Articles by Upendra M Pradhan

“PERMANENT POLITICAL SOLUTION” – A Guide for Dummies

Much has been said and written about the so-called ‘Permanent Political Solution’ from many quarters. There are online discussions, zoom meetings, and political rallies galore, on ‘Permanent Political Solution’ (PPS). Some seem to believe it will be the panacea to all the issues confronting our region and people, while others believe it will be just another ‘Hawa-Mithai’.



No Country for the Unconnected – Students Suffer (Online Classes) Due to Lack of Access to Networks in North Bengal

“Online Classes” was a term added to the popular lexicon after the COVID pandemic forced schools and colleges across the country to shut down. Today almost everything is being done online – schooling, office work, meetings, and sometimes even wedding ceremonies. The digital world is a great equalizer, it provides equal opportunities for all, as long as they are connected to the network. Tragically for the majority of students from Darjeeling hills, Terai, and Dooars accessing the network itself is a battle, they keep on losing. Other than those lucky few who live in towns, or on the right side of the mountain where network signals are strong, the majority of the people from rural regions here do not have access to cellular networks.


Bimal’s Bengal Bet – Brave or Buffoonery?

For all his flaws, Bimal Gurung is still liked by a large section of the people from North Bengal. Especially in remote rural regions where politicians rarely venture, Bimal Gurung is seen as someone who has cared for the people. But will this sentiment prevail across the region? It’s difficult to say. But in tying his fate to TMC and also himself, Bimal has made a bold move, will it help him bounce back or will it backfire?


CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS – No one is to be blamed

In “Wai Wai” we trust – that’s the state of journalism in our hills.
In “Syria” we outrage – that’s the state of writers, poets, intelligentsia in our hills.
In “Social-media revolution” we believe – that’s the state of activism in our hills.
In “Finding political relevance” we strive for – that’s the state of academia in our hills.
In “Silence” we dwell – that’s the state of rebellion in our hills

We will vocally decry those who we believe are worthy of our self-righteous scorn, but don’t bother us to speak out against the tyrannical state and the current state of affairs.


Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Review Meeting – A Political Masterstroke or a Bureaucratic Gaffe?

After a hard fought andolan of 4-years from 2007 to 2011, finally the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Agreement was signed between the Center, WB Govt and GJM representatives. The invitation, specifically to GJM is clearly for the resumption of the dialogue from where the center had left it in 2011. The File Number at the top of the letter, F.NO. 12013/01/2011-SR is a dead giveaway. In probability the invitation wasn’t sent to other political parties, as they were not a part of the GTA Agreement.


Hydroxychloroquine and Our Cinchona

As the world fights against Coronavirus, two words have dominated conversations in our Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills – Hydroxychloroquine and Cinchona. There is excitement among certain sections of the people that finally our Cinchona plantations will be given their long-awaited look by the Government. This article sheds light on our Cinchona plantations and presents to you the grim situation facing this sector and the opportunities therein.


Post Bodo Pact, All Eyes on How Centre Deals with Gorkhaland Issue

As the news of a settlement between the government of India and various factions of Bodo groups started to trickle in, there was much curiosity in Darjeeling hills – home to another demand for the separate state — Gorkhaland. Even though parallels can be drawn between the two, the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland supersedes that of Bodoland by decades, and the unique geographical positioning of Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars, makes it one of the most cosmopolitan and at the same time one of the most vulnerable regions in India.