP have the possibilities of aligning with TMC while GJMM is seeking for collaborations with Congress and Communists. The TMC still has a strong hold in Bengal and the political observers are of the estimation that the party will stay in power in the next term as well despite the challenge posed by Congress and the Communists collectively. In the process what may possibly happen is TMC may become more powerful in the state and GJMM may lose out the support from BJP for supporting its major rivals in the state elections. The last possibility of statehood may be missed out and the dream of Gorkhaland may fade away.

Observing the goals alone, all of these parties want development and GJMM, GNLF and JAP are fighting for a separate statehood as well. In considering their strength and contributions towards the political development of the region, the GNLF started the statehood movement, GJMM revived the movement and now has an added benefit of both mass support and as an affiliate of BJP. On the other hand JAP is a new political entrant only in the terms of its recent formation but has members who are old and matured in terms of political experience with a sound wisdom on legal system and national policy making.

Lastly, reconsidering the GJMM chief's holla of sporti-fing their political success like a ball about to be striked off for scoring the final goal in the football match, many supporting spectators sees that ball is yet to be defended and dribbled properly before the final shot is made and for this skillful players are a must. The region surely has well trained and specialized players, ready to play in their respective positions in the soccer field but currently they are all busy playing for different teams. If the resources of these diverse players can be capitalized into one common team then it will positively fortify the Gorkhaland movement for all better reasons. The immediate need of the hour is forming one composite team from the region. Elections here can be seen as a major league where the victory of the team is possible solely through consensus and companionship.

The GJMM supremo has aptly said, at present the ball is in their hands, they are close to the goalpost but the goal has not been scored yet. However, with the concrete passionate team upholding the virtues of fraternity and morality, the football match would have been played in a more robust and organised way. The players would have in a very sporting spirit, fended, tackled, passed on and off and finally kicked the ball right inside the goalpost. The ever cheering supportive spectators would have rejoiced and remembered this beautiful game and its players till the very end.

*The author is a Research Scholar at Sikkim University

Via TheDC

Chandra Kumar Bose - Gorkhaland an attack on the integrity of India

9:06 AM
Writes Sanjog Chamling

MORON ALERT: "I believe slogans like Bharat ki barbaadi or Gorkhaland should be treated as an attack on the integrity of India." - Chandra Kumar Bose. Chandra Kumar Bose is apparently the BJP face of Bengal who is contesting against Mamata Banerjee in the upcoming assembly election

Mr. Chandra Kumar Bose whose only claim to fame is that he happens to be the grand-nephew of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose is contesting against Mamata Banerjee on a BJP ticket this up coming election. He thinks that chanting "We want Gorkhaland" is equivalent to chanting "Bharat ko Barbaadi slogans..."

Responding to an interview question carried on Catch News, he says, "I believe slogans like Bharat ki barbaadi or Gorkhaland should be treated as an attack on the integrity of India. I can't say whether its sedition or not but its definitely an attack on India and steps should be taken to curb it."

Following is what he said on his conversation with Catch:

SD: Does guiding mean slapping sedition charge on students? Do you support that?

CB: Well this is a legal issue and I am not an expert. But this is a British law and I think there should be a review of the sedition law and the all other laws from the British era. Having said that, I believe slogans like Bharat ki barbaadi or Gorkhaland should be treated as an attack on the integrity of India. I can't say whether its sedition or not but its definitely an attack on India and steps should be taken to curb it. [Details here]

Chandra Kumar Bose -  Gorkhaland an attack on the integrity of India
Chandra Kumar Bose
We hope that GJM will strongly protest against this false and completely moronic insinuation with BJP bosses and force idiotic Mr. Chandra to issue an apology.

 Let the MORONS know.

1.The site, declassifying 100 files relating to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, opened, with the song "Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja.. Khushi K Geet Gaaye Jaa..." by one of the Gorkhali stelwart - Capt. Ram Singh Thakuri. [Details here]

2.Krishna Bahdur Mukhia May 12, 1921 to September 13, 2012 was one of the bravest Indian Gorkha freedom fighters. He was the personal bodyguard and driver of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, during his warring days in the jungles of Burma in 1943.[Details here]

3.Netaji had cherished Capt. Thakuri and his music and it is evident from the fact that Netji had gifted Capt. Thakuri a violin and a saxophone as gifts.  Krishna[Details here]

4.A great Indian  Gorkha Freedom fighter Saheed Durga Malla who was hanged to death by the British on 25th August 1944 for his patriotic activities fighting along side Netaji. [Detail here]

5.Saheed Indreni Thapa and Saheed Sabitri Thapa were teenagers when they joined the ‘Bal Sena’ or ‘Janbaz Dal’of the Indian National Army led by Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. Indreni Thapa and Sabitri Thapa, the two Gorkha teenagers of ‘Janbaz Dal’ attained martyrdom by blowing up British tanks. They did this by virtually making themselves human bombs by strapping mines on their bodies and crawling under the British tanks camouflaged as bushes, and blowing up the British tanks.
Reportedly Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was the eye-witness to this act of supreme sacrifice by our brave hearts. [Details here]

We strongly condemn this act by Chandra Kumar Bose and request him to go through the history of the Indian Gorkhas before making such baseless statement. He surely needs to go through the Constitution of India to know that Gorkhaland is more than 100 years old demand of the people which is well within the framework of our Constitution. [Details here].

We seek an apology from Chandra Kumar Bose as he relates Bharat ki barbaadi with Gorkhaland.

With inputs from The DC


Gorkhaland 30th state of India says Class IV text book

10:15 PM

Darjeeling: The Hills parties might have been fighting for a separate Gorkhaland state for several decades now, but a schoolbook for Class IV kids in the region has already declared it as the 30th state of the country.

Though the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the forerunner for the statehood demand, has denied any knowledge of the book, its assistant secretary Jyoti Rai said, "One thing is clear. The word, 'Gorkhaland', is accepted," said Rai, promising to find out about it.

The error is found in the social study book being taught in a few ICSE schools in the Hills.

The word, "Gorkhaland", appears in the very first chapter on "Our Motherland and People". On page 5, "Gorkhaland" also appears on the political map of country, just below Sikkim. However, it is not mentioned in the question-answer section, though "Darjeeling" does figure in Bengal.

According to the owner of a bookstore in Darjeeling, the book is being used only in a few ICSE schools and not in government institutions. "We are selling to a few schools but they are not government ones," the owner said. "There can always several publishers involved. We are not aware of which school subscribes to which one." He promised to write to the wholesaler, who provides the book, about the error.

Interestingly, books from the same publisher but not pertaining to the fourth standard are also being sold from other stores.

The Janmukti Primary Teacher's Organization (JPTO), affiliated to GJM, said books suggested only by National Council of Education for Research and Training (NCERT) were used in primary government schools. "We use books recommended by the NCERT. We are not aware of the social study book that mentions Gorkhaland as a separate state," said Rajen Thapa, president of JPTO.

Via TOI

गोर्खाल्यान्डको लागि जनमत भएको गोजमुमोले गोर्खाल्याण्ड ल्याउनुपर्ने हो- अमर लामा

5:00 PM
एक साता अघि अस्तित्वमा आएको नयाँ राजनैतिक दल जन आन्दोलन पार्टी (जाप)-का शीर्ष नेताहरूले अलग राज्यको मुद्दामा मोर्चा नेताहरूको टिप्पणीको प्रतिक्रिया दिएका छन। दलको आन्तरिक साङ्गठिक बैठकमा भाग लिन कालेबुङ आएका जापका ब्युरो प्रमुख डा महेन्द्र पी लामा, सदस्यहरू अनमोल प्रसाद, अमर लामाले मोर्चा नेताहरूले जापको मुद्दा र कार्यक्रमहरूबारे टिप्पणी गर्नको साटो आफ्नो दलको मुद्दा र जनतासँग गरेका वचनहरू पूरा गर्न आफ्नो उर्जा लगाउनु पर्ने सुझाउ दिएका छन्। आन्तरिक बैठकपछि आयोजित पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा दलका अध्यक्ष डा हर्कबहादुर छेत्री, ब्युरो प्रमुख डा महेन्द्र पी लामा, अनमोल प्रसाद, अमर लामाले पत्रकारहरूले सोधेको प्रश्नहरूको उत्तर दिएका थिए। गत 27 जनवरीक दिन कालेबुङमा भएको जनसभामा मोर्चा नेतृत्वले जापको घोषणापत्रमा गोर्खाल्यान्डको मुद्दा उल्लेख नभएको दावी गर्दै आलोचना गरेका थिए। दलको ब्युरो चेयरमेन डा लामाले यो सम्बन्धमा प्रतिक्रिया जनाउँदै भने, “केन्द्रमा त्यही दल छ जसले तीनवटा नयाँ राज्यहरूको गठन गरिसकेको छ। गत विधानसभा चुनामा बिजेपीले आन्ध्रप्रदेशमा एक भोट, दुइ स्टेटको नारामा चुनाउ लडेकै हो। त्यही बिजेपीको उम्मेद्वारलाई यहाँबाट लोकसभा चुनाउ जिताएर पठाइयो। अहिले संसदमा गोर्खाल्यान्डको बील ल्याउन यो दललाई के समस्या छ? मोर्चा नेताहरूले कालेबुङका जनतालाई दिग्भ्रमित पार्ने कुराहरू किन गर्छन्? उनीहरू यति ठूलो ठूलो कुरा गर्छन तर खास गर्नुपर्ने कुरै गर्दैनन। मोर्चाले बिजेपीलाई संसदमा गोर्खाल्याण्डको बील ल्याउन लगावोस्। केन्द्रीय विश्वविद्यालय, मेडिकल संस्थानहरूको बील ल्याउन लगावोस्। कुरै सकिहाल्छ नि” यता, ब्युरो सदस्य अमर लामाले पनि आफ्नो प्रतिक्रिया जाहेर गर्दै चुनाउमा जनमत पाएर गएको दलले भर्खरै अस्तित्वमा आएको दललाई गोर्खाल्यान्डको निम्ति दबाउ दिनु युक्तिसङ्गत नहुने बताएका छन। गोजमुमोले गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति जनमत प्राप्त गरेको कारण यसको गठनलाई लिएर पनि यही दल अधिक जिम्मेवार र जवाफदेहि हुनु पर्ने लामाको भनाइ छ।
गोर्खाल्यान्डको लागि जनमत भएको गोजमुमोले गोर्खाल्याण्ड ल्याउनुपर्ने हो- अमर लामा
“जुन दलको आफ्नो मेनिफेष्टो छैन, त्यही दलका नेताहरूले हाम्रो मेनिफेष्टोलाई माइक्रोसकोप लगाएर हेर्ने के काम छ? बिजेपीको घटक दल बनेर मोर्चाले अहलुवालियालाई सांसद बनाएर पठाएको हो। मोर्चालाई 2019सम्म गोर्खाल्यान्डको लागि जनमत छ। घटक दल भएको नाताले प्रधानमञ्त्री, गृहमञ्त्री, सांसद सबै उनीहरूकै छ। उनीहरूले चैँ वास्तवमा गोर्खाल्यान्ड ल्याउनु पर्ने हो। यद्यपि, हामी नयाँ पार्टी भएर पनि आफ्नो घोषणापत्रमा अलग राज्यको मुद्दालाई शीर्ष स्थानमा राखेका छौं” वरिष्ठ अधिवक्ता लामाले भने।

Via Kalimpongpost

Harka Bahadur Chhetri to from new political party

9:08 AM
Writes Rajeev Ravidas

Kalimpong, Dec. 6: Harka Bahadur Chhetri today said he planned to float a political party, months after he left the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Chhetri, who heads the Kalimpong District Demand Committee, did not give a clear answer when asked what his prospective party's stand would be on the Gorkhaland issue.

Chhetri today said there was a need to bring about political change in the hills and the formation of a district was the first step in that direction.

"The second and third steps will follow. We are thinking about it (forming a party) in the district demand committee because we are being pressured by our friends and supporters to launch a party," he said.

Asked if the decision to form the party was more or less finalised, Chhetri said: "More finalised, not less."

He added: "There can't be politics without a political party. A party is required to provide good administration. We will discuss this among ourselves and take a decision soon. It will not take long."

Asked what the new party's stand on the demand for Gorkhaland would be, the Kalimpong MLA said: "We are at primary school. Gorkhaland is a university. We will first have to think of getting to secondary school and then on to college. Maybe, we will not be able to reach university in our generation, the next generation possibly can," he said.

Last week, officials in Nabanna, the state secretariat, had said finishing touches were being given to the Kalimpong district demand. Some sources said Mamata Banerjee wanted to back Chhetri as a local counter-point to the Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Assembly elections are barely five months away, and Chhetri's willingness to float a party now is interesting in this context too.

In the general elections in 2014, Trinamul had fielded Bhaichung Bhutia from the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat. The Morcha did not support him, saying he is not a local face. But it supported the BJP's S.S. Ahluwalia, who is also not a local face but belongs to a party that had shown some willingness initially to hear out the Morcha on Gorkhaland.

Trinamul has a unit in the hills, but has no leader with a mass following. Chhetri is not a leader of the masses either, but as the MLA of Kalimpong, he enjoys the goodwill of residents in the subdivision.

The MLA said the new party would not be restricted by geography or ethnicity. "We are looking at a huge canvas. We will empower the people. We will focus on real issues concerning the people and work to provide them with basic necessities that continue to elude them," he said.

Chhetri said the land rights of tea garden and cinchona workers would be the priority of the new party.
Harka Bahadur Chhetri to from new political party
Harka Bahadur Chhetri 
"These workers have been living in the plantations for 200 years, but their condition is pitiable. It will be gross injustice not to give them land rights. I have already taken up the matter with the government," he said.

Tea garden land is leased out by the state government to companies and the lease has to be renewed every 30 years. The state is the owner of the tea gardens' land. The workers and their families who have been residing in tea plantations for generations since the 1850s do not have land rights.

The cinchona plantations are under the directorate of cinchona and medicinal plantation, which is a state undertaking. Like in tea gardens, the workers of cinchona plantations have no land rights.

Source Telegraph

Central Committee to examine Gorkhaland demand - Rajnath Singh

12:06 PM
Darjeeling, Dec. 2: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today claimed that Union home minister Rajnath Singh had promised to look into the party's request to form a committee by the Centre to examine the Gorkhaland demand and talk to the state government on the matter.

Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said over the phone from Delhi that the promise had been given at a meeting between Rajnath and a party delegation led by Bimal Gurung, in the Capital today. The party raised other issues also with the minister.


Bimal Gurung Official published the following statement.

A high level meeting was today convened by Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh on the issue of Gorkhaland in the Union Home Ministry.

Shri Bimal Gurung, GJM president and Shri SS Ahluwalia, Hon’ble Member of Parliament from Darjeeling along with senior functionaries of the GJM were present in the meeting that was also attended by senior home ministry officials including union home secretary. The Home Secretary was assisted by other officials including the additional secretary in charge of centre state relations, joint secretary, director and other officials.

From the GJM side, other functionaries included Shri Roshan Giri, Dr Rohit Sharma, Shri Swaraj Thapa, Shri PT Ola, Shri Narbu G Lama, Shri Bijoy Sundas, Shri Moti Prasad Sharma and Shri Kamal Sharma.
GJM meeting Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh on the issue of Gorkhaland in the Union Home Ministry.
The meeting, convened in the committee room of the union home ministry in North Block, lasted for about 45 minutes.

The GJM presented the union home mnister with five different sets of memorandum, shri bimal Gurung foremost sought immediate setting up of a high level central committee to examine the formation of Gorkhaland. He appealed to the union home minister that the BJP has mentioned in their 2009 and 2014 manifesto that they would ‘sympathetically examine and appropriate consider the long pending demands of the Gorkhas.’

Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh assured the delegation that the Government has always been sympathetic to the gorkhas. He said that the government would look into the demand to set up a committee on Gorkhaland.

The Government side indicated that it will talk to the state government on the subject.

The second agenda was the immediate inclusion of the 11 Gorkha and Adivasi communities in the ST status across India namely Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakhha (Dewan) and Dhimal. Shri Bimal Gurung said that a memorandum has already been given to hon tribal affairs mnister jual oram. The government assured that the issue would be taken up with the tribal affairs ministry.

The third agenda the GJM delegation raised was the established of a Central University in Darjeeling Hills as mentioned in the MoA of the GTA Agreement. The GJM delegation also apprised the Hon'ble Minister that the DPR prepared by EDCIL of the Central University has been submitted to Smt Smriti Irani, Hon'ble Minister of HRD.

The GJM delegation also requested the Hon'ble Home Minister about all tea garden workers to be immediately brought under the Minimum Wages Act 1948. The current wages should be calculated taking into account the overall inflation, AICP Index and Minimum Wages Act with an effort to meet the basic needs of the Plantation Labours.

The issue related to death of 22 persons by malnutrition so far in the tea gardens of Darjeeling Terai and Dooars since May 12, 2015 wad also raised. Presently many tea gardens in the Dooars region have remained closed and death toll due to starvation/ malnutrition has reached over 1000 since 2002.
Besides these closed tea gardens, there are some other tea gardens also which have faced closure for some time now. The GJM delegation appealed to the Central government to take immediate steps to ensure that these closed gardens begin operations without any further delay so that workers are able to work and get their rightful due.

The issue of granting Pattas (Land rights) to the tea garden workers in all tea gardens was also raised with the Hon'ble Minister.

On the issue of GTA functioning, Sri Bimal Gurung and other delegation members intimated the union home minister that the West Bengal government has refused to part with powers and functions as agreed upon in the tripartite agreement. Shri SS Ahluwalia also forcefully argued that the state government had faulted on its promise to part with powers and functions.

Via Telegraph and Bimal Gurung Official



Bihar Election Results And Gorkhaland

7:39 AM

Writes: N N Ojha

Gorkhaland is once again the talk of the town. Gorkhas in the Darjeeling hills and else where in India are once again discussing ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘why not’ about Gorkhaland.

Last time it grabbed attention equally intensely was in July 2012 when the then UPA government led by Manmohan Singh as factotum for Sonia Gandhi had announced the decision to carve a new state Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh. That was understandable. On merits a favorable decision on Gorkhaland deserved to take precedence over Telangana. The demand for Gorkhaland has been far longer outstanding than the Telangana demand. The region comprising proposed Gorkhaland is far more distinct from west Bengal in terms of language, ethnicity, culture, history and geography than Telangana ever was from Andhra Pradesh. Most importantly when the last tripartite agreement between GJMM, government of India and government of west Bengal was signed there was a mass perception in the region that decision on statehood for Gorkhaland would be taken as and when decision on Telangana was taken. Therefore it was quite natural for alarm bells to ring when Telangana was declared without a whiff or whisper of Gorkhaland.

Connect between decision on Telangana leading to resurgence of the Gorkhaland issue is thus clear but what about Bihar? How does one explain the issue occupying center stage as a sequel to the Bihar election results? After all our demand for statehood entails separation from west Bengal and not Bihar. In fact we haven’t had anything to do with Bihar ever except that at one stage of our history Darjeeling district was part of Darbhanga division that is currently a part of Bihar. That by itself should be immaterial as Darbhanga like some other parts of present day Bihar, Orissa or Assam was part of the Bengal Presidency and later Bengal province during the British colonial rule and was severed from Bengal in due course of states reorganisation.

So why is Gorkhaland the talk of the town in the context of Bihar election results? Is it because of our stark dependence on the BJP to grant us Gorkhaland and the BJP’s dismal performance in Bihar? Do these results contain any lessons for the BJP and by implication hints about shape of things to come for Gorkhaland?

First, let us look at the results. For all its massive tactical planning, logistic paraphernalia, publicity blitz and the party president Amit Shah’s much hyped talk of mission 185+ BJP and its allies had to content with just 58 seats out of the 243 they contested. By itself BJP could win barely 53 out of the 159 seats it contested. The dismal performance was in spite of nearly 250 GPS enabled ‘Raths’ (modified Boleros fitted with audio visual publicity material) meant to reach some 40000 villages for canvassing across Bihar monitored on real time basis from a state of the art tracking station based in Patna and nearly 3 lakhs volunteers including Bollywood stars like Ajay Devgan drafted for the campaign.

It is another matter that unmindful of the arithmetical as well as political error of interpretation most BJP apologists still call their show very impressive in view of what they wrongly call ‘highest percentage of votes’ polled by the party.

Be that as it might. Let us see if the results contain any lessons for the BJP or for our dream of Gorkhaland. In so far as lessons for BJP are concerned I have no intention of wasting much time as firstly Gorkhaland and not BJP or Bihar is my main concern and secondly most BJP sympathisers have of late become so edgy that they immediately start calling you names if you point out any shortcomings in their party or leaders even with the best of intentions. I will therefore touch upon the lessons for BJP only to the extent they impact Gorkhaland.

What are the lessons for BJP having a direct bearing on Gorkhaland? Three lessons I guess; power of the regional political forces, benefits of a broad based coalition and electoral gains of a well calculated social engineering. While evaluating the benefits of broad based alliance with the regional forces I am leaving aside any moral presuppositions or value judgement and simply looking at the pragmatic dynamics of a political decision. I am also leaving aside the social engineering planned and executed by either side except that the state government’s decision to grant ‘caste certificates’ to upper caste Hindu and Muslim children on income based criteria, moving some OBCs to EBC and EBCs to the SC/ST category along with the attendant benefits and approving financial grant to some more Madarsas perhaps proved more effective than the central government’s decision to declare some districts of Bihar as ‘backward districts’ carrying tax rebates. One single lesson from the moves; sops benefiting an individual directly have greater impact than any collective gains for a group. We may however ignore this as overwhelming majority of people (I am not sure of the leaders though) in the region are actually keen on Gorkhaland and not for any individual gains.

Are there other lessons for us in the whole story? Yes, at least four. First, to be able to figure in the political reckoning of larger national level parties we have to be seen as a powerful regional political player which is possible only if all of us across party lines are united at least on one issue, namely, the demand for Gorkhaland. It was because of this one voice that BJP’s Jaswant Singh had a cakewalk in the 2009 general elections and the three MLAs from hills could make it to the state assembly with impressive margins two years later in 2011. During 2014 election campaign if BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi had to publically declare that Gorkhas dream was his dream it was solely due to the perception that everyone in the hills was united in the demand for Gorkhaland..

Second lesson for us, we have to in our own interest get out of the ‘BJP only’ mindset. Because of our stark dependence on BJP they have, it seems, started taking us for granted. How else does one explain complete lack of follow up on the PM’s assurances that our dream is his dream and absolutely no interest shown by our MP to move forward on the only issue that got him into the parliament on our vote. Let us make it clear to the BJP that in the forthcoming state assembly elections we shall support them only if the party moves a resolution for creation of Gorkhaland or at least our MP moves a private member’s bill on the subject. Reaction to such a motion will make it clear as to who is with us and who is against, so that in the state elections in 2016 we vote accordingly.

Third lesson, we must learn to bargain hard with whosoever we align, get their commitments for our cause in black and white and widely circulate the written compact among the masses so that in the event of any post election ditching no one is able to confuse through deceitful lies.

Fourth lesson, we must know our own worth and learn to value ourselves. If we are united the larger national political parties shall need us more than we might need them. No political party howsoever big or resourceful can win even a panchayat ward election in the hills if we decide to unite on the issue of Gorkhaland and vote enbloc for whosoever agrees to support us. Let us make use of this unique strength of ours and declare unambiguously that we shall allow only those parties to politically survive in the region who support the creation of Gorkhaland and agree to a time bound plan of action to be made public beforehand. To the BJP whom we have already helped gain an MP on our strength let us make clear that further support including support in the coming state election shall depend only on the party moving the Gorkhaland resolution in the Parliament.

Let us not go by the party’s lame excuse that it can’t move on the issue of Gorkhaland as it doesn’t have adequate strength in the Rajya Sabha. You move the resolution so that even if it falls in the Rajya Sabha we will at least know who are with us, and, who against and shall deal suitably with those opposed to our dream.

In all these lessons there is a crucial ‘if’, i.e. if we are united. By being united we can turn the lessons into opportunities. If divided the lesson may in fact expose chinks in our armor and prove counterproductive. The basic question therefore is are we united or are we ready to get united. Answer to this question shall determine the future for Gorkhaland and our coming generations.

Source The Darjeeling Times

NFNS Submits Memorandum to Home Minister on ‪Gorkhaland‬ Formation

7:02 AM

Nov 16, 2015  National Federation for New States (NFNS) Delegation led by Munish Tamang met Union Home Minister Sh. Rajnath Singh today.
The delegation reminded him of the Gorkhaland promise made by his party in the 2014 manifesto.

The delegation also stated that the demand for creation of new state is not a regional demand and it should be made part of the national debate.

The delegation included leaders from Bundelkhand, Vidharbha, and Bodoland.

A memorandum was also presented to the Home Minister.

NFNS will also meet the Prime Minister and the President of India.

Source The DT

Gurung renewed Gorkhaland agitation, says GTA is a failure

1:20 PM
Vivek Chhetri

Kurseong, Sept. 14: Bimal Gurung today chose to announce a renewed agitation for Gorkhaland when Mamata Banerjee is in the hills.

Addressing an organisational meeting at Vah-Tukvar in Darjeeling today, Gurung said: "The GTA is a failure and it is because of the state government. There is dual administration through the DM. We now have to start an agitation for Gorkhaland."

He said he had asked the three Gorkha Janmukti Morcha MLAs to resign on September 18, not September 23 as announced earlier. "They will resign on the first day of the Assembly session."

The MLAs' resignation is in protest against the state government's alleged interference in the authority of the GTA.
Gurung renewed Gorkhaland agitation, says GTA is a failure
Bimal Gurung Mamata a file photo
The Morcha chief today said the renewed agitation would be "democratic" and would also be Centre-centric.

"Our agitation will not be against the state government. The Bengal government cannot give us Gorkhaland. The example of Telangana is testimony to this," Gurung said.

Terming the Centre's response towards Gorkhaland as positive, he said: "The Centre is positive towards our demand but then even a baby needs to cry for the mother to know that she needs to feed the baby. Time has come for us to cry."

He added: "All the development taking place in the hills is through funds from the Centre. The Bengal government has done nothing much."

Gurung predicted that the Morcha would be in power for long.

"When the party was formed we knew we would wield power for 25 years. Of this, we have spent 8 years and 17 more years are still there. We will not be affected by anything. In fact, if we work well we will be in the hills even after 25 years," Gurung said in a signal to the various development boards that were formed by Mamata.


Source Telegraph

Fighting with state for Gorkhaland was a "mistake" - Bimal Gurung

9:26 AM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Aug. 20: Bimal Gurung today, 23rd Nepali Bhasha Diwas, said fighting with the state government over the Gorkhaland demand was a "mistake" as a separate state can be achieved only through the Centre.
Bimal Gurung at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan on Nepali Bhasha Diwas
Bimal Gurung at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan on Thursday. Picture by Suman Tamang
While addressing a programme organised by the Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha to celebrate Bhasa Divas, Gurung said: "We were fighting with the Bengal government and this was a mistake because even if Bengal wants, it cannot give Gorkhaland. Statehood can be given only by the Centre and I am 110 per cent confident that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will live up to his words."

At a public meeting in Siliguri on April 10, Modi had said; "The dream of the Gorkhas is my dream."

Gurung also spoke about the need to maintain peace in the hills. "There must be peace in the hills. Our party, since its inception (in 2007), has always talked about the need for peace. There was lot of bloodshed in Nagaland, but ultimately, they had to come to the negotiating table," he said.

During the last phase of agitation in 2013, nearly 1,000 Morcha supporters were arrested, including senior leaders.

"Right now, tourists are coming to Darjeeling hills. Funds are also flowing to the GTA. The GTA is a test of our administrative ability and very soon, we will be administering a state," Gurung said at the Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan.

The Morcha chief, who had famously said that Gorkhaland would be created by March 10, 2010, today said: "... we have not lost hope and we will not do anything that will go against our community."

Gurung said he will meet Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling in Gangtok tomorrow and not on August 23. Sources said Chamling is scheduled to leave for Delhi tomorrow.

Gurung will meet Chamling to drum up support for the inclusion of 10 Gorkha communities in the ST list.

Morcha aid
Gurung, the chief executive of GTA, today handed over cheques of Rs 2 lakh to each of the next of kin of the 34 people who died in the June landslides. The GTA has decided to give additional help of Rs 50,000 each to Vivek Rai, a Class VI student from Kalimpong, and Selushna Thapa, a first-year student from Mirik, who lost their parents in the landslides.

Source: Telegraph

Why Separate State for the Gorkhas Is A Necessity

7:45 PM

Writes: Sachin Rai

Finally I am compelled to write something about the need for creating a state for the Gorkhalis within India, and the name may be given Gorkhaland or any other name, but whatever the name be that should clearly show that Nepali speaking people live in that Indian state. 

Like every Gorkhali, I felt that the creation of a new state was necessary when I was in college but the reason behind why I wanted a state of our own was different, than, why I want it now. 

At that time I wanted the creation of new state because of the emotional attachment (purkha le magheko vanera) to the cause, and also to get rid of some rude and arrogant people from the Majority community in Siliguri who almost tortured us during our college days. I guess back then, I also wanted a new state for the employment of many educated unemployed youths, for the development and betterment of life. But those feelings were somewhere concentrated in a small area and now after visiting many places and staying in some big cities, my feelings have changed. 

Yes... it is true. Now I strongly feel the need of creating a state for Nepali speaking Indians for the IDENTITY and ENLIGHTMENT to general public of India, that Nepali speaking people also live in India and that we are Indians too. 

As I have already stated that I have visited many places in our country, India, and everywhere I get a poor response if I say my mother tongue is Nepali. 

Now, people might argue that… I had met with some illiterate persons but wrong… even the well educated lots had similar reaction, though there were a few exceptions, but the moment I say that Nepali is my mother tongue, majority of the people ask me” Ohhhh are you from Nepal?” and then the whole session of having to explain – who I am, where I am from, and why Nepali is my mother tongue, yet I am an Indian. 

Luckily of the course of time, I have met and discussions with them have lead them to support the needs creation of a new state for the Gorkhalis. 

Now, let’s talk about, what’s happening in “Our Darjeeling”. 

Whenever the demand for a state arises, the opposition parties becomes vocal and active, and we end up breaking into pieces ourselves. West Bengal's CM says in a meeting “Bongo Bhongo Hobena”... and our fellow idiotic people celebrates with huge applause… Some tribes and groups of people fear that they will be betrayed and without a second thought they accept some “Council” or “Development Board,” which I think hasn’t really done much till date. 

But this is my appeal to people of Darjeeling… what will you say when someday you will go for a visit out of Bengal? When someone asks you, what is your caste, language, community.....where are you from? Will you say, “I am from so and so council?” Never. 

If some peoples from Darjeeling region hates the word Gorkha then it would be better that they won't join Indian Army/ defense forces under the Gorkha reservation/relaxation. Breaking is not the solution. I don't know if a new Nepali speaking state will be created or not, but I have come to realize that it is very much needed… and whenever we cross the Bengal border, others make us realize how acute an “IDENTITY CRISIS” we all suffer from. 

I hope our leaders realize the need for unity and for sincerely pursuing the Gorkhaland statehood… 

Because next time I don't want anyone of our brothers and sisters to be asked – “when did you shift from Nepal to West Bengal” please. 

JAI HIND. 

[NOTE:THIS IS MY PERSONAL VIEW. I DON'T INTEND TO HURT ANYONE'S FEELING]

Source: The Darjeeling Chronicle

Gorkhaland near says Bimal Gurung on "Sahid Diwas"

10:57 AM
GTA
Darjeeling, | 28 July, 2015: Chief of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) supremo, Bimal Gurung said on Monday that their dream of achieving a separate 'Gorkhaland' is near, while addressing a crowd at the memorial programme to remember all those who were killed in course of the Gorkhaland movement in the Darjeeling hills.
"Sahid Diwas" 2015 Darjeeling Gorkha Rangamanch Bhawan.
"Sahid Diwas" 2015 Darjeeling Gorkha Rangamanch Bhawan.
Gurung referring to the demand of Gorkhaland, vaguely said that he had done a slight mistake while calculating his vision in achieving their dream in 2010. He said, "The vision was based on assurances I had received then. However, now the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is in power and only a Rajya Sabha mandate is needed. The BJP government has promised us and now we are waiting." He added, "Now I am a conscious leader and we cannot commit any mistakes. Once Gorkhaland is achieved, the martyrs of the hills will be given apt respect."

It is to be noted that during the election campaign in the year 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent waves of hope and encouragement among the people of the Darjeeling hills when he said, "Gorkha ka sapna mera sapna hein." The national manifesto of 2009 and 2014 of BJP also said that it will, "sympathetically examine and appropriately consider the long pending demands of the Gorkhas, the Adivasis and other people of Darjeeling district and the Dooars region."

Felicitation: The GJMM also felicitated the family members of all those who lost their lives for the Gorkhaland movement, honouring them with a khada and a gift, in the "Sahid Diwas" (Martyr's day) programme organised by the GJMM in all the three subdivisions of Darjeeling.

The programme was attended by family members of 219 martyrs belonging to Darjeeling.
Appeal for unity: Gurung also appealed to all political parties, social organizations, senior citizens and everyone to join hands with the GJMM and work together for attaining their ultimate goal-- Gorkhaland. "If we all want Gorkhaland, why work separately? Rather we should work unitedly and give solace to the souls of all those who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of Gorkhaland."
Highrise buildings: Meanwhile, the GTA chief ordered all high rise buildings to be dismantled and illegal constructions to be stopped. He also asked the municipality to immediately start with demolishing two floors of a high rise building that has been constructed in Chowk Bazar recently. According to Gurung, people will soon benefit from projects initiated by the GTA. He said that all the projects are designed to generate employment opportunities for the youth of Darjeeling.
Landslide rehab: On the recent landslide catastrophe, Gurung who will be leaving for Delhi on 1 August, said that during his stay in Delhi, he will be meeting the PM and talk to him about the victims of the recent landslide and about building 50,000 to 60,000 houses for the people of the hills belonging to remote villages and for those who do not have proper houses."

According to him, the land settlement for the purpose of rehabilitation of the landslide victims of Mirik have already been done and the work of constructing model houses for the landslide victims will be starting from 29 August in Mirik. On the other hand, Gorkha National Liberation Front too observed "Sahid Diwas," in the hills.

Source:SNS

CBI charge-sheet wave rattles hill politics sans homeland issue

10:40 PM
Anand Ghatani for Indian  Gorkhas

Darjeeling June 11: A charge sheet from CBI to top rung Gorkha leaders in the hills have suddenly rattled political continuum has become evident since a week. But more than political hustle-bustle the prime issue vis-à-vis Gorkhaland, around which politics has revolved since decades looks to be a by-gone discussion all of a sudden.
Gorkhaland looks to be a by-gone discussion all of a sudden
Gorkhaland looks to be a by-gone discussion all of a sudden
A first hand analysis reckons arrest of top GJM leaders will certainly boil the hills into another crisis. But will the crises bring in another round of agitation for Gorkhaland has so far not been in the mouth of the leaders irrespective of any parties.

The political moves so far have been self-centric. While the AIGL and the Democratic Front (DF) has the only motive ‘arrest of GJM leaders’ and ‘justice to Madan Tamang’, the GJM which has the command of the hills until today has been busy trying to escape the CBI charge-sheet heat. However, sources on Thursday said frontal organizations of the GJM have been making a bee-line to Patlabash, where GJM headquarter is stationed, to meet their chief Bimal Gurung. The meets are closed door and what transpires in the meeting has not been made public.

The GNLF, prime opposition party to GJM, interestingly is looking to use the situation to make a comeback. The green party which once ruled the hills for two decades is reportedly holding meetings with its supporters which sends signal of re-grouping to take back the command. Many in the political circles here feel that once top rung GJM leaders get arrested, chances for GNLF revival looks bright.

Above all the state government is playing its card quietly. Without uttering a signal word the state government is surely looking dividends from the situation that has chipped in the hills. The state chief minister has reportedly washed off hands on the CBI charge sheet wave. “The state government has nothing to do in the investigation,” the chief minister has been quoted as saying by several vernacular dailies.

Not all but some leaders in the hills have accepted that the CBI charge-sheet is a procedure to halt separate statehood demand. “I am not a happy person. At a time when there is BJP government at the centre, the platform should have been utilized. There is a conspiracy going on I feel to malign the Gorkha community. The conspirators want to prove that Gorkhas are such people who kill their own people,” Dawa Pakhrin, the Gorkha Rajya Nirman Morcha president told a press conference in Kalimpong.


Dr. Surbamanian Swamy speech at the seminar on Gorkhaland - Video

11:52 AM
Dr. Surbamanian Swamy speech at the seminar on "Small States and Gorkhaland" at Gorkha Rangmanch Bhawan in Darjeeling on April 14, 2015.

Watch the video of Dr. Surbamanian Swamy speech at the seminar on Gorkhaland 


Former cabinet minister and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy gave the yearning of the Gorkhas for a separate state a fresh lease of life on Tuesday with his words: “Gorkhaland is now only a question of when and not why.” In his maiden visit to the Darjeeling Hills, he was speaking at the two-day national seminar on Creation Gorkhaland and Smaller States.

Recalling Narendra Modi’s election campaign speech for the BJP candidate in Siliguri in 2014, Swamy said he would remind the Prime Minister about his promise. “In his speech Modi had said ‘the dreams of the Gorkhas were his.’ When I return to Delhi I will remind him about his promise and ask when it would become a reality” he said to the applause of the crowd attending the seminar.

Swami, an economist who is well-known for his sympathies for creation of smaller states encouraged the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders spearheading the statehood movement to keep up the momentum. “Gorkhaland ko koi rok nahi sakta (no one can stop Gorkhaland being formed) and the question now is when Gorkhaland and not why. Believe in the provision of the Indian constitution,” Swamy said adding he would talk to people in the corridors of power to bring the Gorkhaland demand in Parliament.

In his speech Swamy also said that the BJP would not forget the gestures of the GJM in supporting its candidates in the last two Lok Sabha elections. “The Gorkhas are brave and loyal. You (GJM) sacrificed the seat and not only supported the BJP candidates in 2009 and 2014 but also made them MPs. You have been our ally since 2007. We at the BJP will not forget your gesture and will continue to work for you till Gorkhaland is achieved. In fact, I want you to say to the present government in Bengal that your goal is very near,” he said which brought another round of vociferous approval from the crowd.
Dr. Surbamanian Swamy
Dr. Surbamanian Swamy
He was also of the opinion that creation of smaller states would not be negative for Bengal or for the country, unlike theories that circulate every time such a demand is made. “There are provisions in our Constitution that confers powers to the Center to protect it. Smaller states will bring in vast development as has been proved by new states that were formed, only recently. Moreover, no one will go to Pakistan or Bhutan if a Gorkha state is created,” Swamy pointed, who had been in the forefront to voice and also participated in the struggle for creation of the Uttarakhand and Telangana states.

The BJP leader also advised the GJM leadership to emulate the steps taken by the Uttarakhand agitators till its demand was fulfilled. “You should start what we did in Uttarakhand. Demand for an additional DGP and chief secretary in Darjeeling. I have come to know that the SP is the highest police officer in your territorial administration. If you have an ADGP and additional chief secretary you need to take directions from Kolkata. Similarly, ask for a high court bench to be established in the Hills,” suggested Swamy.

Via : Darjeeling Live


CPRM GJM unites for Gorkhaland

10:51 AM
The Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM), usually a bitter critic of Gokha Janmukti Morcha(GJM), has welcomed the latter’s initiative in organizing the two days seminar on creation of a Gorkhaland state which was attended by important speakers from Delhi.

CPRM welcomes GJM's initiative on organizing Gorkhaland Seminar
CPRM GJ M unite for Gorkhaland
CPRM, too, supports the idea of Gorkhaland, and has often criticized GJM and its predecessor Gorkha National Liberation Front of compromising with the West Bengal government in their anxiety to form the hill council.

On Wednesday, after a central committee meeting to discuss GJM’s seminar on Gorkhaland, CPRM spokesperson Govind Chhetri said: “We welcome and congratulate GJM on having organized the seminar which was attended by speakers from various political parties with influence in Delhi. It will certainly give impetus to our statehood demand”.

Speakers such as Subramanian Swamy from the BJP and Keshav Rao, the Telangana Rastriya Samity TRS MP from Telengana, voiced their support in favour of creating a Gorkhaland state in the two-day event organized by the Study Forum, GJM’s intellectual wing.

CPRM pointed to the common stress made by the speakers from Delhi to unite and struggle for statehood in peaceful and democratic way. “Most of the speakers have advocated for joint struggle with participation of political opponents. Pro-statehood parties in the hills are in majority and also leaders from other states have promised to extend support. GJM being the largest party here and an ally of the BJP must take initiative to reach out to others,” Chhetri said.

Significantly, CPRM underscored the stress placed by speakers at the seminar on the need to unite and struggle for statehood in a peaceful and democratic way.  “Most of the speakers have advocated for joint struggle with participation of political opponents. Pro-statehood parties in the hills are in majority and also leaders from other states have promised to extend support. GJM being the largest party here and an ally of the BJP must take initiative to reach out to others,” Chhetri said.

However, CPRM also set conditions for a joint struggle for separate state. “We will join hands with GJM to make the statehood demand stronger but will only do so without compromising. We want the GJM to let go of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) to build pressure on the government to make think of other options,” Chettri said. “One cannot sit in a government chair and at the same time agitate against it,” he pointed out.

“Just see the example of how Uttarakhand and Telangana were created. They did not consent to any alternative arrangements including its leaders accepting government posts,” said the CPRM spokesperson. His obvious reference was to GJM president Bimal Gurung, the GTA chief executive, a post which he had given up in the second phase of the agitation post-2007 and again accepted, later.
“The time is right. The BJP is in the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already said that the dreams of the Gorkhas were also his. However, if they (BJP) are sincere then they should
start the process to bring an official bill for creation of a Gorkhaland state in the parliament which will not be so difficult for them,” Chhetri said.

Source:EOI


Gorkhaland is now only a question of when and not why -Subramanian Swamy

9:20 AM
Former cabinet minister and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy gave the yearning of the Gorkhas for a separate state a fresh lease of life on Tuesday with his words: “Gorkhaland is now only a question of when and not why.” In his maiden visit to the Darjeeling Hills, he was speaking at the two-day national seminar on Creation Gorkhaland and Smaller States.
Subramanian Swamy
Subramanian Swamy
 Narendra Modi’s election campaign speech for the BJP candidate in Siliguri in 2014, Swamy said he would remind the Prime Minister about his promise. “In his speech Modi had said ‘the dreams of the Gorkhas were his.’ When I return to Delhi I will remind him about his promise and ask when it would become a reality” he said to the applause of the crowd attending the seminar.

Swami, an economist who is well-known for his sympathies for creation of smaller states encouraged the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders spearheading the statehood movement to keep up the momentum. “Gorkhaland ko koi rok nahi sakta (no one can stop Gorkhaland being formed) and the question now is when Gorkhaland and not why. Believe in the provision of the Indian constitution,” Swamy said adding he would talk to people in the corridors of power to bring the Gorkhaland demand in Parliament.

In his speech Swamy also said that the BJP would not forget the gestures of the GJM in supporting its candidates in the last two Lok Sabha elections. “The Gorkhas are brave and loyal. You (GJM) sacrificed the seat and not only supported the BJP candidates in 2009 and 2014 but also made them MPs. You have been our ally since 2007. We at the BJP will not forget your gesture and will continue to work for you till Gorkhaland is achieved. In fact, I want you to say to the present government in Bengal that your goal is very near,” he said which brought another round of vociferous approval from the crowd.

He was also of the opinion that creation of smaller states would not be negative for Bengal or for the country, unlike theories that circulate every time such a demand is made. “There are provisions in our Constitution that confers powers to the Center to protect it. Smaller states will bring in vast development as has been proved by new states that were formed, only recently. Moreover, no one will go to Pakistan or Bhutan if a Gorkha state is created,” Swamy pointed, who had been in the forefront to voice and also participated in the struggle for creation of the Uttarakhand and Telangana states.

The BJP leader also advised the GJM leadership to emulate the steps taken by the Uttarakhand agitators till its demand was fulfilled. “You should start what we did in Uttarakhand. Demand for an additional DGP and chief secretary in Darjeeling. I have come to know that the SP is the highest police officer in your territorial administration. If you have an ADGP and additional chief secretary you need to take directions from Kolkata. Similarly, ask for a high court bench to be established in the Hills,” suggested Swamy.

Echoing similar sentiments, BJP’s national coordinator Mahesh Chadda and CPML (L) secretary Abhijit Majumdar from Siliguri also asserted that creation of a Gorkhaland state was imperative for the all-round development of the region.

The Study Forum, the intellectual wing of the GJM that organized the programme said the proceedings of the two day seminar would be documented and submitted to the Centre and leaders in Delhi to seek their support in pursuing the demand for a separate state.


Source EOI

Term Gorkhaland Coined by British officer not Subash Ghishing - Roshan Giri

10:09 AM
Roshan Giri, a senior Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader, today waved a book by a British officer written before India's Independence and said the term "Gorkhaland", contrary to popular belief, was not used by Subash Ghisingh first, but by Major W. Brook Northey.

Roshan Giri says Birtish officer, not Ghisingh, first used the word Gurkha-land to describe hills
Roshan Giri says Birtish officer, not Ghisingh, first used the word Gurkha-land to describe hills
Giri, at a seminar organised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's Study Forum, said: "Everyone thinks it was Subash Ghisingh who coined the word but this is not the truth. The word was coined by W. Brook Northey in his book The Land of the Gurkhas in 1937."

Giri's assertion comes days after Mann Ghisingh, the younger son of the late GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh, hinted that the party would have no option but to demand statehood if its Sixth Schedule demand was not met by the Centre. If the GNLF now gives a call for statehood, it will be realigning its campaign to suit the popular sentiment in the hills.


By mentioning the book, Giri's tired to burn a hole into the GNLF's claim that their late leader had coined the term "Gorkhaland", honouring which Subash Ghisingh's party also observed Gorkhaland Namakaran Diwas - a Gorkhaland Naming Day - on its founding day, April 5.

The full title of the book mentioned by Giri is The Land of the Gurkhas or the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.

The British always wrote Gurkhas, not Gorkhas. Major Northey served in the 1st Gurkha Rifles.

Giri, while waving the book at the audience, said: "This book should dispel all false claims."

Metro managed to get a copy of the book that Giri had waved at the audience at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan in Darjeeling today.

Page 201 of Chapter XX - titled The Eastern Border - in the book reads as follows: "Although a visit to Nepal, or even crossing the Nepalese frontier, may not be possible for everyone, it may be of interest to note for the benefit of those desirous of learning more of the Gurkha's cheerful and engaging personality that in Darjeeling there is what may be termed an Indian Gurkha-land, where he can be studied at first hand without let or hindrance."

On page 221 of the book, in the chapter Darjeeling Today (Chapter XXII), Northey wrote: "Less vividly attired but hardly less picturesque are the Nepalese women, for Darjeeling bazaar is the Bond Street of Gurkha-land, and here the shawls and veils which the women wear over the heads, Italian-fashion, are of a texture and a colour rarely seen in Nepal proper, to which high-heeled shoes will possibly be added in due course."

The seminar at which Giri was speaking today is titled Gorkhaland 2015: Creation of smaller states and the demand for Gorkhaland as well as relevance of Gorkhaland to the Indian Gorkha identity.

Mann, when told about the usage of Gurkha-land before his father, said today: "We will have to see and find out."

From the preface of Northey's book it is clear that he had worked with the Gurkha Regiment for 20 years, which included training the Nepal Escort in Kathmandu in 1910, service with the Nepalese Contingent on the Indian frontier during the World War I and in the post of recruiting officer for five years.

The book is largely on Nepal and Northey, while explaining his work, states in the preface: "In writing this book, undertaken at the suggestion of many friends, I have tried to steer a middle course between those accounts of Nepal, inevitably cursory and incomplete, that are to be found in ordinary works of travel whose authors have paid merely brief visits to that little-known country, and the more elaborate and exhaustive works written by those who from their close connection, official or non-official, with the country, can claim to be actual experts on the subject."

According to the book, Northey was also conferred with the Order of the Star of Nepal title.

Even though the demand for a separate administrative unit for the Darjeeling hills was raised in 1907, post-Independence, Ghisingh was the first to use the term after the GNLF was formed on April 5, 1980.

Source: Telegraph

Bimal Gurung left for New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi

1:33 PM
GJM chief Bimal Gurung on Saturday left for New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the statehood demand. The five-member delegation he is leading to the national capital will also participate in the Morcha’s dharna at the Jantar Mantar that started on March 9. Interacting with media personnel this afternoon at Bagdogra airport, Gurung said, “I have written to the Centre seeking an appointment with prime minister and home minister as we are intent on pursuing our demand for statehood.”
Bimal Gurung left for New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Bimal Gurung left for New Delhi to meet Prime
 Minister Narendra Modi
Speaking about the upcoming Siliguri Municipal Corporation election and the GJM contesting in it, he said the party’s Siliguri sub-division members have been entrusted with the task of overseeing affairs. The Morcha is looking to contest from all the 47 wards of the SMC. Gurung said the names of the candidates will be finalised after a meeting in

Darjeeling. On the possibility of an alliance with the BJP, Gurung said, “There have been no talks on this subject but I have asked party leaders and cadres to work independently.”

Gurung is being accompanied by Col (Retd) Ramesh Kumar Alley, RP Waiba, Dawa Lama, Vikram Rai and Suraj Sharma. It remains to be seen how effectively the GJM chief is able to persuade Modi to look into the statehood demand as the BJP has not supported it openly.

Last year, the party’s election manifesto read: “The BJP reiterates that it will sympathetically examine and appropriately consider the long pending demands of the Gorkhas, the Adivasis and other people of Darjeeling district and the Dooars region; of the Kamtapuri, Rajbongshi and other people of North Bengal (including recognition of their languages); and will take initiatives for the permanent solution of the long pending issues of the Bodos and other tribals of Assam, the people of Sikkim, Leh, Ladakh, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep and other such neglected regions.”


Oppositions filed RTI to find the truth behind claim by GJM on gorkhaland committee assured by the center.

7:28 PM
Opposition Says Morcha Has ZERO Credibility - Filed RTI to find the Truth Behind "Committee to Study Gorkhaland Issue" Claim by GJM .
Oppositions filed RTI to find the truth behind claim by GJM on gorkhaland committee
From left Pratap Khati, Govind Chettri, Dr. Enos Das Pradhan
Coming down heavily on the 'assurances' given to GJM by the Home Minister opposition leaders stated that there people should never trust GJM on Gorkhaland issue.

Speaking to the press Opposition leader Rev Dr. Enos Das Pradhan said, "you cannot take Morcha on their words, when they say that based on the assurance given by the Home Minister regarding the formation of a study committee, the GJM took its proposed Delhi based program back..."

He further added, "if it is indeed true then when is such a committee going to be formed, when is it going to start the study and when is it going to submit its findings?" Since we cannot trust Morcha, we have filed an RTI with the Home Ministry to find out the truth.

CPRM central committee member Govind Chettri added, "the Home Minister alone cannot speak on the formation of any such committee... this issue needs to be discussed and approved by the Cabinet, only then we can trust the Morcha claim"

Furthermore, "many such committees have been formed since Independence and none of the committees have taken any positive decision in favour of the Gorkhas... Whatever happened to the High Powered Fact Verification committee, which was supposed to decide on the additional Gorkha majority mouzas from Terai and Dooars to be added to GTA region? no one knows" he said.

Moreover, "the fact that GJM did not publicly release the petition they submitted to the Home Minister indicates that something is fishy... Morcha is always trying to deceive the public... so there is no reason to believe them"

ABGL leader Pratap Khati said, "the so called committee to study Gorkhaland issue, is a figment of imagination of the GJM leaders... there is no indication that the Home Minister actually said it... only GJM is claiming he said so, but where is the proof?" he asked

He further added, "If we were to believe GJM, they should have formed Gorkhaland by March 10, 2010... this is 2014 and still there is no Gorkhaland... we elected BJP MPs twice for Gorkhaland and there has not even been a squeak on behalf of Gorkhaland... so how can anyone expect us to trust the Morcha?"

Taking a jab at the gullible public he said, "those who believe Morcha lies are either selfish and hope to gain something from the Morcha or are crazy.... ABGL has never believed GJM and never will he added"

Source: DC

Rajnath Singh's, central, node for Gorkhaland opposed by state BJP

2:08 PM
Once again a fresh blow of air to the Gorkhaland statehood demand for Darjeeling hilly areas in West Bengal. The demand has kept the political air too hot for last many years. But, is it really to encourage formation of a new state splitting West Bengal as a large section of hill dwellers are demanding? Or is it simple time buying by the political leaders to keep the sentiment of Gorkhaland supporters, mostly Nepali speaking hill dwellers, suppressed for some more time?
Rajnath Singh node for Gorkhaland opposes by state BJP
Gorkhaland will ruin BJP throughout Bengal as
almost none in other 41 Lok Sabha constituencies have
any support to this separate statehood demand. 
"I am happy to inform to all our supporters that Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon'ble Home Minister has agreed to set up a committee to examine our century old demand of Gorkhaland." Said Mr. Bimal Gurung, President of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha(GJM) that is leading the separate statehood movement. GJM is now too close to BJP after it became the machinery behind hilarious win of BJP top leader S S Ahluwalia from Darjeeling constituency in last Lok Sabha election.

Mr. Gurung has made this statement immediately after a meeting of top level GJM delegation with Union Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh, in presence of Mr. Ahluwalia.

But, how deep routed this 'assurance,' is? Now that has become a major question.

"We will never support any split within the state," said BJP West Bengal State President Mr. Rahul Sinha going by the views of West Bengal state BJP. He knows well that formation of Gorkhaland statehood may give BJP assured win in Darjeeling, But, that will ruin BJP throughout the whole state as almost none in the other 41 Loksabha constituencies in West Bengal have any support to this separate statehood demand.

Moreover, the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) is the specified body constituted by the Central Government in 1953 to recommend reorganization of state boundaries. But that was never seen giving any positive nod to Gorkhaland demand so far.

"Practically there should not be any need of any other committee," said senior Congress leader Mr. S Malakar. Leaders from TMC, the ruling party in West Bengal, have also criticized Mr. Singh's statement.

But, the move has brought an immediate benefit to GJM. "Neither left parties nor Trinamool Congress could do anything for GJM. Now it is the term of BJP. I am happy that they have already started working," said a hard core GJM supporter and taxi driver Biren Lama from Kurseong. Clear enough the supportive statement of Mr. Singh will keep GJM saved from the wrath of common men of hills who expected GJM to give them separate statehood by now.

On the other side, this assurance will keep the supporters cool to GJM that is now in newly brewed up friendship with BJP. This can come too helpful to BJP in next assembly election as high demographic share of Nepali speaking communities in at least 8 assembly constituencies in northern West Bengal highly influence electoral results there.

Source: economictimes

 
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