Elections to Darjeeling Municipality have never been so consequential. Will it pave way for new regionalism or sabotage the Gorkhaland statehood demand forever?
एकदिन दुईजना गाईचोर एउटा ग्वाला को घर गाई चोर्न गएछ। एउटा चोरले गाईको घिच्रोमा बाँधेको घण्टी खोलेर त्यसलाई बजाउँदै पूर्वतिर लागेछ। अर्को चोर गाई लिएर पश्चिमतिर लागेछ। ग्वाला भने अत्तालिएर घण्टी बोक्ने चोर भएतिर दौरेछ। ग्वाला को गाई तो चोरे चोरे, तर त्यसलाई मूर्ख पनि बनाई राखेछ, चोरले।
“Prudent Voters Can See the Change in the Horizon” argues our guest contributor Ranjan Sharma* in this election special article In a democracy, the citizens…
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?
It is very embarrassing and heart wrenching for me to get sarcastic remarks being an Indian Nepali or Gorkha in the rest part of Indian soul. Living away from the cold mountain air and friendly own community of the hill for Postgraduate and M.Phil. Studies did come across many times with such sarcastic remarks as Chinese because of having ‘Chimso’ eyes and “How Nepali language while living in Bengal!” considered as some bitter remarks are the inner pains of the Indian Gorkha who resides plains or rest part of Indian soil.
Often described as the Queen of the Hills for its stunning natural beauty, complemented by the world-famous and UNESCO world heritage – the Himalayan Railway, also holding an intoxicating political history the Darjeeling hills does not fail to mesmerize the tourists as well as the scholars. It is sad but not surprising that the Queen of the Himalayas has always been a victim of political betrayal (Dhoka) and there is neither a “ Queen” like leader, nor a permanent “Hills” like solution to achieve its true potentials.
A popular mass leader from Darjeeling who championed the cause of Gorkhaland state, Bimal Gurung’s compromise with TMC for his return has evoked mixed feelings among the common masses.
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.
It may be recalled that 17 councillors from Darjeeling Municipality had recently joined BJP, and placed a no confidence motion against the current board, which is led by Binay Tamang loyalist Prativa Rai Tamang.
The Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars are one of the most complex and complicated, cosmopolitan regions in India. This region is a miniature replica of our nation and the complexities surrounding it. Anyone wishing to govern such a complex piece of geography should have a thorough understanding of its history, polity, politics and socio-cultural fabric.