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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not many are aware that today – Jan 25th – is Celebrated as the National Tourism Day in our country, and this very fact that people are unaware of it being National Tourism Day today perhaps shows why we still have a long way to go, in terms of making India the most desired tourist destinations in the world.
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.
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].”
I want to begin my indictment of the TMC-led government by sharing a story about Pandit Oroan — a 35-year-old Adivasi man from Baroghoria Gram, which falls under Alipurduar district. In June 2017, Pandit Oroan and his wife were blessed with a baby boy – they named him Abhiraj. Sadly, Abhiraj was born with a birth defect, which prevented him from passing stool normally. All Abhiraj needed to function as a normal child was having a simple procedural operation, which would have cost around Rs 10,000 in a government hospital in Siliguri.