The Government of Assam issued a notification to include Gorkha communities as one of the ‘protected classes’ in Sadiya Tribal Belt for those who are permanent residents.
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.
“Dissent is a safety valve for democracy. If this safety valve is not allowed to function then the pressure cooker will burst said Justice D.Y. Chandrachud as a part of a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra who was hearing a case regarding the arrest of 5 human right activists in Mumbai. India’s constitutional democracy is predicated on the people’s right to call state power to account. Right to dissent is, therefore, the cornerstone of Democracy. Protests strengthen representative democracy.
It was the government’s job to identify illegal immigrants but they failed and they failed miserably. Now through NRC, they are clandestinely shifting their responsibility on to us. Why do we have to prove our citizenship to the Government once again? It was the Government’s job to identify illegal immigrants, not ours. The burden of proof should, therefore, lie with the government and not with the people.
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.
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].”
On the outset let me inform you that the statement you made in Mirik regarding the consequences of NRC is false. Though the statement you made is appalling, we understand that it is only false propaganda. We have seen enough of the politics that the intellectual bhadralok plays with our emotions. But the times have changed, we have evolved over the years politically, socially and intellectually except the few who are still standing on your side, so such false propaganda will not have any impact on us.
Hon’ble CM assured me that the Gorkha community have no need to worry, even if some names have been left out. He specifically emphasized that the government considers Gorkhas as Assamese people, and told MP Bista there is no need to keep referring them to as Gorkhas. He said that the Gorkhas are an integral and inalienable part of the Assamese community.
Writing is not just a form of divertissement but a healing process that soothes a perturbed and stressful mind, rejuvenates your spirit, and brings you…
This past week was an eventful interesting week, but the three who deserve special mention are Modi, Moon Moon and Malini [Hema]. In their own way, they define how sharp, and how outrageously weird Indian politics can get. Here’s my pick of the week.