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Poll: 4th Tripartite Meeting
During the 4th Tripartite Talk, GJMM has been immensely pressurized to focus only on the creation of Gorkhaland, besides, the conclusion of the Meeting seems to be only TALK on POLITICAL LEVEL in next round. Do you think 4th Tripartite Talk has been successful?
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Gorkha Janmukti Morcha announces its members

By DT Correspondent on October 10,2007

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Darjeeling: After successfully launching its first public meeting on Oct. 7 in Darjeeling, where they disclosed their flag and name of organisation – Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, now, they have declared their central working committee members.

Mr. Bimal Gurung, is the president of the party, Mr. Kaman Singh Ramudamu has been selected as vice president. Mr. Kaman Singh Ramudamu is the president of the Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Anushuti Jati Sangh — an association of Scheduled Castes.

Mr. Roshan Giri has been selected as general secretary. Mr. Giri is president of AGSU (All Gorkha Student Union).

Mr. Raju Pradhan (advocate) is also the general secretary of the party while representatives from Tindharia – Mr. Bimal Darji, Kalimpong – Mr. Bijay Sundas and Kurseong – Mr. Pradeep Pradhan, have been selected as executive members in the central working committee. Members from Siliguri and Dooars will also be included very soon in the party.

The convener of the trade union workers has been selected as Mr. P.T. Sherpa, former assistant secretary of the GNLF affiliated Himalayan Plantation Labour Union.
GJM is keen to extend its party’s bases in all parts of Darjeeling hills and Dooars. The second public meeting is schedule to stage in Kalimpong very soon according to party source.

A youth wing of the party has also been announced with 15 members in the committee. Mr. Alok Kantamani Thulung as president, Mr. Priyabardan Rai as vice president, Mr. Puran Thami as secretary.

The spokesperson of the GJM is Mr. Binoy Tamang.

Meanwhile, Mr. R B Rai, general secretary of CPRM extended its unconditional supports to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, provided, it carry-out Gorkhaland movement honestly.

Since his arrival from Indonesia on Oct 2, Mr. Subash Ghisingh has been staying in Kalimpong.

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  • image गोजमुमो गणतंत्र का हनन कर रहा : प्रेम बम्जन कर्सियांग (दार्जिलिंग): पहाड़ में हो रहे अलोकतांत्रिक आंदोलन सभी राजनीतिक दलों व बुद्धिजीवियों के लिए चिन्ता का विषय है। क्यों कि गोजमुमो गणतंत्र व गांधीवाद के नाम पर घर घेराव करने का कार्य सहित विपक्षी पार्टियों के नेताओं को धमकाने व अपशब्दों का प्रयोग कर गणतंत्र का हनन कर रहा है। उक्त बातें अखिल भारतीय गोर्खालीग (अभागोली) कर्सियांग महकमा कमेटी के महासचिव प्रेम बम्जन ने रविवार को कही। उन्होंने कहा कि आज दार्जिलिंग पहाड़ में सुबास घीसिंग जैसा एकतंत्री शासन पुन: प्रारंभ हो गया है। जिसका हम सभी लोग घनघोर विरोध करते हैं। अभागोली केंद्रीय कमेटी अध्यक्ष मदन तामांग के मकान का विगत दिवस शनिवार को गोजमुमो समर्थित विद्यार्थी मोर्चा द्वारा किये गये घेराव का भी उन्होंने घोर विरोध किया है। उन्होंने कहा कि घर घेराव, जुलूस व भूख हड़ताल जैसे कार्य गोजमुमो को पहाड़ पर नहीं बल्कि दिल्ली व कोलकाता में करना चाहिए। पहाड़ पर इस तरह के कार्य करने से केंद्र व राज्य सरकार को कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ेगा। उन्होंने कहा कि भारतीय संविधान के तहत दी हुई अधिकार अनुसार भारतीय नागरिक को राजनीति करने व बोलने के लिए देना चाहिए।
    (Posted by Uttar Banga Jana Jagaran Manch, November 10, 2008, 10:39 AM)
  • image The Gorkhas want a separate homeland not because of economic step-motherly attitude of the Bengali Politicians. They are much well off than all other districts except Kolkata(Check up datas). They think they will be much better off with out the Bengalis. So they began the ethnic cleansing of Bengalis from the hills at least 2 decades ago. Subhas Ghising successfully started and finished this job with the help of his henchmen like the kinds of Bimal Gurung! They even told other religious communities how they should go about worshipping according to their own sweet will! Now Bimal Gurung is preaching Gandhigiri? "900 chuha khakey billi huj ko chali!". They should be first prosecuted for embezzlement of Hill Council funds and for instigating communal violence that led to thousands of deaths during the eighties!. All dissident voices in the Hills have been silenced! The way I see men and women in Darjeeling praising and worshipping Bimal Gurung as their leader in front of the eletronic media, confirms my doubts that these helpless people, who are not Gorkhas are desparete to show their allegiance to ensure their survival in the hills ! We have seen the same behaviour of the ordinary North Korean people towards their leader Kim Jong Il, even when they are devoid of any liberties in the world! They do so only to save their lives from tyranny and oppression of their Communist Govt. The CPI(M) managed to purchase Ghishing, by giving him Darjeeling Hill Councill and looking the other way when he and his henchmen like Bimal Gurung, were blowing up the money for the development of the Hills! Today Ghising is removed because he was trying to have all that alone. They split up only because they were having a problem in shareing the booty! I see Bengali Buddhijibis giving long lecturers on TV channels about how hills are being deprived and how their problems are not being solved! My question is that - Who is responsible for that? Bengalis? Certainly not. Why the HIll council did nothing to solve problems like say the Water Shortage in Darjeeling? The Gorkhas are themselves to blame. Now Bimal Gurung is only useing this sentiment to spread hatred against Bengalis. Why was he with Ghising for so many years? What were the Gorkhas doing when the Bengalis were fighting for India's freedom? They were following orders from their British masters to shoot civilian Indians in Jallianwallah Bagh. They were killing Indian freedom fighters under Masterda Surya Sen in the hills of Jalalabad near Chittagong(All documented history). And about the Gorkha regiment! There are probably more Bengalis in the Armed Forces than the Gorkhas. Thanks to the British and Lord Curzon for srapping the Bengal Regiment because of their vindictive attitude, and successive Indian Govts who always saw India through the eyes of the British . That did not deter the Bengalis from joining the Armed forces. If Gorkhas can parade Ex-service men, Bengalis will be able to arrange for a much larger contingent, even without a Bengal Regiment! WE INDIANS, Do not think your problem will be over by creation of Gorkhaland! The Kamtapuri Liberation Movement, Greater Coochbehar movement and so on are just waiting in the wings! Similarly dear Gorkhaland friends! Your problems will also not be over if you can create Gorkhaland! There is surely a "Lepchaland Movement" to follow! Remember this land originally was inhabited, not by Gorkhas, but by Lepchas! Dont try to prove otherwise. Because that is the historical truth! Gorkhas arrived Darjeeling after Tea Gardens were started by the British.
    (Posted by Rakesh Anand, October 15, 2008, 8:31 AM)
  • image The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad has called a 24-hour strike in the Dooars and the Terai on Thursday, demanding Sixth Schedule status for the region and protesting against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s move to include the areas into Gorkhaland. “On July 17, we submitted a 13-point charter to the state and central governments and set a deadline of 90 days to fulfil the demands,” said Rajesh Lakra, the secretary of the Dooars-Terai Coordination Committee of the Parishad, today. “As the administration has not responded, despite a couple of reminders, we have decided to observe the strike.” Healthcare, airline, army, media and other essential services have been kept outside the purview of the strike, Lakra said. The Parishad charter of demands also included opening of closed tea estates, construction of East-West corridor through the Dooars and setting question papers of the Madhyamik exams in Hindi from 2009.
    (Posted by M Tamang, October 14, 2008, 4:10 PM)
  • image The use of “GL” number plates is not legal. It is a complete violation of the motor vehicles act for which police can act on a complaint or even register a suo motu case. But Gurung's are doing this anti-national activities with the blessing of Budhadeb which is most disgusting.
    (Posted by Birsha Munda, October 14, 2008, 1:15 PM)
  • image Bengal home secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti today said the government wanted negotiations rather than force to deal with the problem in Darjeeling. Chakrabarti was referring to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s diktat to drivers travelling to hills to use “GL” number plates replacing “WB”. The Morcha also had recently announced that from October 17 all government signboards, which had “West Bengal” on them, would be wiped off and “Gorkhaland” written on them instead. Chakrabarti, who held a meeting with administrative and police officials of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling here this evening, said: “The use of “GL” number plates is not legal. However, we are still insisting on negotiations instead of applying force as there are some practical constraints like shortage of police resources in Darjeeling.” The official did not spell out some of the other “constraints” but said the “government was keen to solve the issue through discussions” and was banking on the next round of tripartite talks. On “GL” number plates, Chakraborti said: “It is a complete violation of the motor vehicles act for which police can act on a complaint or even register a suo motu case. The government has taken action after a few drivers were assaulted in the hills last week and have registered cases.” The official refused comment when asked what would happen to government signboards in the hills after October 17. “We cannot answer a hypothetical question,” he said. “Officials of the district administration are in contact with the Morcha leaders. On our side, we will refrain from any action that can hamper the talks.” He, however, stressed that the situation in the hills was not beyond the control of the police or the administration. “Those working in government offices can in no way be a part of this movement. It is illegal to delete or change names of government offices,” he said. The official said every issue would be “elaborately spoken on and discussed” in the November talks.
    (Posted by M Tamang, October 14, 2008, 12:46 PM)
  • image Lies galore! Bengal government has always cooperated with elected bodies. In fact Bimal gurung is trying to become the father of a new state which is imptractical. How the question of 1907 arise. India was in the hands of British then. Since then so many states has undergone so many changes. Does it mean that West Bengal should be reunited with East Bengal? Bimal is working as an agent of foreign vested interests. If a small state with an area less than 1000 square KM is created then hundreds of such states has to be created for other ethnic communities in India. This will then be the begining of disintegration of India and that is what exactly Bimal wants. If he is sincere, he can demand integration of Darjeeling into Sikkim which too is a land of Nepalis.
    (Posted by Birsha Munda, October 5, 2008, 3:58 PM)
  • image DISCUSSION ON GREATER NEPAL BETWEEN MONOJ PANDIT & BIMAL GURUNG. Dear Manoj Pandit Jee, Namaste and thanks for your prompt response. Let us keep the discussions relevant to your topic of the ‘Greater Nepal.’ Allow me to make a few comments on your writing. Pandit : what do you think we have got from 1950 treaty?an open border,although not mentioned in the treaty but every body assumed and then border is unmanaged. The biggest drawback and we are affected in the indo-nepal relationship is the so called opened but I will say unmanaged border through a lot of unseen problem has been produced. may be you think the open border between us is a productive,I will suggest you to revise the ideology,I can give you its merit and lot of demerits. so you are for the migrant nepali workers in india ?it has to be discussed whether it has been very productive for the national output. Comment: I really do not know much about the 1950 treaty to make any judgment. However, it is not relevant to the concept of the greater Nepal. Yes, we need to know whether border being open (or unmanaged) is good or bad. I do not know the answer to the question. However, I would suggest a study by competent office before declaring any. I can imagine lots of Indian nationals coming in, and same time lots of Nepalese going to India also. I would not jump to the conclusion without some thought and survey on it. Pandit : why do you think it is not the right time to raise the issue about national problem? when will be the time?who decide what time is right-when you don,t have the nation?there is written that every time is right to raise your voice for your Rights.now is the best time to expose all the wrong that happened in the history.Pardon me there had been lot of unjustice happened to Nepal as nation and to nepalise people.so what long time we wait for the right time. Comment: I think right time is when Maoist problem is solved and the regular democratic practice is in place. At this time, we even do not have a functioning constitution, let alone a properly elected government. This is my definition of right or wrong time. What is yours? Yes, I am sure there are many injustices done. All you need to do is spell out exactly what are they? How and in what context such injustices happened? Who are the culprits and victims? What do you propose to do in today’s context? Perhaps people of Kumaon and Garhwal may also have grievance against recurrent Gurkha invasion before British occupation. Unless you have spelled out properly and conceptualize a feasible plan, there is no point in wild goose chase. Pandit : Plese,take this words that a nation is being encrypted by treaties,you might have heard sikkim smash and it is done by the treaty.so very important all the treaties that had been done by the worst ruler in the past has to be revived or cancealed.so the 1950s treaty has to be first reviewed,then if necessary cancealed it which will be better for the future of nepal. TO YOUR INFORMATION WHAT YOU READ AS THE TREATY PAPER IS NOT ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THE TREATY,THERE IS A SECRET LETTER WITH IT WHICH HAD PUT NEPAL IN CRISIS AND NEPAL BEING INDIA’S SUBSTATE. For that do you think, what controls our political decision,commerce,transportation,water resources,sometimes foreign affairs and political changes in Nepal?so I request you to awake about the consequences and review about the history. Comment: I do not know what you mean by ‘encrypted by treaty.’ However, I understand that you are against 1950 treaty. I do not know enough about all the ramifications of it to pass judgment. However, I would suggest a discussion in an open public forum. Also let us not forget that Nepal is a land locked and poor country. In the present condition, it will be very difficult for us to make the border a standard international type. Perhaps Nepal can propose to India a new concept where all the interests are addressed. If India still wants to impose their vision, then we have a legitimate grievance. However, the key is the good home work first. Yes, it is indeed to my information that a secret letter exist. If you know about the secret letter, then it is not really a secret letter, is it? Since I do not know about it, please do educate me. What is it and how is it detrimental to Nepal ? How does a secret letter make Nepal a vassal to India? By the way, I am sure there are lots and lots of secret letters in world. So far they have not bothered me. I am rather worried about public legal letters. Just for argument, say King Mahendra signed such secret letter to the detriment of Nepal . And by the stretch of imagination King Birendra is also obliged to it. However, how will that deter democratically elected leaders? I would think the political, economic and other decisions are too complex to be decided by any single person. I do not think even Mahendra or Prithvi Narayan Shah can claim that. I understand you are alluding to India being such entity. Here again, I think best thing to do is to study Indian interests, and spell out where Indian and Nepalese interests compliment and contradict. That way we can have a better deal or negotiation. I am against knee jerk blame India game. It only makes us idiots. Again, first thing to do is good home work. Can you spell out exactly what are Indian interests and how are they detrimental to our interests? Remember, there is always some give and take. Thus, we need to know exactly what are ‘gives and takes.’ ‘Waking up’ means understanding all the issues first. Pandit :as for the suguali treaty/YES/we need to have positive thinking on it,nomatter how many years it will take,the dream will come true but we have to be stronmg enough to raise our voice,make the whole world know it and we go on pursuaing it. Nomatter what profile it is now,the territory of sugauli treaty is our RIGHTS and you never hesisate to acknowledge your RIGHTS.I have tried to put forward our historic RIGHTS and make people aware of it hoping in coming generation s big achivement will be in diagram of nepal. why do you think it is a problem?why?This issue is not a problem,it is our RIGHTS::: people from those states?lets have election first and we will have the result. It is not India to give the land it is us to demand our land,if we don’t do it then nobody is going to give you anything. Comment: Regarding the pre-Sugaoli land, I think there are three issues involved. First and foremost – what legal basis do we have, which can stand in an international court? Second is the political issue - do people living in those areas think themselves as Nepalese today and wants to join Nepal? Mind you that India is conducting elections in those areas since her independence. What if they think them selves Indian and laugh at your proposal? Are we so economically advanced that we can provide them with better economic opportunity as incentives? Third is the historical issue - was there a country called Nepal with pre-Sugaoli border long enough to make an entity recognized in history and in people’s collective memory? In my opinion, undefined Nepal existed all the way from the ‘ Mahabharat’ time. However, the seed of modern Nepal is planted by Prithvi Narayan Shah when he won Kathmandu valley in 1768. Then it was a matter of expansion and conquest of Nepalese-Gurkha army. Nepal expanded up to the river Kali by 1790. Nepal conquered Kumaoun\Garhwal in 1803. In 1814 Nepal lost these part to British forces and in 1816 Sugaoli treaty it was recognized. Nepal controlled the areas only for a few years and perhaps not long enough to make a nationalist case. If you look it from the historical perspective of Indian Uttaranchal state, a dozen years of Gurkha rule may be only a small foot note. This is the history of the 19th century where conquering land by force was a legitimate politics. It is not relevant today, where politics is about citizens ruling themselves. However, it is a matter of historical research and I do not have enough background on it. By the way, how do you propose to ‘demand’ land from India? Are you going to international court first, or merely write a letter to India? Or I hope not, attack India with a very sharp Khukri? If you do, please do not expect me to follow. My opinion is to take care of the present ‘Mechi – Mahakali’ Nepal first. Which we, sadly, are not doing good job; let alone dream of the greater Nepal. We have to be careful what we dream of. What if Palpa (annexed in 1804) wants to be an independent country? And also Baishe, Chaubise? What if China claims suzerainty over Nepal? They may be able to produce some old and forgotten documents. Being realistic and practical is not anti-national. To commit without thinking through is. Pandit : UNNECESSARY? what is necessary for you? may be your necessity is different from us? Comment: Yes, your and my definitions of ‘necessary’ are different. However, neither of them qualifies to be the ‘necessity’ of Nepal . The national interest should be defined either through referendum or through legitimate political parties. I do suggest first to take a sample opinion survey of people living in Kumaon\Garhwal if they think themselves as Nepali, not Indian; and if they want to join Nepal ; and then to take the case to any of the existing parties. If any party thinks it a good cause, then great. My kudos to you. Pandit: I want all the injustice to my nation being provoked first and solved then.so if you think India is doing everything great for nepal and India is parents for us then lets drop the idea of discussing on 1950s treaty and sugauli treaty. Comment: How do you ‘provoke’ injustice? I do not want to provoke any. Yes, I am all for solving each and every problem. However, first you have to define exactly what are the problems? Vague ideas of perceived injustices will not do? You have to spell them out. Then you have to make proposals which address all the legitimate interests and injustices. Not I, but you wrote, ” India is doing everything great for Nepal and India is parents for us.” By the way, your issue of ‘ India is father or not’ is not relevant to the issue of greater Nepal. Pandit: Do you know what RAW is doing in Nepal? why do you think any nationalist though is supported by ISI.? PLEASE TAKE MY WORD THAT MOST OF NEPALISE HAVE THIS URGE TO RAISE THE VOICE BUT DUE TO A LOT OF SURROUNDING PROBLEM THEY CAN’T AND WHOEVER CAN THEY ARE PERSONS TO BE APPRECIATED NOT PUTTING HALLMARK, lot of people have sold their soul not to raise the national issue so it is very difficult to stand for nation and i am fighting on it. Comment: No, I do not know what ‘RAW’ is doing in Nepal. They do not tell me. Please do educate me. Before you tell me about the RAW activities, please establish the relevance of RAW with the issue of the Greater Nepal. If we are planning to attack Kumaon secretly then perhaps we have to watch out RAW. If RAW can read your web site with a flick of mouse using internet, then how is RAW relevant? No, I did not accuse any body being ISI agent. Wisdom is ‘not to accuse without any evidence’ and also ‘think of all possibilities.’ It is a common knowledge that Pakistan is bent on bleeding India with thousand cuts, their stated policy. Cases like Khalistan, SIMI are not Pakistan created, while case like Kashmir is. In all the cases Pakistan is trying to hurt India . Pakistan is not anti-Nepal, but anti-India. To tell the truth, Pakistan is not even anti-India, but anti-Hindu. In the process of hurting India if they can use Nepal, she will. And in the process if Nepal, a kafir country, suffers, then well and good. For example, Pakistan is using Kathmandu as a route to send her agents and counterfeit Indian currency to India. Matter of fact, Nepal is obliged to make 500 IC Rs. illegal. I have also read articles on Kashmir by a ‘Bahun lady?’, which is merely Pakistan’s official version. That is, we have to be careful. Regardless of Pakistan, if you really think we have a case against Sugauli treaty then let a lawyer make at least a prima facie case, which can stand in the International court. Politicizing the issue is the last thing you want to do. Pandit : Sir, this is my answer to your previous mail,i hope you will have all the qns being answered. if not put forward on me. i will write on your second mail next Comment: I do look forward to. Manoj pandit http://www.greaternepal.com
    (Posted by Birsha Munda, October 3, 2008, 12:30 PM)
  • image WE SUPPORT THE COMMENTS OF SHRI PARVESH. NEPAL IS NOW COMMUNIST AGENT OF CHINA, WORKING AS ANTI-INDIA.BIMAL GURUNG IS ALSO AN AGENT OF NEPAL & CHINA. HE IS DEMANDING GORKHALAND IN LINE WITH MAHA NEPAL. TWO MAPS ARE SAME.NO DOUBT THAT HE IS WORKING AGAINST INDIA.FOR THE GREATER INTEREST IT WILL BETTER DARJEELING SHOULD BE MERGED WITH SIKIM STATE.
    (Posted by MADAN TAMANG, September 12, 2008, 11:44 AM)
  • image Don’t sympathise with Gorkhaland In the summer of 1966, Hope Cooke, the American socialite-turned-Gyalmo, or Queen Consort of the ill-fated 12th Chogyal of Sikkim, created a furore in New Delhi by contesting, in an article published in the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology’s bulletin, India’s possession of Darjeeling that was ‘gifted’ to East India Company by Tsugphud Namgyal. In his book, Smash and Grab: Annexation of Sikkim, Pioneer columnist and former editor of The Statesman Sunanda K Datta-Ray recounts how she argued that “no Sikkimese monarch was empowered to alienate territory”. According to Hope Cooke, Tsugphud Namgyal’s gift to the Company was “in the traditional context of a grant for usufructage only; ultimate jurisdiction, authority and the right to resume the land being implicitly retained”. She claimed Darjeeling’s cession was the “gift of a certain tract for a certain purpose and does not imply the transfer of sovereign rights”. The immediate context of the Gyalmo’s assertion of the Chogyal’s indivisible rights was the web of deceit that was being spun, with more than a little help from the Kazi and other local players, by New Delhi to bring Gangtok within the orbit of its absolute control, converting India’s suzerainty into sovereignty over Sikkim. What happened subsequently is well known: Sikkim was annexed and made a part of the Union of India; the Chogyal was stripped of all powers and died a broken man; and, Hope Cooke, after separating from the Chogyal, returned to the US where she now lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York. These details are inconsequential today. What, however, is relevant is the history of Darjeeling, which is once again in the news, this time because Gorkha settlers are asserting their right to set up a homeland in the three hill divisions — Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong — apart from Siliguri and the Dooars, which they want to re-christen Gorkhaland. History tells us how Sikkim’s borders once stretched up to eastern Nepal; how Prithvi Narayan Shah, who welded feuding clans and warring regions into a sprawling kingdom, grabbed Darjeeling; and, how General Ochterlony’s campaign against the Gorkhas resulted in the Treaty of Sugauli (also spelt Segouli) in 1816 when Nepal ceded 10,000 sq km of territory, including Darjeeling, to the East India Company. That’s where history begins and ends for the Gokhas both in Nepal and in India who are clamouring for Gorkhaland: Darjeeling was Nepali territory ceded to the British and, therefore, must now revert back to the Gorkhas. But history also tells us, much to the discomfort of the champions of Gorkhaland, that the Treaty of Sugauli was followed by the Treaty of Titlya in 1817, whereby the British restored the land between Mechi and Teesta rivers to Sikkim, to which it legitimately belonged. Eighteen years later, the then Chogyal leased Darjeeling to the British who wanted to set up a sanatorium in its soothing, sylvan climes. In the brief lease agreement signed on February 1, 1835, the Chogyal is referred to as the ‘Sikkimputtee Rajah’. The Bengal Gazeteer informs us that in 1841 the East India Company granted the Chogyal a compensation of Rs 3,000; it was later raised to Rs 6,000. This is how Darjeeling, till then an uninhabited mountain region, came to be inhabited. The British administrators needed ‘natives’ to first build and then maintain the picture postcard town that came up in Darjeeling. Some Bhutias and Lepchas were already there, others came from Sikkim. The demand for labour increased after planters cleared forests for tea gardens and Darjeeling Tea became a source of enormous revenue. The Gorkhas came, as did tribals from what is now Jharkhand, to work as ‘coolies’ in the gardens, plucking leaves and working shifts in the tea-curing and packaging factories. Bengalis sought and found employment as babus (clerks) in the tea gardens, in the municipal administration and other establishments, for example schools set up by missionaries primarily for the children of Anglo-Indian families. In 1907, the Hillmen’s Association petitioned the British for a separate administrative set-up free from Bengal; the petition was contemptuously ignored, and rightly so. After independence and the reorganisation of States, Darjeeling, along with the Dooars, became a part of West Bengal. Darjeeling has since been designated a separate district, Siliguri is part of Jalpaiguri district in the foothills, and the Dooars are part of Cooch Behar district. The Gorkhas who came and settled in Darjeeling, Siliguri and the Dooars became citizens of India in 1950; a separate Gazette notification was issued to settle this point and remove any doubts about their citizenship. The status of Darjeeling may have been considered a settled issue by Kolkata and New Delhi, and after Sikkim’s annexation, Gangtok, but not by the Gorkha settlers. In 1986 Mr Subash Ghising launched a violent agitation to press the Gorkha National Liberation Front’s demand for a separate Gorkhaland, citing West Bengal’s “step-motherly” treatment of Darjeeling and “exploitation” of its residents. He was clearly motivated by dreams of helping re-establish ‘Greater Nepal’ by creating a bridge between Nepal and Sikkim. The agitation ended with the signing of an agreement, which resulted in the setting up of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, an elected and empowered body that would look after development-related issues. Mr Ghising failed to deliver and became a Sagina Mahato, putty in the hands of the West Bengal Government and happy to have his snout in the trough. Cut to 2008: Mr Bimal Gurung, a former associate of Mr Ghising, has parted company with the GNLF and floated his own separatist organisation, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, and revived the demand for Gorkhaland. He has audaciously staked claim to the three hill divisions of Darjeeling as well as Siliguri and the Dooars. The revival of the agitation coincides with Maoists — who hope to re-establish the frontiers of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s ‘Greater Nepal’ — coming to power in Kathmandu. Mr Gurung’s agitation has little to do with “local aspirations” of Gorkhas; it is as insidious and dangerous as the assertion of ‘Kashmiriyat’ in Kashmir Valley. Those who are “sympathetic” to the demand for Gorkhaland would do well to bear in mind that ‘Greater Nepal’ is not only about Nepal expanding its territory in the east up to Teesta, but also recovering the land ceded by Prithvi Narayan Shah which stretches up to Sutlej. If we concede the demand for Gorkhaland, we should be prepared to concede vast tracts of land in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. If the latter is not acceptable, then a third partition of Bengal is equally unacceptable.
    (Posted by UBJJM, June 29, 2008, 6:27 PM)
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