Showing posts with label Darjeeling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darjeeling. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Agreement – The End, Or The Beginning?

Is the signing of the tripartite Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) agreement the end of the around 3 decades old Gorkhaland problem? Or is it a signal step towards the formation of a separate Gorkhaland state?

West Bengal Chief Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee and Union Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram have clearly said that there is no question of accepting any proposal to divide Bengal. The GTA agreement has been signed only to boost development in the Darjeeling area (as if it was impossible without this agreement), and not to smoothen any process to divide Bengal that has already faced the brunt of division once at the time of India’s partition in 1947.

Significantly, during the signing of the agreement, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Mr. Bimal Gurung also did not utter a single word about the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state (though he did not categorically say that they have dropped that demand, either).

All this may be taken as a sign that the GTA has been successful in placating the grievances/feeling of discrimination/etc. of the so called sons of the soil (sorry, all of these local people are not indigenous to Darjeeling), and now they are no more interested in having a separate Gorkhaland state.

However, the matter might not be that simple. While Bimal Gurung himself did not say anything about Gorkhaland demand, the occasion saw many of his supporters raising slogans like “We Want Gorkhaland”. More importantly, on the sidelines of the signing of the agreement, a couple of GJM leaders told journalists that the GTA agreement was not going to put an end to the struggle for Gorkhand state. Rather that demand will very much remain in place, and in fact that is their ultimate goal.

I feel before the signing of the GTA agreement Mamata Banerjee should have got an official assurance from the GJM leadership that after the agreement they would drop their Gorkhaland demand. That (or something like that) would have been a better thing to do. Unfortunately, Mamata did not bother to do anything like that in a hurry to get the agreement signed and claim credit for resolving a long-standing issue.

Anyways, I feel that immediately the West Bengal government and GJM should jointly issue a media statement, wherein they will clarify their stand and view on this. Otherwise there will be room for rumours and false hopes, which is not very appreciable. The common people want to know the truth, and they must be told the truth. It is a sensitive issue, and there must not be any confusion over anything.

And yes, GJM must drop its demand to bring Nepali-speaking parts of Dooars and Terai under GTA. This is simply too much.

Finally, a bagful of congratulations to my friends, brothers and sisters of Darjeeling for getting an autonomous body for themselves. I may not appreciate the idea of Gorkhaland. I may be uncomfortable even with the signing of GTA agreement. But I certainly appreciate the grievances/ethnical sentiments, etc. that have made you support the Gorkhaland movement. (It is only that I feel that Gorkhaland is not a must to address your demands and aspirations.) I sincerely wish that GTA becomes successful in addressing your grievances, demands and aspirations. And yes, I also hope that GTA pays equal focus on the development of every ethnic community (the Gorkhas, the Lepchas, the Bhutias, etc.), instead of remaining obsessed with one or two community/communities.

Darjeeling has always lied very close to our (Bengalis) heart, and we will keep loving this beautiful place (and its inhabitants) whether it remains under the West Bengal government or GTA or any other entity. An average Bengali’s bonding with Darjeeling is purely emotional, which has nothing to do with the political status of that place. We will always love Darjeeling. And we will always love and adore the people of Darjeeling, even if they perceive us as their enemy, or even oppressor.

And, sorry to say, for us Darjeeling will always remain Darjeeling, and not Gorkhaland. Never!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Factual Error In “Concise Oxford English Dictionary”

Recently I was going through the world famous “Concise Oxford English Dictionary”, 10th Edition (Revised), edited by Judy Pearsall, when I came across a factual error.

I found that in that book the word “Darjeeling” has been described as – “A high quality tea grown in the mountains of northern India”.

The fact is, the mountain where the world famous Darjeeling tea is grown is in eastern India. The exact place where the tea is grown is the mountain of Darjeeling (from where the tea has got its name). And this mountain of Darjeeling is located in the Indian state of West Bengal, in eastern India.

By the way, some people feel that Darjeeling is in North-East India. That information is also wrong.

I hope the “Concise Oxford English Dictionary” will rectify the mistake in the next edition.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Madan Tamang's Assassination In Darjeeling – GJM’s Ugly Character Out In The Open

The real character of Bimal Gurung’s Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) – i.e. an ugly and nasty one – came out in the open with the dreadful murder of All India Gorkha League president Madan Tamang on 21st May 2010, in the picturesque hill town of Darjeeling in north Bengal.

GJM had already proved its ruffian character through the various acts of hooliganism that it was conducting in the name of Gorkhaland movement. It had already turned the “Queen of Hills” Darjeeling into a hell, turning this once darling of tourists into a nightmare for visitors.

But the terribly shocking assassination of Madan Tamang (who was hacked to death by suspected GJM supporters) is different from the other uncivilized activities of GJM. No, not in terms of the seriousness of the offence. The significance of Tamang’s assassination lies in the fact that Tamang’s All India Gorkha League actually belongs to the same “ilk” to which GJM belongs, i.e. both the parties are fighting for a separate Gorkhaland state. In that sense, Tamang’s party and GJM are actually supplementary to each other.

But still GJM supremo Bimal Gurung ordered his followers to kill Tamang. Why? Because he wants to keep only his GJM in the forefront of the so-called Gorkhaland movement, without letting any other party to come in the limelight. For Bimal Gurung what is more important is to establish himself as the one and only leader of the Gorkhaland movement, even if that results in the isolation of other similar groups, eventually resulting in the weakness of the Gorkhaland movement as a whole. This is because Bimal Gurung’s ultimate objective is not merely the establishment of a separate Gorkhaland state, but becoming the first Chief Minister of that state.

In fact, this is true about all the leaders of the so-called Gorkhaland movement. Whether it is Subhash Ghising (who actually started the movement in the mid 1980s) or Bimal Gurung, none of the Gorkhaland movement leaders has any headache for their Gorkha brothers and sisters. And they are certainly not trying to set up a separate state for addressing the so-called “discrimination” that the Gorkha community is facing in West Bengal. Actually all these leaders are fighting only for their own interests. Officially they are claiming that they want a separate state for the Gorkhas as only a state of their own can ensure the optimum growth and development of the Gorkha community of West Bengal. But in reality these leaders want a separate Gorkhaland so that they can have a fiefdom of their own, where they can lead the lives of demi-gods.

If at all the Gorkhaland movement becomes successful and a separate Gorkhaland state is set up, even then there will be no drastic development in the lives of the ordinary Gorkha people of Darjeeling. Did a separate Jharkhand bring any drastic change in the lives of the ordinary tribals, for whose development that state had originally been claimed?

And finally, a humble question for the educated and cultured members of the Nepali community of Darjeeling.

My dear brothers and sisters, will you people still continue to support a ruffian like Bimal Gurung? Do you people understand that voicing support for such a devilish person is actually disgraceful for yourselves? Can a hooligan like Bimal Gurung be really your leader? Just ask your own mind, and you will get the answer.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Darjeeling – The Shangri-La In Eastern Himalayas

Protected by the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga, and caressed by green carpets of tea gardens

Darjeeling is such a beautiful place, even with its thick fog and rains.

The beloved homeland of proud and self-respecting peoples, such as Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalis

It is a land of amazing beauty, a land also endowed with eternal charm and peace.

Come here to witness how snow-covered mountains are bathing themselves in fast flowing chilly winds

Come here to observe the thrilling scene of vivacious rivers swiftly flowing through the surrounding rocks and greens.

Come here to relish a colourful flora, which comprises varieties of trees, flowers, plants and orchids

Come here to experience a rich fauna, ranging from Red Panda to singing birds and butterflies.

Come here to know about Mountaineering, one of the world’s top sports and many peoples’ craze

Come here to see the spectacular Darjeeling Toy Train, the wonder recognized by the UNESCO as an object of world heritage.

Come here to know about the cultivation of tea, which might be your favourite beverage

Or come here just to have an idle vacation, and spend some leisurely days.

Whatever may be your interest and objective, come to this astounding land before it is too late

Otherwise, who knows, not visiting Darjeeling might become your life’s greatest regret.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Darjeeling Is In West Bengal

Well, this is a message meant precisely for all those Indians who DO NOT know that Darjeeling is in the state of West Bengal, and feel that it is in the beautiful state of Sikkim.

Since I shifted to Delhi from Kolkata in 2001, I have come across a huge number of people who do not know that Darjeeling is in my home state of West Bengal, with most of them having this perception that Darjeeling is in Sikkim.

It is only after my latest such experience on 13th November 2009, where one colleague expressed surprise to know that Darjeeling is in West Bengal, that I decided to make this posting to inform everybody that Darjeeling is in West Bengal.

And yes, I will also like to dispel this misconception of a number of people that Siliguri is in North-East India. In reality, Siliguri is in West Bengal, and is in fact my place of birth.