“If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha.”
– Indian Army Chief of Staff Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw ( 1914-2008 )
The demand for Gorkhaland State is not a recent event but has existed since 1907; two mass movements for Gorkhaland largely ignored by the “mainstream” print and television media have taken place under the Gorkha National Liberation Front (1986–1988) and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (2007–present).
There was no “West Bengal” in 1907 & it remains a matter of surprise that how did a region that was part of Chogyal Kingdom of Sikkim, later conquered and lost by Gorkhas of Nepal, handed over to British Imperialists end up of all places with Bengal???
Like Bodoland, my support is also for Gorkhaland State, again I don’t care what others think, as they feel Gorkhaland is too far from the cozy comfort of their “homes” & not our problem to be concerned about.
To begin with and being blunt the region now known as Gorkhaland was never a part of any Bengali land!
The Bengalis are being very naive when they raise hue & cry calling Gorkhaland’s creation as “Partition of Bengal”!
Oh for God’s sake this is laughable as what were the Bengali “Bhadralok” doing in 1947 during the communal partition of India when Hindu majority Khulna ended up with East Pakistan & Muslim majority Murshidabad that celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day in August 14 1947 end up with West Bengal!
Also Bengal got territory after the Kingdom of Cooch Behar was dissolved & merged with West Bengal in 1950 which was another impulsive move by the then Government of India as the Kingdom of Cooch Behar could have become the present day Kamtapur State!
Like Bodoland, successive Governments of India are ignoring Gorkhaland which is not right, it seems irrespective of which party or coalition rules from New Delhi they all seem to avoid confrontation with All India Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee whose party currently rules West Bengal.
Mamata Didi thunders now and then from Nabanna and earlier Alimuddin Street warning the Central Government to stay away from the “Hills of Bengal” and Gorkhaland agitators to stop the protest come what may, as if anybody cares or gives two hoots to what she think!
The Bengali arrogance over Gorkhaland is likely to complicate matters in the coming days, as little or no effort has been made either by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government that ruled West Bengal for 34 years or the present All India Trinamool Congress to understand the reasons behind the demand for Gorkhaland.
Chief Ministers of West Bengal irrespective of which party or ideology they hail from have long been rejected as leaders in Gorkhaland!
There are also rumors being spread by Anti Gorkhaland Bengali groups that claim Gorkhaland if created may join Nepal which is absurd, to this my counter point is that Sikkim is a good example of a Nepali majority state that is doing quite well on its own and is not even talking about any “merger” with Nepal.
Also the Government of India does not have to look,react or behave very cautious when it deals with the Gorkhaland demand and must never forget the sacrifices of Gorkha Regiment in defending India’s honor against foreign aggression, doubting the Gorkhas will make India nail its own head!
My suggestion ( If I may suggest ) is that if the Government of India is confused about Gorkhaland then they can initially merge the areas with Nepali Majority Sikkim, and check the outcome!
Time is running out for both the Bengals, its a different matter that no one likes to or wants to talk about the way lawlessness and anarchy is spreading in the two Bengals one headed by Shaikh Hasina and other by Mamata Banerjee, it is very important that India’s Eastern border with Bangladesh is secured and defended most important is to defend the Siliguri corridor ie “Chicken Neck” area of India, If the area falls under those hostile to India, once captured Silguri Corridor, the rest of North East India will be cut from the Indian land.
In such a situation the Gorkhas would be the best to defend and push Bangladeshi Miyas who now have a free run due to Bengali Dalals who for some commission allow Bangladeshis to enter and exit as if it’s their own backyard with no accountability to the Nations security concerns! Security agencies must take note of the importance of “Chicken’s neck” in defending India’s eastern border!
When will Gorkhaland be established?, I don’t know, Will it happen in our lifetime?, I dont know but I know for sure that more Government after Government in New Delhi delays the more complicated it will get. A time might come when negotiation table policy won’t work!
The Congress party’s unique secular “vote bank politics” ironically favor’s a certain community that resort’s to violent ways if their demands are not met makes them shy away from Gorkhaland as in Bodoland they know that their incompetent administration based on “commission dalal’s”, two timers, mafia middlemen and racketeers will gradually be pushed off like it’s happened in Sikkim so they are shy to discuss the state hood demand!
They know they won’t be voted back to power in the state even if they helped in creating it, most likely in a strange turn of tragic events they lose in both, the state they partition ( Andhra Pradesh ) and the new state they create ( Telangana ).
The BJP on the other hand claims it stands with all those who are neglected by the ‘torch bearers’ of secularism and that fielded its experienced blue-chip leaders like Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia and Jaswant Singh from Darjeeling must come up with more competitive assurances than empty slogans & mixed signals and like Telangana the BJP needs to be outright honest with the people of Darjeeling whether they will establish or at least assist in establishing Gorkhaland now that they have been voted into power by the people!
All talk and no action will not work for the BJP in Gorkhaland, patience is wearing thin, and the BJP must act and at least initiate the groundwork for the establishment of Gorkhaland State. It will help in a big way and provide much-needed comfort to the agitating and restless people of Darjeeling ( and me ) who are very anxious to see Gorkhaland established!
My support for Gorkhaland will always be there for my Gorkha brethren in the same way as I support my Bodo brethren for Bodoland.
Jai Maha Kali, Ayo Gorkhali (Hail, Goddess Kali, The Gorkhas are here)
Further Reading :
My article on Darjeeling Times, The Darjeeling Chronicle and Gorkha Youth and Students Association of India site