Elections to Darjeeling Municipality have never been so consequential. Will it pave way for new regionalism or sabotage the Gorkhaland statehood demand forever?
This 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal, specially in the hill areas will be an uneventful , issueless and uncharacteristic election, full of rhetoric, devoid of societal passion, but replete with usual zeal and brinkmanship that only ubiquitous money power can trigger.
The history of Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills is just not about the toy train, timber, and tea but it is also about its dark tryst with cold-blooded murders, unsolved and unresolved till date, swept under the carpet by those who did it and those who supported it.
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.
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 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.
Politics and Political Activism in Darjeeling is Taking a Strange Turn. GNLF Stands Against Grassroots Democracy. In the last few Days, Gorkha Politics is Abuzz with the Issue of Panchayati Raj
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.
The NDA is set to retain the Darjeeling MP seat and also win the state assembly by-elections in 2019.