Gorkhas Never Part of India?
One of our readers, write
This is to bring you to the light of a notification released in the website of http://darjeeling.gov.in recently wherein the govt. has defined ‘Gorkha’ as the community who originally came from Nepal. But we all know that Darjeeling was originally a part of the Kingdom of Sikkim and was inhabited by the Tsongs (Limbu), the Bhutias, the Lepchas, and the Kirat (Rai) and the Magars, before being invaded by the Gorkhas who were able to subdue the combined indigenous Bhutia and Lepcha armies of Sikkim. The Gorkha army from Nepal invaded Darjeeling in the 1780s, attacked the Sikkimese capital of Rabdentse, and annexed territories up to the Teesta River into Nepal. By 1816 the whole of the area known as British Sikkim belonged to Nepal. After the Anglo-Gorkha War, Nepal ceded one-third of it territories to the British under the 1816 Sugauli Treaty, which included the land area between the Mechi and Teesta Rivers.
The Notification which consists of a letter from the Anthropological Survey of India dated 10 September, 2004 which states that Gorkhas exclusively came to India (which suggests that Gorkhas were never a part of India or were Indians originally) and also that the Nepal migrants at the time called themelves as Gorkhas which might be relevant. But the question that is being posed indirectly is regarding the Gorkha’s identity. So, during the Survey by the concerned esteemed Ministry where from did they gather the information about Gorkhas only being migrants. Didn’t they find or studied the history of Gorkhas and the land inhabited by them?
The letter is itself very vague mentioning Gorkha as a blanket term for migrants of Nepal to India. It has nowhere mentioned that they were inhabitants of land covered by India. The release of the Notification at such a time where it has no relevance poses 6 serious thought provoking questions-
- The letter in the Notification is of 10 September, 2004 which is about 14 years old. Why has it been released now? What is the objective of this Notification at the present times? What is it trying to portray?
- The letter has been written to Shri R.N. Chakraborty, Assistant Secretary, Home (Political Dept.), Govt. of West Bengal, Writers Building, Kolkata by Mr. Arun Kumar Singh, Head of Office wherein there is no signatures of both the personnel. So, is the letter genuine?
- In the letter, a segment of statements has been underlined which highlights that people coming from Nepal to India used to call themselves as Gorkhas. Is it suggesting that Gorkhas were not Indians originally or by birth (after Treaty)?
- Moreover, there is no marking or direction of the letter to be uploaded in the Government website. So, why has it been uploaded?
- Isn’t the Government aware that the land inhabited by Gorkhas for instance Darjeeling was taken into jurisdiction of East India Company from Nepal which later remained as a part of India when the Company left i.e. after Independence? Therefore, before uploading such matters why didn’t the Government verify the content matter?
- Before Kalimpong was under the jurisdiction of Darjeeling District. As we know, Kalimpong was taken by the Indian Government under lease from Bhutan for which the Indian Government pays lease to the country. Now that Kalimpong has been separated and gained the status of District, Darjeeling has become a distinct entity. Why has this fourteen years old letter in the Notification been released at this juncture? Is it done because now that Kalimpong has been separated from Darjeeling, it would be easy to raise questions at the identity of Darjeeling Gorkhas?
- Now the major and most saddening issue is what is our political heads or representatives(elected and nominated) doing even when this Notification is doing rounds in the website of www.darjeeling.gov.in.
First of all, the question arises why is it being uploaded in the very first hand. After it has been uploaded, what are these political figures thinking? Haven’t they come under the sight of this Notification? As they proudly say that they are the caretakers of Gorkhas, haven’t they even heard of this notification? They claim to know everything about our history and culture, what have they got to say now after this notification has openly been released? They seem to be deaf, dumb and mentally backward in this whole picture of the situation.
Lastly, it is a challenge to all the self claimed Netas who have promised to provide us identity to write a letter or release a Notification enclosing the whole history of Gorkhas stating very loudly and clearly that we were Indians who were geographically brought to India alongwith the land vide Inter-Country and Inter-State Treaties.
Do they have enough guts to write or spread such circular in the said website clearing away the annotation of Gorkhas as highlighted at the letter contained in the Notification?