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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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Poll results | Old polls


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Madan Tamang sees pact in hill talks; Tipple rush in liquor shops in Darjeeling

By Various Sources on December 24,2009

image
Tamang sees pact in hill talks
OUR CORRESPONDENT


Tamang in Siliguri on Wednesday. (Kundan Yolmo)

Siliguri, Dec. 23: ABGL president Madan Tamang today accused the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Centre and the state government of entering into an “understanding” and planning to “impose” another council like the DGHC on the people of the hills.

The charge came a day after he lauded the fourth round of tripartite talks for taking the demand for Gorkhaland in the “right direction”.

Tamang, known for his diatribe against the Morcha, this time decided to air his reactions to the December 21 talks at a media conference here.

“Outcome of the so-called tripartite meeting and the information we have with us indicate that the Morcha and the two governments are into an understanding and trying to make a fool of the hill people. They are trying to impose another council on us and bury our aspirations,” Tamang said. “It is interesting to note that the Morcha raised Gorkhaland at the fourth round of talks and not earlier. We consider this as a victory of the hill people as their pressure prompted the Morcha leaders to raise the issue.”

The ABGL leader demanded that Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and leaders like Roshan Giri and Amar Lama take part in hunger strikes. “It is a question of supreme sacrifice. No GLP (Gorkhaland Personnel) was raised and no dress code was imposed in Telangana but the integrity of the top leadership in Andhra made the Centre sit up. Why can’t Gurung and others take the same route instead of forcing common supporters into the hunger strike?” Tamang said.

On one side, the Morcha leaders were asking the student wing to resort to hunger strikes, while, on the other, their own children are studying in Delhi, Bangalore and other places, the ABGL chief alleged. “The leaders should bring their children to Darjeeling and ask them to start an indefinite fast to prove their integrity.”



Adivasis to hold indefinite bandh from 27 Dec
;Statesman News Service


JALPAIGURI, 22 DEC: In a renewed shutdown threat, the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad has said that the outfit would convene an indefinite bandh from 27 December in the Dooars and the Terai, demanding autonomy for the Adivasi-dominated region under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

The ABAVP state secretary, Mr Tejkumar Toppo said that the decision had been announced by the state president, Mr Birsha Tirkey at a huge Adivasi convention organised at Meteli last Sunday. “We have pursued the state government several times to ensure incorporation of the long neglected region under the Sixth Schedule. Yet the state government seems to be sleeping over our collective demand. We are left with no alternative but to go for a shutdown to arouse the state government from the protracted spell of somnolence,” he said.

Mr Toppo further said that they would also demand the immediate and unconditional release of the ABAVP leader, Mr Raju Bara, arrested from a tea estate at Kalchini in September.

“Police have let loose a reign of terror at Kalchini with the district administration looking the other way,” Mr Toppo alleged.

He also joined issue with the Centre and the state government for having taken the Gorkhaland demand. “We would deliberate on the outcome of yesterday's three-way dialogue tomorrow and following this we would frame our future course of action around the ethnically ticklish Gorkhaland issue,” he said.

However, taking a slightly softened stand on the shutdown programme, the ABAVP Terai unit secretary, Mr Susil Tirkey said that they would wait till 26 December to find whether Mr Raju Bara was released. “We would see the administration's reaction to our programme. If it remains non- challant we would move according to our pre ordained agitation programme,” Mr Tirkey said.



India campaign for Gorkha state gathers pace
By Chris Morris
BBC News, Darjeeling


Driving up into the Darjeeling hills one thing quickly becomes apparent - and it's a deliberate message for outsiders.


The green, white and yellow of Gorkhaland is everywhere - painted on walls, on curb stones, on banners and posters.

"Welcome to Gorkhaland", they boldly declare. "Gorkhaland is our birthright."

The demand for a separate state within India for the Gorkhas isn't new. This is a campaign that started more than 100 years ago.

But the central government's apparent willingness to create a new state in south India, carving Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh, has got these northern hills buzzing with indignation.

If they can do it, the Gorkhas ask, why can't we?

'Ready to fight'


At 94 years old and now profoundly deaf, PB Tamang has seen it all before.

He is a Gorkha veteran who fought for the British in Burma in World War II and later in the jungles of Malaya.

Sitting in his garden, sipping a cup of tea, he listened patiently as members of his family shouted questions in his ear.
 
 The Gorkhaland signboard is everywhere

"I'm ready to fight again," he declared, punching the air for emphasis, "this time for Gorkhaland."

Most Gorkhas who served in the British army are from Nepal.

But there are plenty of veterans who are now Indian citizens.

Mr Tamang still receives a British pension of £470 per month.

His brother-in-law, IB Tamang, another British veteran, says things are peaceful at the moment.

But resentment is simmering just beneath the surface.

"If the demand is not conceded by the government," he warned, "it might bring a great upheaval, and it might bring bloodshed."

Back in the 1980s more than 1,000 people were killed in a violent uprising in these hills, but for now the battle lines have been re-drawn.

Hunger strike

The focus is on peaceful protest and passive resistance, following in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi.

There have been a series of hunger strikes across the region.

On one bitterly cold morning recently I watched as 21 men lay in a makeshift tent opposite the district magistrate's office in Darjeeling.
None of them had taken food or fluids for several days.
 
 PB Tamang says he is ready to fight again

One man was screaming out in pain as severe dehydration began to take its toll. Doctors tried in vain to comfort him.

"We just want Gorkhaland for our identity," said another of the hunger strikers, David Rai, a 54-year-old teacher huddled beneath several blankets.
 
Speaking in a voice weak with exhaustion, he told me that the Gorkhas didn't belong in the state of West Bengal.

"We are Indians. But when we go elsewhere in India, people say I don't look Bengali. So I have to tell them I'm an Indian Gorkha, and I'm not a foreigner."

So Darjeeling is up in arms. There are constant strikes and demonstrations, and no-one is paying their taxes or utility bills to the state and central governments.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the movement at the forefront of the Gorkhaland campaign, has even sought to ban alcohol to avoid anyone paying excise duty.

But there are also whispers of coercion, and suggestions that dissent isn't really tolerated.

"No, it isn't true," replied Bimal Gurung, the GJM leader.

"Our movement is trying to appeal to everyone in the hills, including minority groups. We're not out to isolate anyone and we're not out to intimidate anyone."

Money matters


On Darjeeling's famous tea estates, they are pruning the tea bushes in preparation for next year's harvest.
 
 There have been a series of hunger strikes across the region

Almost 70% of the local population rely on the estates in some way for their livelihood.

So what effect would a declaration of Gorkhaland actually have on the local economy? In the end, it all comes down to money.

"I think the tea industry would stand to gain," says Sandeep Mukherjee, the Secretary of the Darjeeling Tea Association.

"My personal view is that with more funds being allocated, the infrastructure of this region is likely to come up and the industry would benefit."

On Darjeeling's crowded shopping streets normal life continues at a hectic pace. But every shop has the word "Gorkhaland" painted on its signboard, and there's green, white and yellow bunting everywhere.

On the surface, it is an impressive display of local patriotism and support for the cause.

'Do not split'


And similar demands for statehood are springing up right across this vast country.

"We're an ancient civilisation but a young nation," said Ram Guha, one of India's leading historians.

"I think we're still finding the best political forms to meet the aspirations of our people - how big our states should be, and what the respective powers of the centre, the state and local municipalities should be."

Current state governments are understandably cautious. They don't want their powers diluted.

Chief Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has already rejected the Gorkhaland demand and warned that the situation will become "complicated" if the GJM refuses to be flexible.

"I'm once again telling them," he told a recent public rally, "not to think about splitting from us."

But Ram Guha is one of those who argue that it could be time to have another look at how the Indian political system is organised.

"I don't think we should be unduly worried about these demands, and I don't think they threaten the unity of India in any way," he explained.

"They are manifestations of a certain discontent with the present arrangements."

The trouble is that India has so many ethnic and linguistic groups, so many tribes and castes. They can't all have their own state.
But the Gorkhas have always been a proud, martial race.

And they seem determined to fight for this cause - for their own cause - for as long as it takes.



Tipple rush in parched hills
OUR BUREAU - The Telegraph


A liquor shop in Darjeeling on Wednesday, teeming with customers who bought cartons (in circle) of booze and hired porters (extreme left) to ferry them. (Suman Tamang)

Dec. 23: Hill residents came in droves as soon as liquor shop shutters went up this morn- ing, many with porters to carry the bottles, making it evident how stifled the “ban” on booze had made them feel.

With the shops opening after almost a month and a half, if only for a few days, and with the festive season upon them, they were not content buying just a bottle or two. They bought by the carton.

Within an hour, the shops, already low on stocks, dried up and parched tipplers started placing advance orders.

Last evening, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which had banned the sale of liquor in the hills to deprive the government of excise, announced a relaxation till December 25. Today, residents of Darjeeling and Kalimpong started stocking up for another dry spell.

“It is such a relief to have the shops open again,” said a Darjeeling youth. “This is the season to rejoice. And what is rejoicing in this cold without a drop to lift the spirits?”

Local brew like chhang and roksi, which people make at home in the hills, were the only liquor exempted from the Morcha ban.

However, a Kalimpong youth suggested that some hill people had defeated the Morcha ban even before the relaxation. “My friends and I have been buying liquor in the black market at double the price,” he said.

Shops, which ran out of liquor today, have placed orders with wholesellers in Siliguri. “It’s wonderful to have my shop open again,” said an off-shop owner off Darjeeling’s Jawaharlal Nehru Road. “Judging by the rush, the people of the hills have really been missing their liquor. I can hardly recall any occasion in the past when people bought by the carton.”

Dharmendra Poddar of the Darjeeling Bar and Off-shop Owners’ Association, called it “really fantastic”. “Our suppliers in Siliguri have said they cannot meet our orders in a single day,” said Poddar.

“But we have explained to them that our shops are open only till Christmas and they have assured us that they would do their best.”

People in the trade said the Morcha announced its move late yesterday and many of them learnt about it through newspapers today. They had no time to stock up.

Even then, they could not have anticipated the rush, said Poddar.

For Suresh Rai, a resident of Singtam Tea Garden, the 5km trip to Darjeeling town was disappointing. He has to wait a while to wet his whistle with rum or whisky. “I came up all the way to stock up on liquor, but I guess I will have to do with the local brew now.”
 
Photo from the lens of Rabin Rai



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comment Comments (25 posted)
  • image DEAR MADAN TAMANG! YOU MAY HAVE ALL SORTS OF IDEAS AGAINST THIS MOVEMENT OF GORKHALAND. BUT THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS THAT YOU ARE A LEADER, BUT A COMMUNAL ONE..SO THERE IS NO PLACE FOR ANY LEADER WHO IS COMMUNAL....BIMAL GURUNG MAY BE LESS EDUCATED BUT HE TRIES TOTAKE THE WHOLE COMMUNITY OF DARJEELING DIST. TOGETHER...BUT THIS IS ABSENT IN YOU MR MADAN TAMANG.... SANGAY
    (Posted by DAWA, January 2, 2010, 5:12 PM)
  • image "MT"- YADHI TOU GORKHA KO CHORO HO BHANAY, AAGAMI 'poltical round talks" MA DELHI MA BOOLARA DEKHA' KUWA KO BHAYGUTA JASTO TAR.....TAR..... GARAY RA K FAIDA" Come on and prove yourself if your are the SON of soil. OTHER WISE U KNOW GORKAH UKHAN - "GAI (cow) KO SAAS... ANA-BISWAS". HA.....HA....HA....
    (Posted by hundal, January 1, 2010, 1:21 PM)
  • image anta timi le chai ke gareo hana vana gorkha league ko time timi le Gorkhaland mageou ra aile hami le pauna ate ko bela ma bimal daju le gare ko kam ma kina aro lai vadkauca ta.moro ti mi ta abo mare pani va la
    (Posted by thule, December 28, 2009, 10:06 PM)
  • image ya, if there is any demand of your so called banglasthan, that will be crushed to death, as is being Gorkhaland. Nothing will be tolerated...employing 16000 gorkha personnel does NEVER mean that they will be given a separate land....when recruiting these gorkha personnel no where is written that condiction that they are being recruited so that then can be enabled to ask for a separate land....Darjeeling was a part of Nepal once upon a time but that does never mean nepalise from Nepal has any right to this place after 1947. Sounds if Nepal demands for Darjeeling, you people will instantly agree to that...and it is the reality. After Independence Darjeeling is a part of Republic of India and people coming across the border has no right to ask for it...after indipendce thousands of refugee bengali has taken the shelter in various parts of india, Dandakararya, Bundelkhand, Andarman and Nicobar. They are inhabiting that place since the indepence due to the histotic blunder and Neplaese in Darjeeling started to come in Darjeelinign in flock since 1950 treaty..the difference is the bangalese were forced to live in those above mentioned placed in hostile natarual condition, the nepalise chose to live here in Darjeeling by their own will becaus they found that Darjeeling provides far more better living condition than in Nepal (that is the reason that Mr. Taman in Chris Morris report chose to settle in India, not in Nepal after his Retirement in British Army, and this trend continues..the unfortunate part is that are not thankful for that instead narrate the history when Darjeeling belong to Nepal. And the last word to those bangali abusers, bengalis of the above mentioned places integrated themselves to their new places, Nepaliese are trying to create a state....No bangalistan is made in Andaman Nicobar, or Chattisgarh....for your kind information.....that makes the different....
    (Posted by here the truth lies, December 27, 2009, 12:24 PM)
  • image There was a voice in Shilgadi (not sillyguru as pronounced by ..guess who...)from a section of people recently that they will demand Banglastan if Gorkhaland demand is met. We all support your demand. Go for it. How about the call for a United Bengal with earstwhile East Bengal and now West Bengal together? When two Germanys can unite, why not east and west? That is where actually the truth lies. Yo truth lier bhanne kasto bango maanchhe ho dhungromaa baarh barsh rakhe pani jastako tastai.
    (Posted by Sharma, December 27, 2009, 12:09 AM)
  • image dear "here lies the truth", "ronit" and "hahahaha"...first of all, this is not about Gorkhas vs Bengalis. it is about seeking what is a fundamental right within the constitution of India. if all Gorkhas are to go back to Nepal, then all Americans should go back to Europe and closer to where we are....all bengalis should go back to Bangladesh Not my words...just supporting what "hahahaha" thought was a valid argument. And ronit...all Bengalis do not pee on the road and look ugly. i can name several Bengalis who have done the country proud on a grand scale. Are you not proud of nobel laurets like Robindra Nath tagore and Amartya Sen? Did you not cheer for Saurav Ganguly when he led the country's cricket team on one of their most successful runs? Do you not feel the pride when you hear of the heroics of Subhash chandra Bose? At the same time, does Bengal and people like "hahahaha" forget about the gorkha lives that were lost in the wars against China and Pakistan. do they forget that almost 100 of these so called "foreign" lives were lost in the Kargil war? Have they forgotten that the Gorkha Rifles are the most revered regiment amongst the Indian army and the most feared by the enemies. That the Gorkha Rifles iare referred to as the last line of defence!! that the proposed state of Gorkhaland was NEVER a part of Nepal? It was leased to the British by the King of Sikkim and was taken into India after the British left? let us not make this communial or racial or religious. That is what the babus sitting in Writers building and in the parliament do. leave that to them. for now...let us hope no rights and lives are lost!
    (Posted by Indian first...Gorkha later, December 26, 2009, 12:17 PM)
  • image Ronit, if you dont like bengali, u can go back tom where u came from or ur parents came from..go back..who told you to be here..if you dont like us..u can go back to your country where one of the most important export is to send girls to the brothels of india...Correctly pointed out by here the truth....that Mr. Tamang spent and earned his life and livelihood from Great Britain and now India and West Bengal has to take the burden of caring him in his old age...give him the electricity free of cost, medicines free of cost and now a state....Ronit you most people are simply BURDEN to us..SIMPLY BURDEN..we will be more than happy if you reduce some of our burden by not liking us and eventually going back to Nepal...
    (Posted by hahahaha, December 26, 2009, 12:06 AM)
  • image @chakra once again...it is the open mindness of the bangalis that you are still continuing to enjoy the (read stealing ) electricity, you r using the bsnl landline and broadband at the mercy of the west bengal govt, .....be it other part of the country...you should have been FORCED KNELT to beg the pardon.... u dont have the feeling of humiliation of stealing...and when the day come whey u will be forced to pay the bill, even then you will not have the feeling of humiliation....because ur leader lacks that self respect...that is why he makes such diktat and you lack that because you support that(if not that is another thing)...a leader severly lacking the self-respect is driving a mass in the name of identity crisis........
    (Posted by here the truth lies, December 25, 2009, 11:56 PM)
  • image @chakra----your once upon a time messiah Ghising took two decades to make you understand what he is and how tactfully to steal money...waiting to see how long your current messiah Bimal Gurung will take..? there should be limitation of simpliness, but after then apply some intelligence...... @ronit....seems you recently crossed the border and jumped in to Darjeeling from Nepal...that is why u r saying bengalis are dirty looking etc........even ur illeterate leader will laugh at you......poor guy..
    (Posted by here the truth lies, December 25, 2009, 11:32 PM)
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