We, as a community, are in that state of a drunkard’s evening where he forgets every insult he has been meted out, and every humiliation he has gone through during the day, and is just worried if he can manage some booze for the evening and the next day or not. If the same person who has slapped him twice earlier in the day offers him a bottle of booze, the person immediately becomes his God.
Money by itself has become so important to us that it can change the structure and composition of our entire community, and also the direction of our slogans and aspirations. Self-respect and dignity, on the other hand, must be only laughing at us at the moment. And, as they say, “A captain can only be as good as the crew is”, we have leaders that we perfectly deserve.
A recent series of incidents that we all have fresh in our memories, led me into a deep mess of confusion and distress. It started with Mamata Banerjee visiting Darjeeling, with all the leaders from the hills standing beside her, changing the name of roads, celebrating big business bluffs – the same leaders who were leading a massive movement against her just a few months back. More surprising was the approach of our people towards her. What should have sparked an immediate outrage was instead being greeted with joy in the handful of lot. The very same people, who stood victimised a few months back, with lathi wounds decorating their body and blood stains all over their place, were standing with a smile, with folded hands and garlands. It made me realised how vulnerable and helpless we are.
But the most unbelievable thing for me was when the families of the 5 Gorkhaland martyrs out of 9 invited to receive West Bengal government largess, went up to receive the “compensation” of Rs 2 lacs each. It instantly reminded me of a line that one of my friends had once said, “kambal (blanket) ko laagi ghar jalaai mangney baani cha hamro”.
So, our lives have become this cheap – 2 lacs each, and if you ask who facilitates this easy business of headhunt, its our own leaders. They take us to the streets to get hunted by bullets, and later call our family members to get compensated. And us, we go to get the compensation with garlands and a smile. So, I call them agents of life. They convert deaths into money, and they get rewarded with power, position, chairs, boards and of course a lot of money.
On the other hand, I see the families of those martyrs who stood strong and refused the compensation, although they are going through a lot of adversaries. They are firm in saying that they will only receive the compensation when the issue of Gorkhaland is resolved – the dream that the heroes carried down to their graves. I wonder how the martyrs would be proud of seeing a part of our people remembering their sacrifice, and at the same time equally ashamed seeing their deaths being capitalised for petty political gains.
The bottom line of everything goes on to highlight our poor fortune with leaders. Our self respect and dreams are being traded on in broad daylight, and here we stand with khada, perfectly satisfied with the bits of coins thrown at us. And thus, we can clearly be sure of the fact that none of these leaders, no matter which party they belong to, are capable of bringing us Gorkhaland. We have for now submitted our fate to set ups like GTA and 6th schedule.
At least I, as an individual, refuse to accept any of these bootlickers, sellouts and self-centred switch boats as my leader. They are just the agents of the state (without mandate), representing different parties, with one common agenda of duping us of our hopes and dreams.
Gorkhaland state will be realized, and it will be formed, I have that conviction in my heart, but I am equally convinced, it won’t be possible under these sellouts.