As the push for a nation-wide National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise gets stronger, there are growing concerns among the Indian Gorkha community settled in various pockets across the country. The discussions are gaining more ground after Assam published its final NRC list on August 31, 2019, the process which was monitored by the Supreme Court of India. As reported by different media organisations, of the estimated 25 lakh Gorkhas living in Assam, about 1 lakh were excluded from the final list.
This shows absolute lack of empathy by TMC Govt towards over 25 Lakh Gorkhas who live in West Bengal and whose lingua franca is Nepali. The discrimination against Gorkhas is apparent for everyone to see. This absolute indifference on the part of West Bengal government exposes their intent and discriminatory policy towards the Gorkhas, and thus justifies the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
West Bengal Cabinet’sdecision 31st of Oct 2019 permits for 15% of the land in tea gardens to be used for “tourism purposes”. They have further said that the maximum land that can be diverted to tourism should not cross 150 acres. The WB Cabinet has further mandated that the tea garden owners can make construction in 40% of this land.
Some hurts are so deep, it gets radiated. You don’t have to spell it out; it’s there for everyone else to see. On the 23rd of October, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s hurt in losing Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat was for everyone to see. She had come to Kurseong for an administrative review meeting, but she couldn’t keep a lid on her politics and that betrayed her feelings.
Darjeeling Everyday is a delicious feeling. Here in Darjeeling, the festive seasons are almost to end and we are now at the best part of the entire season – the Tihar days. Everything about this time of the year is beautiful – bright sunny days, smiling mountains, milky white clouds (if any), delicious food, selrotis, flowers, vailo, dewsi, vai tika, dakshina, drinks and what not? If you get greeted by pleasant weather mixed with the aroma of saipatris added to a clear view of the mountains, you are here.
The painting was so thorough that if you kept one of the flowers side-by-side the art, you’d notice every single line, fold and hue were detailed, and it even had the exact same ‘old man’ look about them. It was oil on canvas. It was a masterpiece. The painting was completed with a sign at the bottom. A name in Nepali – P Kovid. When asked about the unusual name, my mother said that Kovid wasn’t exactly a surname but it meant ‘poet’. I didn’t quite understand it because the person seemed to me, a brilliant artist instead.
On Gandhi Jayanti, we extend our respects and love to all our brothers and sisters across the nation.
The drug menace has caught hold of our community in its vice-like grip and if we do not wake up today, it may be too late tomorrow. A teary-eyed young lady recently expresses her ordeal to me – “He is young… My brother had been one of the best guys in the neighbourhood. It is since he joined this new school that the problem began. He met some bad influence and since then it has been the same. My parents and I tried everything. We personally talked to all his friends to leave him alone. Even he realises what kind of situation he is into. He wants to get out. He doesn’t want to go to school. He says he won’t stay back in Darjeeling for college. I hope it gets fine. We are still in disbelief, but we have to live with it.”
I grew up in a small community area in Darjeeling where there were and still are, no motorable roads. There were no taps in our houses because there was no water. You could only ‘play with water’ when it rained. I still remember the day I played in the rain for three hours, it was the best day of my life, ever.
On August 17, West Bengal tourism minister Gautam Deb addressed a press conference at Mirik in Darjeeling. Exuding his obvious concern for the Gorkhas and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue, he said, “If NRC is implemented in the Darjeeling hills, the hills will become empty, out of 15 Lakh people there will be no one to live there. Most Gorkha brothers and sisters and senior citizens they will be driven out from Darjeeling hills, both Darjeeling and Kalimpong, including Kurseong and this Mirik [sic].”