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Posts Tagged ‘gorkhaland’

NEW DELHI: GJM National Committee members visit Delhi, Haryana and Uttarakhand

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 4, 2011

THE HIMALAYAN BEACON [BEACON ONLINE]

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha since its inception has always pledged on bringing Gorkhas across the nation on the same platform and have stressed upon uniting Gorkhas residing in various parts of the country. Within 46 months, GJM has been mostly successful in achieving this feat as it has its Sakhas (branches) spread across North-Eastern states, Delhi, Uttarkhand, Hyderabad, Kolkota, Jharkhand and Sikkim. The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration bill was successfully passed in the Assembly yesterday and it will start working towards development of the Gorkhaland area, but the movement of the separate state of Gorkhaland will alongside continue on the National level. The GJM founder-president Mr. Bimal Gurung has always reiterated that the main goal of the organization is achieving the separate state of “Gorkhaland” and hence, he will not rest till it is achieved. Read the rest of this entry »

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OPINION: Darjeeling to Gorkhaland – Name-Change To Placate The Dominant Ethnic Group

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 26, 2011

THE STATESMAN

BY JAI SHANKAR AGARWALA

[The author is an advocate practicing at Jalpaiguri District Court.]

THE Gorkhaland agreement is an interim arrangement prior to the creation of a separate state of the same name. In a de facto manner, it legitimises the process of colonisation in the 21st century. There is no such parallel yet anywhere in the world. The sensitive aspect of the pact signed last month is that it has changed the name of Darjeeling to Gorkhaland. Implicit in the name, “Darjeeling”, is the fact that it was once a predominantly Lepcha territory.

Mamata Banerjee has tried to under-play the name-change in the Hills by quoting Shakespeare ~ “What’s in a name?”. This is bound to boomerang, and add fuel to the fire. To say the least, the pact is a hasty, short-sighted exercise on the part of the Chief Minister, reminiscent of Rajiv Gandhi’s brand of politics. It reeks of opportunism.

We need to ascertain whether the term, “Gorkha” denotes a tribe, a race, a caste or a linguistic group. Why did the leaders of the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) insist that the territory should be named Gorkhaland if there was nothing substantive? Why do they find the original name, “Darjeeling”, unacceptable? The name-change has been incorporated in the agreement. And the GJMM has stuck to its demand for a separate state by that name.

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is only a stepping stone towards a separate state of Gorkhaland within the Union of India. The permanent title of the territory has been reserved for the Gorkhas, to the exclusion of other ethnic groups, including the Lepchas. The hegemony of the Gorkha is inherent in the agreement. The grant of Scheduled Tribe status to the Gorkhas, as promised, will enable them to exclude all other ethnic groups from buying property in the proposed state. Read the rest of this entry »

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NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh meets Minister for Development of North East Region

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 31, 2011

The Himalayan Beacon

The delegates in conversation with the minister. Click on the image to enlarge.

29th July 2011, New Delhi: A delegation of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh comprising Parisangh Secretary General Sukman Moktan, Gen Sec CPC Munish Tamang, National Co-ordinator of Gorkhaland Task Force R. Moktan, Central Office Incharge B. M. Pradhan and National Executive Member Navin Subba met the Minister for Development of North East Region (DONEAR) Pawan Singh Ghatowar at his office today at Vigyan Bhawan Annexe in New Delhi.

Click on the image above to enter Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh's Portal at GorkhapediaClick on the image above to enter Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh’s Portal at Gorkhapedia Read the rest of this entry »

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Gorkhaland for Sale

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 16, 2011

The newly elected Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjeeannounced on 7 June that the West Bengal state government has come to an agreement with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the party leading the agitation for a separate Gorkha state since 2007. Gorkhaland was supposed to be carved out of West Bengal in India and encompass the current district of Darjeeling in the Himalayan foothills.

Darjeeling district is culturally distinct from the rest of the state by its primary language (Nepali instead of Bengali) and its character as a melting pot of religions and ethnicities (various indigenous tribes and immigrants from Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan). Now the leaders of the GJM have dropped the demand for a separate state and instead reached an agreement with the West Bengal government to form a new hill council with elected representatives to govern in a semi-autonomous fashion.

It seems that history has just repeated itself. The demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland is not new. In the 1980s, Subhas Ghisingh and his Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) led a violent two-year conflict for a separate Gorkhaland state. In 1988 Ghisingh accepted a political settlement, signing a tripartite agreement with the governments in Kolkata and New Delhi that gave partial autonomy to the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGCH), the governing body for the district of Darjeeling.

The 2007-2010 agitation was directed as much against the West Bengal government as it was against the leaders of the GNLF. The GJM accused the hill council of siphoning funds and claim that some GNLF functionaries, including Ghisingh, have amassed personal fortunes with money allocated for development. In short: the opposition parties like the GJM were not satisfied with the autonomy granted in the 1980s as it did nothing to improve the living conditions in the region (high unemployment, water shortages, road conditions that deteriorate every monsoon, and landslides). Since the second agitation started, there were frequent strikes affecting government offices, schools and transportation. Read the rest of this entry »

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DARJEELING: First electoral mandate for Morcha and more

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 14, 2011

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BY VIVEK CHHETRI

Darjeeling, May 13: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today not only proved that it is the sole force that enjoys the hill

Trilok Dewan in Darjeeling. Picture by Suman Tamang

mandate but also established that its electoral influence extends even to the foothills ofnorth Bengal.

Even though the hills account for only three of the 294 Assembly seats, the elections this time had evoked special interest as it was for the first time since 2006 that the mandates for the hill parties were tested.

In the last elections in the hills — the 2009 Lok Sabha polls — the Morcha-backed BJP candidate Jaswant Singh won by over 2 lakh votes. But that election did not reflect the strength of any hill party directly, thereby raising questions on the state’s and the Centre’s decision to keep the other hill outfits out of the talks for Gorkhaland.

During the 2009 polls, the GNLF had decided not to contest the elections while the ABGL had left it to the “conscience” of the people to cast their votes. The CPRM, despite being opposed to the Morcha, had extended support to Jaswant’s candidature.

The results of the Assembly polls have also proved that despite GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh’s return to the hills after almost three years and the strong resentment seen after the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang, the Morcha still enjoys an overwhelming support.

The deposits of all other candidates in the three hill seats were forfeited as the three Morcha candidates won by margins largest ever in the Assembly election results of the hills.

The highest margin even during the GNLF heyday had been 40,000 votes. Deposits of candidates are forfeited if they poll less than 1/6th of the total votes cast. Read the rest of this entry »

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MISSION GOKHALAND – PARTY POLITICS OR REVOLUTION

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 12, 2011

THE HIMALAYAN BEACON [BEACON ONLINE]

BY SIRUPATE RAI

Gorkhaland movement is not about party politics. It is a revolution with one objective – the achievement of the state of Gorkhaland. The hill leaders can learn from the people revolutions in the Middle East and North African countries. These revolutions are not about playing party politics, it is about aiming to achieving one goal – freeing the country from the hands of the terrible dictators. What happens after that will be up to the people. Not all countries have succeeded nor all the movements will succeed but they have shown the power of people and power of unity. We have a lot to learn from them.

All the political parties in the hills have lost their credibility as  far as the demand for Gorkhaland is concerned. They had their moments but people have been let down time and time again. Hope has turned into despair. Needless to say ordinary citizens are suffering endlessly. The formation of yet another political party is not the answer. Gorkhaland is not going to be achieved through the ballot boxes as we do not have the numbers to make a significant or desirable impact. Party politics has divided people and the external sources are at work to divide the hills even further. The current hill leaders have helped the division amongst hill people even further by being succumbed to the “divide and rule” methodology used successfully time and time again by the powers above. The colour in the West Bengal Assembly Government will not make any difference to the despair and difficulties faced by the hill people – “jun jogi ayo kanai chireko” is applicable in this case. Essentially, the only people who can make the difference are the hill people and the strong unity amongst us. Read the rest of this entry »

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I never asked for Gorkhaland: Ghisingh

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 10, 2011

What Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) chief Subash Ghisingh said at a public meeting in Mirik on

GNLF Supremo Subash Ghisingh addressing his supporters at Mirik. Photo by Mohan Prasad. Photo from Himalaya Darpan

Saturday, his first since his return to Darjeeling after a gap of three years, will create a flutter in the Hills. “I never asked for Gorkhaland. I only used the separate state issue as a weapon to acquire citizenship for the Gorkhas of the country,” said the veteran leader.

” Delhi and Bengal failed to understand that I was using the Gorkhaland state issue as a brahmastar’ (weapon) to achieve citizenship and identity for the Gorkhas of India. Instead, they misinterpreted it as a demand for division of Bengal,” he explained to a modest gathering which braved the heat and humidity for more then two hours.

Ghisingh asserted that his true mission of Indian citizenship for Gorkhas was achieved when the DGHC was formed. “We should not use the Gorkhaland state issue as a tool to bargain for petty things. We have achieved what we wanted,” he pointed out.

To bear testimony to the GNLF leader’s remark, Ghisingh had dropped the demand for a separate state when the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council accord was inked in 1988. “In the overall interest of the nation and on the Prime Minister’s personal request, the GNLF hereby agrees to drop the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland,” said the very first paragraph of the accord.

Significantly, Ghisingh criticized the Centre for not passing the Sixth Schedule Bill but had a word of sympathy for the state government. “The central government did not pass the Sixth Schedule Bill in 2008 because their intentions were full of malice towards the Hills people. The Government must now honour the 2005 agreement, but even if they don’t I will not let it go,” he warned. Read the rest of this entry »

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Police open fire on Gorkhaland protesters, Army called in, shutdown today

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 9, 2011

By Pramod Giri, 08 February, 2011: In renewed Gorkhaland agitation, two supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) were killed on Tuesday as police fired on a crowd in Jalpaiguri district. This was the first case of police firing since the Gorkhaland movement resumed more than two years ago in October 2007 under the leadership

GJM, which had wrested its present role from the Gorkha National Liberation Front.

The GJM said that three of its supporters who sustained bullet injuries were very critical.

After Tuesday’s firing, the entire Darjeeling hills saw a shutdown and Gorkhaland supporters in the Kalimpong sub-division attacked government properties and set afire public buses.

Trouble started after 11 am when the joint forces of West Bengal police, the India Reserve Battalion and the CRPF reached Sipchu, 550 km north of Kolkata, where the GJM was organising a hunger strike, and asked the agitators to disperse. Prohibitory orders on assembling were in force in the area. Read the rest of this entry »

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Text of Memorandum submitted to Rahul Gandhi by GJM President today

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 17, 2010

The Himalayan Beacon

To,

Shri Rahul Gandhi
Hon’ble General Secretary
All India Congress Committee
New Delhi

Hon’ble Sir,

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) makes an earnest appeal to the Central Government and to your esteemed authority to show empathy and understanding towards the justified demand of Indian Gorkhas for a separate state of Gorkhaland. The demand, originating in 1907 enjoyed the popular support of the people in the Hills and Dooars. It is a demand based on our identity and political aspirations for self-rule within the framework of the Indian Constitution. In the past, several political parties, groups and leaders have reiterated the demand which culminated in 1980’s in the form of violence, bloodshed, loss of lives and property. but all proved to be futile due to misunderstanding, misinterpretation, misrepresentation and disinformation as orchestrated by the scheming left front government of West Bengal. A separate state of Gorkhaland has been the political aspiration of the Gorkhas for more than 100 years. The late Prime Minister Sri Rajiv Gandhi was well aware of the plight of Gorkhas and the ambiguous status that they suffered at the hand of the State Government hence was sympathetic to the cause. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ghisingh claims he will return to Darjeeling shortly

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 13, 2010

FROM IBNLIVE

Jalpaiguri (WB), Aug 13 (PTI) Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) supremo Subash Ghisingh today claimed that he would shortly return to Darjeeling hills, from where he was driven out by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in 2008, as the situation had improved there. Ghising, who had first voiced the demand for Gorkhaland and led a violent movement from 1986 to 1988 before settling for the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), had earlier said the situation there was not conducive for his return. “We will return shortly. I am not announcing the date,” Ghisingh told reporters at his residence here, guarded by the police, where he has been living since his ouster from Darjeeling. He also claimed that the interim DGHC proposed by the Centre and on which tripartite talks were being held currently with the GJM and the West Bengal government was opposed by the people of Darjeeling. Ghisingh said there should also not be any dilution in the Sixth Schedule status that he had proposed for ensuring greater autonomy in the Darjeeling hills. Under the Sixth Schedule, the DGHC, which runs the administration in the Hills, was to get more powers similar to those enjoyed by the Autonomous District Councils of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. A Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) on Sixth Schedule status to the DGHC was signed between the Centre, the West Bengal government and the GNLF in December 2005. The agreement was signed by the then Union Home Secretary V K Duggal, then West Bengal Home Secretary Amit Kiran Deb and Subash Ghisingh in the presence of then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The GNLF supremo’s insistence for Sixth Schedule status for the Hills had caused him to fall out with his then close aide, Bimal Gurung, who is currently the president of the rival GJM.

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Ghisingh Threatens to Revive Gorkhaland Demand

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 13, 2010

Outlook India

Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) chief Subash Ghisingh today threatened to revive his demand for a separate Gorkhaland if the Centre and the West Bengal government went ahead with setting up an interim Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).

Without naming the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which drove him out of Darjeeling in 2008 and proposed an interim DGHC to replace the present one to run the administration in the hills, Ghisingh said that it would be a ‘disaster’ and that he has submitted a memorandum to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Ghisingh, who had first raised the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland and led a violent movement from 1986 to 1988 before settling for the establishment of the DGHC, in his memorandum to Gandhi pointed to the tripartite Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) on Sixth Schedule status to the DGHC signed in Kolkata between the Centre, the West Bengal government and the GNLF (Gorkha National Liberation Front) in December 2005.

Under the Sixth Schedule, DGHC was to get more powers similar to those enjoyed by the Autonomous District Councils of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. Read the rest of this entry »

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