Showing posts with label schedule tribe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label schedule tribe. Show all posts

Misplaced Priorities: Vidhyarthi Morcha and the Tribal Status Signature Campaign

7:52 AM
Gorkha Janmukti Vidhyarthi Morcha (GJVM), the student body of GJM has embarked on a signature campaign apparently aimed at Thanking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in advance and requesting the government to grant ST status for all the Gorkhali communities.

While it is good to see GJVM getting active, we however feel that they need to set their priorities right.

While other Morcha frontal organizations such as Yuva Morcha, Nari Morcha etc can easily collect the signatures or even independent organizations like Bharatiya Gorkha Janjati Sangarsha Mahasangh is already doing so, it might help if the students channelize their enthusiasm and energy towards issues that directly impact the students.

The demand for a Central University for the hill region is a long pending demand of the students and is also necessary to secure the future of our community, however we are unaware of any initiative led by the Vidhyarthi Morcha in this regard.
Misplaced Priorities: Vidhyarthi Morcha and the Tribal Status Signature Campaign
Misplaced Priorities: Vidhyarthi Morcha and the Tribal Status Signature Campaign
The Vidhyarthi Morcha will do well if they would rather focus on the issue of Central University and run a similar signature campaign for achieving it, instead of wasting their time and energy on an issue which is better suited for others.

GJM party bosses should also encourage the students to focus on Central University issue, instead of getting them to collect signatures for ST status, which at the best, is a waste of their good efforts.

Via TheDC

Signature campaign for 11 gorkha communities demanding tribal status

7:27 AM
Darjeeling 9 May 2016 The Bharatiya Gorkha Janjati Sangarsha Mahasangh, an umbrella organisation of 11 hill communities demanding tribal status, today announced it would organise a signature campaign in various parts of the country to garner support and to create pressure on the Centre.

The BGJSM’s demand is for according tribal status to the Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami and Yakha (Dewan) communities from the hills and the Dhimals from the plains of Siliguri. The organisation, which is affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, asserted that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bagdogra and Birpara on April 7 to campaign for the state Assembly election, he had said the process for granting tribal status to the 11 communities had started.

Signature campaign for 11 hill communities demanding tribal status
Signature campaign for 11 gorkha communities demanding tribal status
Through the planned signature campaign, the Mahasangh wants not only to thank the prime minister for his assurance, but also to urge him to take concrete steps in facilitating the early grant of tribal status.

The GJM had initiated the demand for issuing granting tribal status to those communities that had been left out. Presently, the Bhutia, Sherpa, Yolmo, Lepcha and Tamang communities come under the tribal category. GJM leaders have also placed the demand in several bipartite and tripartite meetings as the matter also figures in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration agreement.

BGJSM president Kanchan Gurung said, “The signature campaign has actually started already from May 7 beginning from Lebong and the next day it was held in Mirik. We conducted the campaign today along Hill Cart Road in Darjeeling town. We are getting a good response from the people.”

The BGJSM maintained that the signature campaign was being undertaken solely after the announcement by the prime minister and refused to comment on a recent government circular that stated a committee has been formed to look into the demand. On April 2 this year, the Union tribal affairs ministry issued an order stating it had decided to constitute a committee which would be headed by Ashok Pal, joint secretary to the tribal affairs ministry, for examining and making recommendations on the issue of granting tribal status to the 11 communities in question.

“We do not want to comment on the formation of the committee as it is official work requiring due process. All we have to say is that no matter what, we should get tribal status. And we feel that through the signature campaign we want to tell the prime minister to grant it as soon as possible,” said Gurung, adding the list of signatures garnered would be sent to the prime minister on a regular basis.

The BGJSM also said that after the Assembly election results on May 19, they would hold a meeting with GJM chief Bimal Gurung to plan future programmes. They will also try to meet central ministers and the prime minister too if possible, to pursue the much sought-after demand.


4 Gorkha candidates vie for 3 reserved seats in Dooars

7:13 PM
Pramod Giri, HT, 14 Apr 2016, Kolkata: Vishal Lama, Usha Tamang, Padam Lama and Ganesh Lama may or may not win the Assembly elections. But they are the lucky ones to represent their community for the first time in the Dooars region of Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts where most seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes.

Contesting from three seats these candidates represent the Gorkha community which has the second largest population after the Adivasis in tea producing belts of Dooars. Among the six seats n Dooars, five are reserved for STs while Alipurduar is a general constituency.

Mal, Nagrakata, Madarihat, Kalchini and Kumargram, all reserved Assembly seats for Scheduled Tribes, have always been sending MLAs belonging to the Adivasi community.

The inclusion of Tamang and Subbas belonging to Gorkha community in the Scheduled Tribes list in 2002 has changed the equation thus giving an opportunity to the Gorkha Scheduled Tribes to vie for MLA seats in the Dooars.

Dooars, known as the land of tea gardens and forests, has always lagged behind in terms of development while malnutrition deaths in the closed and abandoned tea gardens have become a regular occurrence.
Four Gorkha Scheduled Tribe candidates are contesting Assembly elections from the reserved seats of Kalchini, Madarihat and Nagrakata.

Vishal Lama and Usha Tamang are contesting as BJP and Independent candidates respectively from Kalchini. The Trinamool has fielded Padam Lama from Madarihat and Ganesh Lama is the All-India Gorkha League candidate from Nagrakata.

Mohan Sharma of the Trinamool, probably the best known political leader in entire Dooars, who is a Gorkha, said, “This is the first time Gorkhas are contesting the Assembly election in the Dooars.” Sharma, the sabhadhipati of Alipurduar zilla parishad, told HT, “Had Subbas and Tamangs not been accorded Scheduled Tribe status, hardly any Gorkha would have contested the Assembly election in the Dooars.”

Though reservation has largely helped to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the Adivasis, this has also come on the way of Sharma and Amarnath Jha of realising their dream of achieving higher political status. Sharma and Jha, both Brahmins and who were in the Congress for a long period before joining the Trinamool, are credited with grooming many junior Adivasi leaders who later became ministers, MPs and MLAs.

Via kalimpongnews

GJM to complaint against development boards to Election Commission

11:28 AM
Morcha mulls moving EC against development boards

It’s election time and things have started heating up in the hills. For one, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has decided to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission against the community development boards formed by the state government for allegedly violating the model code of conduct.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri yesterday said the chairmen of the Sherpa, Bhutia, Tamang, Mangar, Khambu Rai and Limbu community development boards held an indoor meeting on Friday in Darjeeling where they decided to support the Trinamool despite holding offices of profit.

On Friday, representatives and members of the six associations under the radar held a meeting to decide ways to pursue measures for safeguarding and promoting their tradition, culture and language. The contentious issue of which party to support in the election was also discussed in the meeting and the associations unanimously decided to extend support to that political party (read TMC) that had helped the communities.

However, all the six chairmen had clarified the meeting was not convened by the development boards but by the associations and that they had not forced any member to vote for the TMC or any other political party.

“We will approach the ECI and lodge complaints against the six development boards for violating the model code of conduct. How can officials of development boards that function under the state government speak for a party? These officials receive salary and vehicles and other perks from the state government,” Giri said following the public meeting held by the GJM this afternoon in support of the party’s candidate from Darjeeling.

Nonetheless, the GJM general secretary was quick to add that the development boards would not affect his party’s prospects on April 17, the day of voting. “We are more concerned about polling being fair and clean even though we are confident of winning handsomely even if the development boards support the TMC,” he said.

GJM president Bimal Gurung also echoed Giri saying the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC would taste defeat, in spite of the state government showering money worth crores to the boards ahead of the election. “She has spent crores on the development boards just to garner votes. But one must remember that when it comes to issues pertaining to identity, statehood and aspirations, the hills will always remain united even if more doles are offered,” he said.

“The state government may try to tear us apart by creating divisions. But we will keep on mending the damage until we achieve statehood,” thundered Gurung to loud applause from the crowd gathered at the Motor Stand area of town.

According to the GJM chief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise during his April 7 speech in Siliguri that the 11 communities of the hills would be granted tribal status was a stepping stone towards achieving statehood. “Modi-ji himself told me that day that the 11 communities would be granted tribal status. I would like to remind you that he once said the dreams of the Gorkha people were his dreams too. We must remember that things are achieved one at a time,” said Gurung, adding he has invited the prime minister to Darjeeling.

Darjeeling GJM candidate Amar Singh Rai trained his guns on the TMC-JAP-GNLF ‘jote’ (alliance) saying it was temporary and that its intentions were ill. “JAP says development is its priority, the GNLF wants Sixth Schedule status and the TMC is anti-Gorkhaland. The alliance is an unholy nexus against our statehood aspiration and will be scattered when they taste defeat,” he said.

Meanwhile, the other GJM leaders who spoke at the campaign meeting appeared more interested in denouncing JAP president Harka Bahadur Chhetri than rallying for the party candidate.

Via: EOIC,

ST Panel Announcement: A Googly for JAP

8:46 AM
Writes: Binu Sundas

As the election date approaches closer, it is becoming easier for the people of the hills to make their choice. Only the 'candle' seems to be burning for the people other symbols seems to be in the dark. This is due to insanity prevailing in the 'party of intellectuals.' Why I say insanity among them is because of their political gimmick. To gain benevolence from the 'dark invisible hand which dictates terms to the party leaders,' (as their recently resigned AGS Mr. Topden Bhutia says), they have contemplated to formally challenge the formation of a panel to oversee the demand of including communities from among the Gorkha community in the Scheduled Tribe List of the Central Government. JAP's decision to challenge this as a violation of code of conduct is not in favour of the progress of the people. This may have been a case of violation of code of conduct but they could easily have ignored thinking the larger good it can do to the people. If they genuinely wanted the welfare of the people then they would not be contemplating to challenge this panel formation and dampening the spirit of the people.

When the formation of JAP was announced their manifesto declared that they will work towards the overall development of the people. This inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe list will be a step for such a development they had envisaged for the people of the hills. So why are they opposed to this panel and effort of the GJM? They are opposed to this idea because they cannot derive any credit from it and all the credit will go to GJM, which will enhance the reputation of GJM and dent their nonexistent status at this crucial juncture. For a mere political gain over the rival they are ready to hurt the sentiments of the public, the very public whom they are requesting to vote in their favour. This reflects the arraignment of the recently resigned AGS of the party, that JAP is dictatorial and does not have any transparency. The repercussion of this will be that the design of the 'dark hand' of Didi will not succeed in the hills and therefore the intellectuals will have to do a lot of explaining to their patrons.
JAP is in a catch 22 situation, if they support the formation of the panel and thereby the inclusion of the communities in the ST list then they will have to face the ire of Didi and if they do not then that of the public. The intellectual rather chose to face the ire of the people. Very interestingly, Dr H B Chettri has shown much confidence in the state government, he says that "the important thing in the order is that the committee has to consult ‘respective state governments,’" implicitly expressing that the ball will finally be in the court of his patrons. Thereby meaning, vote for me or otherwise his patrons will not allow the realisation of the tribal status. So will we let this happen? His confidence comes from the fact that he is well aware that the Bengal Government does not want any welfare of the Gorkha people and will try to create obstacles for the inclusion of these communities in the ST list. Not stating explicitly he is saying vote for TMC and JAP candidates otherwise this tribal status can be withheld.

To gain the confidence of the people it would had been better if JAP too had welcomed the decision. It would had done them a world of good had they applauded the declaration. But personal ambitions, which is directly proportional to the compassion of Didi has stopped them from doing so. If, H.B.Chettri as a proclaimed leader of the people of the hills, cannot stand against the malevolent design of Didi, how can we believe him that he will in the future do good to and for the people.
The same thing has also been reiterated by the hill TMC. This proves that the coordination between JAP and hill TMC is perfectly harmonious. This further proves that they are the one and the same. They are there only to implement the desires of Didi and make personal gains. In such a situation it is important for the people to understand the situation and not support them. JAP and GNLF are working in disguise to undo the years of struggle people and the region has witnessed for the creation of Gorkhaland, break the unity of the Gorkhas and thereby again make us the subservient, oppressed and exploited and unquestioning citizens. Better sense has prevailed among the ABGL leadership that they have withdrawn the support to TMC candidates. It is hoped that the authorities of the different Development Boards also see the benefit of the larger goal and not support the TMC in their scheduled meeting.

This election is a testing time for the Gorkhas. This election is the time when we are being plotted against by our own people, not by choice but by design. We have a great chance of bringing about change in our daily lives. With a friendly party leading the central government, who is also trying to establish their foundation in Bengal and is in alliance with GJM, a good result for GJM will do wonders for the development and welfare of the place and the people. This can only be ascertained by the people, by making the right choice.

[Binu Sundas (Ph.D, JNU)
New Delhi]

Via DT

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

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

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

Via The Statesman

Subash Ghisingh advocated for Scheduled Tribe status to whole Gorkha community

8:06 PM
Shri Subash Ghisingh always advocated that whole Gorkha community should be granted the status of Scheduled Tribe in India as per the census of 1931 of British Raj in India, which had shown all Gorkha community as “Tribes” under the banner of “Hill Tribes”. Further he knew it clearly that, if Gorkhaland is to be achieved in coming days, than, all Gorkhas communities should stand-up unitedly at any cost, therefore, he came up with his political strategy of Sixth schedule & Schedule Tribe for all gorkahs, so that the Indian Gorkhas may “exist together” united in one banner of “Gorkha as a Tribe (ST)”.

Subash Ghisingh advocated for Scheduled Tribe status to whole Gorkha community

His Letter to the National Commission for ST:

D.O. No. 154 CHA/LK/ DGHC Date :- 9th April 2005

Sri Kunwar Singh 
Hon’ble Chairman National Commission for ST
Govt of India, New Delhi.

Dear Sir Singh,

I would like to expressed my thanks and gratitude for granting scheduled tribe status to “Tamang” and “Limbu” of India which was done vide Govt. of India Gazette Notification no 10 dated New Delhi the 8th January 2003. However, this action of govt. of Indian has created confusion, controversy and ill feeling among others Gorkha Tribes like “Khambu ( Rai)”, “Gurung”, “Mangar”, “Newar”, “Khas (chhetri)”, “Baahun (Brahman)” and other tribes etc who followed same language culture and religious beliefs and all of them including “Tamangs” and “Limbus” come under “Bonbo” (worshipers of stones, river, trees, deities etc) and as such grave injustices have been done to these above other left out tribal communities. 
This matter were already discussed in the 2nd round tripartite review meeting on Memorandum of Settlement of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council dated 28th Jan 2005 at Round Table Conference Hall of Union Home Ministry under the chairmanship of Shri Dhirendra Singh, Union Home Secretary at New Delhi. 
I would, therefore on behalf of DGHC, request you to consider the above case for granting Scheduled Tribe status to all the members of the other left out Gorkha communities as a special case.

With Regards 
Yours Sincerely Subash Ghisingh, Administrator of DGHC

Followed by:.......

Date: 1st June, 2005 .............

To : The Hon’ble Justice Ram Surat Singh (Rtd)
Chairperson, National Commission for Backward Classes 
Ministry of social justice & empowerment 
Government of India New Delhi:

Sub: Pray for conversion into the Tribal Status of all the gorkha hill tribes as recognized by the then British Govt. of India in 1931

Where he writes about the necessary to convert the whole people of OBC and other non OBC community into ST category explaining the history of hill tribes of Darjeeling district during British Raj of India

Date: 13th December 2007................

To: Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, 
Hon’ble Chief Minister – West Bengal

He writes about the burning issue of Hill tribes of Darjeeling stating that ……...................... before 1956 all hill tribe’s people of Darjeeling were happy and there was no any enmity among each other, But it was unfortunately smashed and destroyed after 1956 when the hill tribes of Darjeeling were divided into three categories viz Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Cast and Non Scheduled Tribes. At that time the ignorant hill tribes’ people of Darjeeling could not understand the exact meaning and its consequences of the above unwanted and merciless division of three categories. Actually the above unholy division of the hill tribes became like a slow poison for them and their future generation.

………………………………… Therefore, I would like to request you for taking the above matter seriously from the side of West Bengal Government and also request you to secure again the original tribal status to the above victimized tribal left out communities of DGHC areas, like ‘Khambu (Rai), [which includes Dhimal, Maajhi, Dewan (Yakha), Sunuwar (Mukhia), Gainay], Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Thami, Bahun, Khas [which includes Chetri, Thakuri, Gharti, Saneshi, Bhujel, (khawas), Jogi], Kami, Damai, Sark, Bedi, etc all of whom were already within the list of hill tribes, not only in the census of 1931 but also in the list of Darjeeling district gazetteer of 1947.


Narendra Modi confirms that process to grant ST status to Gorkhas has begun.

6:43 PM
Narendra Modi at Madrihat Bengal confirms that process to grant St status to 11 Gorkha Communities has began.

“Many promised that they will include the Gorkhas among the SC and ST category. But none delivered. Your MP has started the exercise,” - Modi

Speaking at Madarihat in the North Bengal Dooars tea belt, Modi started his speech in Bengali, drawing on tea to connect with his audience. “You produce tea here. I also sold tea in my childhood. I want your blessings as I want to solve your problems.”

In quite a few tea gardens in the Dooars region, more than 100 workers had died of conditions related to severe malnourishment in the past few months. Given the ailing condition of several tea gardens, the Centre in January authorised the Tea Board of India to take over seven gardens belonging to the G P Goenka group – Birpara, Garganda, Lankapara, Tulsipara, Huntapara, Dhumchipara, Demdima with a total of 17,555 workers. The move followed more than one visit of union minister Nirmala Seetharaman who came to check on the situation in the gardens.

Watch the Video
“We ordered takeover of the tea gardens. But Mamata Banerjee together with the owners went to the court and obtained a stay... But I will not stop. I will not allow welfare of the tea workers to stop,” Modi said, as he accused the state government of apathy and alleged no welfare officers were willing to listen to the plight of the distressed tea workers.

“The Left took the state on the path of ruin in 34 years. Didi is pushing Bengal forward in the same direction,” he added.

Also focusing on Gorkhas, Modi said, “Many promised that they will include the Gorkhas among the SC and ST category. But none delivered. Your MP has started the exercise,” referring to S S Ahluwalia who won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency in 2014 with support from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a BJP ally.

Via: Hindustan Times

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