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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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Gone with the wind

By Deo on November 10,2007

It's heartening to read that wind of change is sweeping our hills after 20yrs once more. Now it is to be seen whether it brings those sweet air of spring of chill of winter, I’m so eager to witness the unfolding events, thanks to mass media I’m assured of information.

I’ve seen the first so called revolution for Gorkhaland as a young boy, I still have clear memory, without TV footing, news papers, etc, information used to come via word of mouth, we didn’t have mobile phone, few house had fix line phone, and in spite of it all people were aware and kept posted with village level meeting, pamphlet........ there was so much energy in hills people, had there been google earth, Darjeeling hills could have radiated bright light with fierce people's face, old and young were involved, even for the first time, women were organised under women cell.

I still remember, people rolling towards Kalimpong town in thousands, if not lakh, singing slogan shouting at that time it seemed like a big picnic for young boys like me, then came the harsh reality like 27th July, where many helpless Gorkhas were shot at Kalimpong town, it followed with 40 days strike, maybe I was in class 5, was very pleased as my school was closed and I was back home from boarding school, but that was short lived, as we started living under prays, as CRPF constantly raided house, young men started disappearing, women were raped…house looted, they didn’t even spare a expecting mother at ‘Topkhanna’.

My grown up brothers used to sleep in jungles, only women folks were left behind at home, we children used to count the number of big bang going at night and those gun shots fired, we used to poke our head out of the window whenever big police/CRPF truck roared. we were constantly living in fear, during day time, curfew used to be relaxed for few hours, that was the time when young boys like my self were asked to go to town and fetch supply, I used to travel on foot collect rice, oil, few essentials and back home within one hr covering 10 km both ways.

I guess everybody must have heard this kind of stories thousand times, especially those born post ‘Andolan’, because old stories die hard in hills. Later school was reopened, I was back to boarding, half of our school hostel was turned into fortified bunkers for paramilitary forces, we had no games, had to go to class in lines, we had headcount after each class, life changed completely, we were bundled into bed by 5 pm, head boys used to tell stories in pitch dark as we were not allowed to switch on the light, that’s when I heard story from 'gone with the wind'.

One day my parents came to visit me, I came to know my elder brother was studying in ninth standard was picked up from classroom by Chatra Subba men, In fact, almost whole class was taken away. At that time, I didn't understand the repercussion of my moms tears, today when I look back, my brother's future was cut short, he was a brilliant student, never stood second in class, in fact, every year first or second place were reserved for my brother, he was my idol, inspiration at that time, thanks to lord, my other brother was sick that day, he was spared. We didn't hear from my brother for six month, agitation was at pick, as always we were confined at hostel, but the CRPF camp was shifted from hostel, now we could move little freely, one day I was just looking down the veranda where hundreds of GVC men were walking in column, one of the boy in camouflage outfit with gun slinging at the back broke the line and walked towards us, as he came near I could see a familiar face with fresh mustache smiling wide....it was my brother, we hugged, he gave me pocketful of sweets, somebody shouted at him, he ran back and joined the column. I informed home about the meeting, they were already aware about his whereabouts, then came our winter vacation, we had to walk home there was 13 days strike in progress, at home I became aware that there was a rift behind GVC and GNLF, they were killing each other, and my brother was with GVC, my mother used to cry 24hours a day, there always a thick air at home, we hardly had food without tears, one day after six month or so my brother came home, he was thin and tired, he could sleep whole day, by then it was clear GNLF had a upper hand, Chatra Subba was loosing ground, GNLF men was all around town. One morning, after a week of my brother's return, I woke up hearing shouts and cries. There were hundred men all over our house, carrying guns, khukri, and shouting in aversive language, realised they wanted him....my brother. When I saw the mob, they were all known people...next door uncle, dajus, mammas.....all familiar faces. But my brother was a good sports man, he had already ran ...... and about an hour later we heard the gun shot. It was confirmed it was him, he was badly wounded, we saw in horror he was dragged into a jeep along with his friends, in fact, his classmate. They were taken away, my mother mobilised all the woman from our village and started searching for them, thankfully my mom came across late Mr. C.K. Pradhan, who happened to know her well.....he acted quickly, with a concrete information tracked my brother and his friends at Samsay forest, where they were tired to a tree, waiting for death. Later he narrated the story....it was chilling they had already said their last prays, had Mr. Pradhan not been there, they would not have been here to tell the tale. Unfortunately, many of my brothers friends / classmate, were not so lucky, they never came back home. I still recall one name "Tekbir Rai", he was one of my brothers’ best friend, he just disappeared, we were not allowed to talk about him for years, my brother came back home from hospital after a week but life never became the same, he was still traumatised, couldn't study further, I guess, a bright future was curtailed in the buds.

I’m not sure how many families have the same story too? I haven't met Tegbahadur Daju's family for ages.....whether those wounds have healed or not.

Are we ready for next Revolution/Andolan? Are we ready once again for killing brothers by brothers, isn’t it a duty of older generation to make young people born after Andolan, making them aware of pros and cons, why don't we fix responsibility on someone for those mindless killing, and atrocities committed?

We should not let those same leaders lead us in the same path as done 20yrs back. Some of those leaders should be first held responsible, investigation should be lodged for each missing person, why is this not possible, when pot poland kemrua rouge, pinuchet can be put on trial after decades of human right violation, why not our leaders?

My request young readers, please please don't run, face those old blocs - head on, don't let them take you for ride, they did that with my generation, ask for your right, a bright future where education is a premier importance, young people you are luck to have net, mobile and instant information, use it to curtail the ill connive plan to drag you down the stone age once again. Instead use your knowledge to hold those leaders responsible for doing all the wrong they have done to our beloved Darjeeling, thanks till next time
Posted by: deo ([email protected]) [] November 10, 2007, 1:45 am,

It touched me... I can visualize how true it was... (Udhyan – darjeelingTimes.com)

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comment Comments (9 posted)
  • image in one of the comments, janice, says the GVC let her hold an AK47. she then goes on to add that the same GVC guys were hunted down by the GNLF. if Janice's comment is factually correct then the GNLF should possess higher calibre arms as compared to the GVC AK47s. question is where are these arms now? all that were given up in the so called arms surrender were 'utility pole bazookas', so the knowledge that these nasties are still out there is not comforting at all. however what could be more plausible is that a very young, scared and impressionable janice was made to hold what was probably a well worn mauser or a .303 or your plain ordinary khandua. anway, i remember fleeing from kalimpong , in the middle of the 40 day strike, after the GVC guys had gunned down a few CRPF personnel at kalo building. with us in the group that fled was this small GVC fellow who had left his gun there at the site of the operation. chattrey subba holed out in some hideout rellie pari, had ordered him to be escorted back to the camp for disciplinary action. that was when the CRPFs gunned down a number of people in kalimpong. one gentleman , later called 'ameen'by people who knew his profession was with us when we fled. too bad he could not make it. as for the little guy who had to be taken to chatrey?? well things turned out all right for him. he now operates a pork stall near 24kv subpower station at saat do batoo. alls well that ends well
    (Posted by pharmakon, December 4, 2007, 3:33 PM)
  • image dear drunk monk,it's nice to have a platform to exchange our views,thanks to darjtimes,anyways you r rite in saying,we r backward what should airport do to our darjj,? welll it's so do heell of a good,........we do have a identity but it's like a fading colour,yes! we do need state,but our people need rice and sabzzee on the plate,and our people are been traded/cheated by other........., need to rise up and win back our right to trade n mint hard cash!, lastly some one has said:"world has been ruled by king,gurus and knights----there comes a times when business baron n cooperation,will rule d world''
    (Posted by deo, November 24, 2007, 8:40 AM)
  • image Some one pointed out that we support the cause, not the leaders.I am in for that,men will come and go but DARJEELING will remain.So u want to put up a fight Darjeeling is ahat we want.Fight as Leader in politics as an activitist,fight as a student as a businessmen as a civil servent all WE SHOULD STAND FOR IS DARJEELING. PEOPLE LETS GIVE IT A GO.
    (Posted by Arun Gurung, November 23, 2007, 1:25 PM)
  • image Hi deoraj I really enjoyed reading your article. Like many kalimpongeys like you, I too have tasted the bitterness of the andolan and can totally relate to your sentiments. Infact at one point I lived, talked, breathed, and walked with the GVC's. They were the first ones who actually let me hold an AK 47 in my hand. At the peak of the andolan, they were the ONLY ones who bravely faced the brunt of the 40 days strike. Sadly truth and righteousness seldom prevails in the world of politics. I saw their rise and fall as they were hunted down like animals when the internal strife between GVC and GNLF broke out. those were sad and very trying times. I have to admit the episodes from that era have left more than an impression in mind. I truly hope your brother has recovered from the injuries of his traumatic past. If it makes a difference in his life, pls let him know that this fellow Kalimpongey still holds the GVCs as the true heroes of Gorkhaland. regards, janice.
    (Posted by janice, November 23, 2007, 2:20 AM)
  • image Deo.....Your post was a pleasure to read and i really like the term NRG as i am one.....Thanks for the indentity we really need one...I also agree with you in economic development but a big but....we are talking about developing the airports and railways and richer tourist flocking to our hills...firstly it sounds a liltle more of a fairy tale to me and secondly and more importantly how does our fellow gurkhas of Darjeeling hills benefit from that or how much does the hills of Darjeeling benefits from the so called gateway to east, as a matter of fact Siliguri is already a gateway to east and that opportunity is already in our hands...results are there for us to see..How many hotel owners and business man of nepali origin do we have in the hills that would benefit from economic development as picturised by you...we can guess..Rather i would ask for increasing the number of schools and colleges in the hills and probably also a university, then better roads whcih also means more connectivity to the villages and ofcourse better health care facilities in the hills...Coming back to the vegetable vendor incident, i would really love to know how much did the farmer who actually did the hard work get out of it....The biggest point i want to make here is TO TRADE GORKHALAND AND SHOUT ON TOP OF THE ROOF FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT is not a good idea...A society,community or even a country is not always about economics although economics is the biggest yard stick to measure the success of the same....Darjeeling is also home to the gorkha communities in India,i say that because the way Darjeeling represents Gorkha community in india other places cannot. Darjeeling should also be home to the Gorkha culture, tradition,literature,art etc etc which cannot be acheived by economic development only..it is much more..Personally i believe being economically or business savvy is an inner instinct of an individual which is again groomed by the instinct of the society...Wonder how much will we score here...So much for the concepts and ideas,lets talk about the ground reality,Darjeeling is still basking in the reflected glory and no progress is happening at any front and we have our own ghising and his men to ensure that.The bengal and the central govt is just happy as they do not want another political uprising in the hills and they care less about the economic returns of a small hill station...The time has come for a change,a bit over time time..but someone has dared to bell the cat now...One point i always make...no matter who the leader is, we will only support the issue and not the leader blindly..no one is invincible neither irreplaceable....Lastly, my intention to write this was not to contradict your thoughts but to reason our thoughts which will directly or indirectly be the decision for our future generation....or maybe i am just throwing in the dark but....let there be light....!
    (Posted by The Drunk Monk, November 22, 2007, 9:18 PM)
  • image As i wrote a wind of change is sweeping through the Hills,there seems to be a political turmoil in making,and it is spiraling into a Super-Cyclone each passing day.Let us sit down and make a Economic sense of it all.though much has been written 'bout political situation,no one has bother to gauze the economic pulse of our land. I'm a Layman,i don't understand a thing 'bout Sixth schedule,hence can't pass the judgment.As for Kirkland, issue has been razing rather burning for last 20years ;with the fine oiling from A,B, C parties to suit their convenience.Both the issue zooms pass my head,I just understand the language of bread and butter!! Before we proceed further,dear readers please bear with me,and put your hand in your pocket ..........count all the Coins,Rs Notes,Dollars.........ATM slips and do give a thought t your "bank statement" -too!I wonder how many of you have thousand dough in your pocket?And I wonder how many of you have thick "Bank statement"? This sums up the economic health of us. We are part of West Bengal,whose economic growth hardly touches 3 % p.a.,against the national GDP growth of 8.5-9 %,per capital income of Bengal was Rs 20896/-in 2003-04,against Rs 60125/- of Chandigarh. There has been little or no industrial growth,FDI(*foreign investment) always gives miss due to issues like Nandigram. Bengal has been lacking behind rest of the country for decades----thanks to Red Brigade.so how can be blame Bengal for all the economic woes?And how are we suppose to ask for more funds when our parent state is Broke? It's wise to assume ,development won't reach Hills till South Bengal develops.Basically we live in a poor neighborhood/state,people from South Bengal don't have buying power,so our Beautiful tourism has to bear with cheap tourist.there is no scope for high end tourism like in case of uttranchal,which has a rich catchment area of Delhi, Harayana And Punjab.It's safe to say that crowd around does have influence in you. We must be clear---we are part of Bengal,and will always remain interlinked with or without Gorkhaland! (all we can do at present is pray to MakalBaba to Develop West Bengal------only than those Trickle down effect can Reach us,More Bengali tourist with fat purse will descend down,five star hotels will mushroom...............so on and so forth.)Till that day :our youth ,our beautiful minds will keep on rolling down the hills to reach NJP,where those tracks will take them to Delhi, Mumbai..............Banglore.There is a Exodus jobs seeker; some graduate,some 12Th pass..........some 5Th pass,---------all descending on the flat land,trying to brave the unknown everyday!......some land up as a Cook,some Driver, maid,some develop es American accent working all night long.And Few make a mark of success. Some simply disappear in alien crowd and dust of great Indian Plains. Without agricultural land,industry and trade,it has become a survival game to leave our beautiful home and Head West......... I believe this Motley crowd numbers in thousands if not lacs,they are overwhelmed by the affluence and high living standards of Far Away Land.Thus Candles the dream of becoming someone,seeing our Darjeeling becoming affluent as Delhi or Bang lore.This refugee toil day and night,some in air conditioned office....some at 48 degree sun,trying to make living.After paying extrobent rent expensive price for food and vegetables,few manage to save few thousand and remit/send home to support aging parents or young brothers and sisters at school.I would like to coin a word for this unseen breed of Gurkhas as "NRG"--'Non Resident Gurkha's'.I'm sure the remittance from NRG must be doing some good to Darjeeling's economy;helping our young generation in education,generating revenue for taxi drivers,soring the grosser sales......... More than anything,it makes me proud to see the desire to dream the impossible for tomorrow's generation.The dream of making their child a doctor,engineer ,entrepreneur,pilot.........perhaps an IAS officer.Mainly it has brought a attitude of hamlet's "To Be or not to Be".It reminds ,me of a family I met at Delhi---a Gurkha family; father came to Delhi as a young man,with no formal education,he did odds jobs and finally became a bus driver,after the unforgiving heat for 30 summer,he is retired now.He has three children ;one son is an engineer with govt of Delhi ,other works with a leading Airlines,a daughter is a MBA working with MNC at Banglore.He is proud father,salute to him,he must have dared to dream 30years back.Hats off and tribute to father like him ;--I would like to mention that today there are thousands of young man like him daring to dream the same dream. there is no point mentioning our brave heart attitude.I have discover we do have a resilient attitude too ,attributing to the hardship we go through.we have the ability to rise from the ashes,daring to gamble and take risk.History has always favored the brave.I feel we have all the attitude to become Greats.the same Quality is not polished back home due to lack of opportunity.As more and more young people venture out and set their foot in out of Hills,it will bring the best in them-----learning the trade of survival,prospering and helping our land prosper. i love to draw inspiration and sometimes compare my people with Israeli Jews,they have been prosecuted for centuries,Hitler alone Gassed 7 million Jews.they never had there Own land post Biblical time,they earned their living as tailor,cobbler,farmhand(never had land to til)This social condition made them good entrepreneur,Jews rose from the Holocaust like Phoenix.They captured Palestine land and named Israel--the lost land(though i don't support it)It was possible as they were economically successful,had loads of cash in hand.even today American Senate is control ed by Jews lobby,as all American business is control ed by Jews,American still looks the other way when they commit all the human right violation against Palestine.I'm not saying ,we become like Israeli"m saying that our clan should prosper,we do have land but we are driven out of it due to needs.I'm sure back home brothers and sisters with loads of dreams are trying to mint money as a hotelier,shopkeeper,small business.they must be into different plane than previous generation. I'm not discounting the fact that people back home are equally struggling and trying to lift themselves from penury.we had a choice to leave and earn a living.......but what about those who neither has means nor choice to leave?At this junction we must understand that a statehood is not enough;-Economic independence is of utmost importance.Many in North-East has their state ,but they are still backward and exploited,take for example-----Manipur's per capital income is mere Rs 1476(2003-04).There inspiration is still not been met after 60 yrs of independence.Well how can we guarantee ours after statehood? we must first take stock of what we have in hand; Tourism is the backbone,Tea is important,yet struggling,needs to put some life to tea industry---esp after GI certification.And when Sixth schedule finally comes into act,whole Darjeeling hills will become tribal land,which means we can use/share whole of forest land.now control ed and exploited by W,B Forest development cooperation.The revenue has to be shared with local inhabitant as per the law.Even the tees ta NEPC dams will have to operate as profit sharing project.This is unlikely to happen due to laid back attitude of our leaders.In case of Madyapradesh ,tribes are demanding and claiming their right over all of forest land,at present they are allowed to collect tendu leaves and dry fire wood.we should take complete control of the forest and it's produce.,I'm sure return is Huge!!!!!!!! Geographically we are positioned in a strategics location with four international borders.Trade with these countries should be a top priority.The demand should be made to reopen the old Tibet route Via kalimpong,no one bother to voice for it while Nathula got the preference,which is impractical due to the terrain,it opens just for 4 months a year.the total trade was mere Rs 8 crores. We must put sense to state govt and center to open the Kalimpong route as it could operate tear round and benefits are immense.It's been two years since Monmohan Singh govt announced 'Look East Policy' which envisages trade with ASEAN(east Asian countries) via North -East.We must take advantage of been situated at "Chicken's Neck" where all the trade has to flow as Bangladesh doesn't allow the transit through it's territory.We must present this as reason for developing infrastructure at Terri region ; like dry ports,rail freighter,cold storage, for this to happen Doors region has to be integrated with DGHC It will help boost the economy of whole of north Bengal. There is a retail boom in rest ofthe country except for Bengal .Reliance fresh sources potato from Kerala for it's Delhi stores.Floweriest from Delhi and Mum bail get there cut flowers flown from Bang lore.the Growers get the best price possible.Why can;t our flower reach this markets?It's because we got a small airport,which gets just three flight a days.There is no rail freighter at NJP...blaa baa.Well, why don't we demand for new airport,possibly with international flights(like Jaipur and Nagpur)This will not only boost tourism ,it will also bring Reliance,Wal -Mat,Big Bazar to source our Tea,cardamoms, fresh flowers,organic vegetables....list is endless so are profits!Bottom line is it will greatly help our small framers by bringing in new market and hard cash.(I have sen a vegetable vendor booking air cargo with Broccoli meant for Pune-at Delhi airport.the air transport cost him RS 30/- per kg,what must be the cost of broccoli at pune?It makes me wonder why can't our farmers reap the same profit/ Next in line should be Dairy Development,when a Small co-operative moment in Anand Gujarat could grow into huge Amul brand.Why can't our HIMUL fo;;ow the same path?the climatic condition of Kalimpong and other suits Dairying and cooperative moment can involve just about anybody!If the DGHC concentrates just in Dairy developement,Darjeeling could become a prosperous region like any other state in north India Please don't feel Sikkim is doing well either---because of statehood.,If you look closely,it's per capital income is slightly above west Bengals at Rs 21586/-And if we take population into account i.e 12 lacs for Sikkim against Cr ores for Bengal.Te shine is just due to Govt job and services.they still don't have a university and a state medical college.So how far are we? Lastly statehood is irrelevant without economic freedom,it will be like a car without an engine!Outsider will trade for us,they will enjoy the fruits of Gorkhaland,we will continue to work for others. Well,dear leaders ,students,teachers..............NRGs and last but not the least Dreamers I'll leave you with a match box quote.......pl find your destiny........"shoot for the Moon,if you miss,you will land amongst stars"
    (Posted by deo, November 19, 2007, 8:55 PM)
  • image You are right. There are many who are left with such memories today ... some who have become the living dead unknown to others .... others who have put on a brave face and moved on. It was in the dead of a bitterly cold night during the 40 day strike that our phone rang. I remember the chilling news that came from the other end. My uncle's house had been attacked and his teenage son had been killed. His only crime was that his father was a government servant. I remember walking in the pitch dark for 3-4 kilometres to reach their house with my parents ... braving the cold and the numerous bunkers with guns pointed ominously in the dark. But at that time we didnt think of our own safety. I still remember the smell of burning materials, kerosene, blood and death in that house ... the long wait for the police who came hours later in the morning, breaking the news to his mother who had been taken away by neighbours and had been told a different story at first, everyone's utter helplessness and loss of words to console the parents, waiting outside the morgue as if the doctor would come out and say that surgery was successful, repeating the tale to curious passerby some of whom wanted to have peek like as if it was a curious sideshow in town ... I have never wished for the world to stop spinning and undo that terrible scene like I did then. But everyone has to bear their own sorrow in private and pick up the pieces when all is said and done. Due to this incident, a series of events occured in their lives which is futile to relate here ... to say their lives changed is an understatement. The sad memory of this incident had an impact on me that I know definitely affected my life in many ways and clouded my perceptions in life for many years. After all everything in this world is connected with everything else. Yet his parents never cursed the gods, or their fate, or the masked killers and their sponsors/leaders. All they ever said is that they prayed that this should not happen to anyone again ... not even to their enemies. For them it didnt matter who was to blame, who was guilty, who was right or wrong ... ? What does it matter when brothers start killing their own ? There are thousands in Darjeeling with such stories from remote villages to the centre of town. Are we destined to forget all this and repeat the sorry past once again ? Just when we were hoping that time would heal the pain, we seem to have come full circle.
    (Posted by Nevermind, November 16, 2007, 2:21 AM)
  • image Dear writer....am so touched by the article....i happen to be few years younger than you but i still have memories about the agitation...We also used to count the crpf vans at night like you did...but now the reality....the movement was incomplete and we did not acheive our goal followed by our laid back attitude the bengal govt is just fooling the people of the hills.On one hand the world is watching India march towards the 21st Century and on the other hand Darjeeling....which is lagging behind several decades...we need to continue the movement but the approach needs to be different....non violent,diplomatic and intellectual....first the bengal govts poster boy...ghising..has to be removed from his chair and to that respect am supporting the new party....again...we will provide issue based support and will not support any leader blindly...the janta will also have to agree with the approach the leader or the party will take...
    (Posted by The Drunk Monk, November 14, 2007, 12:58 PM)
  • image I was in the same standard when the agitation broke out, so naturally had no hand in the agitation. I respect your sentiments at the same time honour the sacrifice made by your brother and those thousands who dreamt of a separate state. But then because of the sacrifices made by people like your brother, the cause is still on. May be you feel yourself to be an old man, and lament for bygone days, but then some like me are not. I shall be one of those foolish idiots and try to forge ahead and see that the sacrifce made by your brother and other MARTYRS shall not be in vain.
    (Posted by Bahadur, November 11, 2007, 5:01 PM)
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