Geographically, the district of Darjeeling can be dissected into two broad divisions: the Hills and the plains. For the voters queuing up on 18 April to press the EVM button in favour of their chosen nominees in the Hills, the choice is clear ~ who can bring peace and development, be it in the form of Gorkhaland, an interim council or the Sixth Schedule or even Union Territory status. As for the electorate in the plains, the choice is clear too ~ whether to vote in favour of the harbinger of “change” Miss Mamata Banerjee, or an eighth Left Front government. Either way; the stakes are high, no matter how diverse the angst of the electorate may seem, writes Anjan Chakraborty.
romit bagchi traces the historical evolution of the All India Gorkha League and its current political programme
THE evolution of the views of the All India Gorkha League, the oldest political outfit in the Darjeeling hills, when viewed against the moving political trajectory in the restless hills, is startling. The history is interesting, as it points to the shifting focus with the passage of time.
The Gorkha community is an integral part of India. The Gorkhas have been considered as a martial race due to their dexterity in warfare. They have received International recognition for their bravery. Despite their indefatigable sacrifice for their motherland they have not been able to breathe the air of freedom. The fight for statehood has stretched over a period of more than two decades. Thousands of Gorkhas have lost their lives and thousands more have been victims of this movement. As a result of this gory battle that has taken the lives of many Gorkhas there are some crucial questions that have emerged as a result of this power struggle. Why is the West Bengal government adamant to grant a free state? Why is the central government doing less or nothing to address this issue? Why is the Gorkha community marginalized? The answer to Gorkahland lies somewhere within these questions.
John. F. Kennedy once said that ‘Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.’ The Gorkhaland movement that has been going on for decades reminds me of this quote. The recent agitation that has believed in peace and harmony and has followed Gandhism as far as practicable is a stunning example of how the movement has been carried forward with a completely new dimension. The government of West Bengal should concentrate on what Kennedy said many years back, out of his philosophy and experience. The peaceful revolution that has mesmerized the people of the hills and the dooars is now at the verge of final conflict.
The Dak Bungalow
Upper Cart Road
Dear Dak Bungalow,
I am sorry I took you for granted. I am sorry I never expressed my love for you before. I am sorry I thought you were there for posterity in my lifetime. But today, when I got back from office and Mom told me that you had been burnt almost to ashes, almost to rubble, I am numbed. Mom called up Uncle Pran of Larks store fame and asked about you. He confirmed the news, they burnt you badly, they burnt you totally. I felt something missing, someone missing.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Supporters of separate Gorkhaland state shouted slogans during an indefinite strike in Darjeeling on Wednesday.
Trouble is brewing in India’s tea-producing hill region of Darjeeling in West Bengal, with angry protestors taking to the streets after police fatally shot two activists who were part of a movement demanding a separate state.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, a political party spearheading a movement for the creation of Gorkhaland state, called for a total shutdown following the incident.