Is there a case regarding Gorkhas seeking linguist minorities’ status?
The framers of the constitution of India decided on linguist states and not geographical states, yet linguist minorities in India are not given the same status and rights as religious minorities, which are vote banks. On the other hand there is reservation on caste based criteria which adds a whole new dimension to the social fabric of society. Currently English has emerged as the language of power and economics, while Hindi has become a popular language with nearly 51% of the population of the country studying the same as first, or second, language. All this has been at the cost of a large number of other languages. Around 20 years ago there were more than 148 languages yet today 94 main stream languages are left. Each time a language dies, so does it art, literature, culture, dance, drama, poetry, dress sense and clothes, cooking, in short its way of life. There is a growing need to learn English which provides jobs and is the language of power, left out are the regional languages. There are essentially adequate provisions in the constitution of India to provide protection to linguist minorities, yet the social milieu demands more emphasis on economic language and the other languages are dying out. There is thus a need to preserve various languages; on the other hand there is the urgency to economically progress, which all sections of society demand as their right.
TIME TO CLEAR THE CLUTTER
Fifth Column -Sumanta Sen
It is becoming a bit tiresome, this Darjeeling business. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders blow hot in the hills, come down to Calcutta, have a meeting with the chief minister, cool down and then, after a lapse of time, are in a threatening mood, once again.
Scoring political points cannot be a government’s priority. Mamata Banerjee’s anxiety over a new administrative set-up for the Darjeeling hills is more political than administrative. She seems to be in a hurry to claim her success in dealing with a problem that defies an easy solution. She can legitimately claim some success for engaging the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in negotiations that led to the signing of the agreement on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. But it was only a first step and needed to be followed up by several others. But the chief minister, apparently, cannot wait to claim the final victory. Ever since the pact was signed, she has never missed an opportunity to claim that she has ‘solved’ the “Darjeeling problem”. This is not only unnecessary but could also prove to be counter-productive. The GJM leaders and the people in Darjeeling obviously do not think that the problem has been solved. On the contrary, they argue that there is a long way to go before the issue is resolved. Only a notification for the setting up of the GTA has been issued so far and the rules framed for holding polls to the new administrative body.
The first bullet that killed a Gorkhaland activist was way back in 1986. Since then, the trend of sacrifice has not stopped. The other grave occurrence of 27th of July 1986 is a history now; however the day lives like a deep scar on the minds of those who had lost their kin. That infamous Sunday still echoes with the shrieks of our fellow brothers and sisters who had given their lives for Gorkhaland. The sound of bullets had ricocheted all over the Kalimpong town. It had riddled the bodies of the people who had died and for the living; the incident had rendered them sleepless for many months.
Recently in Nepal, a 58-page report submitted by its parliamentary committee on International Relations and Human Rights has started a national debate within the country regarding its foreign policy. If succinctly put, the report critically examines the role of citizens as Gurkhas and fighting under foreign flags since 1815.
The resolution passed by the UP Assembly under Chief Minister Mayawati to split Uttar Pradesh into four parts has set the cat among pigeons for all activities regarding new states and will open the door for Telangana as well as Gorkhaland. This will put Gorkhas settled elsewhere in India on the horns of dilemma regarding the vexed issue of Gorkhaland, something that brings about political identity and is dear to all.