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Friday, January 7, 2011

Protection cell prop for GNLF comeback... Sate cry for identity: Pakhrin ... KCR demands separate Telangana state ... CBI reminder for investigation on CM corruption probe

Resistance groups for ‘social work’
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Jan. 7: The GNLF has started forming village protection cells but emphasised that contrary to popular belief they had not been set up to challenge the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s lathi-wielding Gorkhaland Personnel.
Youths in the age group of 18-30 will be members of the VPCs, the GNLF said.
“The VPCs have been formed of conscious and educated youths to undertake social work in a given area. They will neither be trained nor lodged in camps as done by the GLP,” said Shivraj Thapa, spokesperson for the Darjeeling GNLF sub-divisional committee.
Observers said that the VPCs would give the much needed muscle power to the GNLF which is trying a comeback in the Darjeeling hills. The announcement on the village resistance groups comes at a time when Bimal Gurung’s party has called a 27-day strike in the hills in phases for Gorkhaland from January 12. With the Srikrishna panel suggesting bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh as one of its options for the Telangana region, the Morcha now feels the proposed interim set-up for Darjeeling is too modest a goal. The GNLF, however, is for Sixth Schedule status for the hills.
According to GNLF leader Thapa, several village development committees had been set up across Darjeeling and Kalimpong sub-divisions. “A chief will be in charge of 10 VDCs. The chief will also appoint 11 VPC members from each village who will directly report to him. These members will provide the chief with information on the village.”
Thapa claimed that 600 “conscious” youths from Darjeeling and Kurseong had already enrolled in the VPCs. “The motive is totally social and should not be misconstrued. Issues of trafficking of girls from villages will be looked into by these youths. The youths have to be Madhyamik qualified to be able to join the VPC,” said Thapa.
The Morcha’s GLP had been formed purportedly for crowd and traffic management during the party’s public meetings. Later, they were trained by ex-servicemen from the hills and tried to function as a parallel police force.
Even though the Morcha has withdrawn the GLP from the public domain in recent times, it accompanies party president Gurung to public meetings.
The Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) had also unveiled its Swyam Sevak Bahini, which consisted of volunteers in red caps, during its May Day public meeting in Darjeeling last year. But during the next few months, the Bahini has not been spotted anywhere in the hills.
Unlike the Bahini and VPC members, the GLP volunteers are paid a monthly stipend of Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500 and have uniforms. In fact, have recently started cases against the GLP at Darjeeling, Mirik, Runglee-Rungliot and Kurseong police stations for wearing army fatigues, as one of its uniforms. Civilians are prohibited from wearing such fatigues under Section 140 of the IPC.
Rivals welcome fast
The ABGL and the CPRM have welcomed the Morcha decision to start an indefinite hunger strike from February 16 for Gorkhaland.
“We welcome the decision… but do not believe that general strikes will have any impact and will only inconvenience the general public,” said Naryan Chhetri, spokesperson for the ABGL.
The CPRM added that it would be “great” if Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh, too, participated in the fast.
Sate cry for identity: Pakhrin
Rajeev Ravidas, TT, Kalimpong, Jan. 7: Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha president Dawa Pakhrin today said identity remained the fundamental reason for demanding Gorkhaland, and not development, as sought to be articulated by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Pakhrin, who is the former Kalimpong branch president of the GNLF, said a separate state was the demand of the Gorkha diaspora across the country because once that happened, it would secure their Indian identity. “The over 1,200 martyrs of Gorkhaland did not die for development. If it is only about development, why are houses burning?” he asked.
He accused Morcha leaders of speaking in different voices. “The Morcha must make its stand clear. While its spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri says development is the basis for seeking Gorkhaland, Roshan Giri (Morcha secretary) harps on identity,” he said.
Chhetri had recently said development and better governance should be the basis for Gorkhaland, and not identity, which was the cornerstone of the demand for the separate state. Pakhrin and three other Nirman Morcha leaders left here for New Delhi last night to meet members of the Bharatiya Navrajya Nirman Mahasangh to discuss the Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana made public yesterday. Pakhrin is the vice-president of the Mahasangh, a conglomerate of different organisations seeking the creation of smaller states in India.
“We support the demand for Telangana. We will also meet those who spearhead the Telangana movement during our stay in Delhi. Both Telangana and Gorkhaland should be created simultaneously,” he said.
Srikrishna Committee members said in their report that they were aware of the fact that there were pending demands from several regions seeking full-fledged statehood.
“While some of these demands such as Gorkhaland in West Bengal and Bodoland in Assam, besides Telangana, have been rather active, there is an undercurrent of other demands along similar lines in other regions such as Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Bundelkhand, Poorvanchal and Harit Pradesh in Uttar Pradesh Ladakh and Jammu in J&K, and so on,” the report states.
Meanwhile a report states that TRS and GRNM jointly staged a demonstration in Jantar Mantar at New Delhi demanding creation of Telangana and Gorkhaland. Working President of TRS Rabindra Nayar, President of Rajya Nirman Morcha Dawa Pakhrin were present in the demonstration along with other national leaders . GJM also staged demonstration in Jantar Mantar in which Members of Haryana State committee participated.
Option 6 best for hills: Asok

TT, Siliguri, Jan. 7: Asok Bhattacharya today said the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha should consider Option 6 advocated by the Srikrishna Committee on Telangana instead of resorting to month-long strikes and agitation.
The Srikrishna Committee report in its last and sixth option had suggested that Andhra Pradesh remain united with constitutional/statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region.
Bhattacharya, the urban development minister who is the CPM MLA from Siliguri, said: “This is what we have been insisting for resolving the crisis in Darjeeling. We want the Morcha leaders to consider this recommendation and work for early formation of such council or authority, which would have constitutional validation, instead of harping on the unfeasible demand of Gorkhaland and calling month-long strikes.”
The Morcha yesterday announced a 27-day general strike in three phases in the hills for Gorkhaland, concluding that the Srikrishna report has signalled the beginning of a process to create a Telangana state. The party also appeared to have turned up the heat on the Centre to persuade it to form a panel like the Srikrishna Committee to look into the demand for Gorkhaland.
To the CPM, the demand for Gorkhaland is “undesirable and unachievable”. The ruling party in the state, however, is not averse to replacing the DGHC with a stronger council — much like the proposed interim authority — with greater financial and other powers.
Jibesh Sarkar, a state committee member of the CPM, claimed that the January 8 meeting called by the party in Darjeeling’s Chowk Bazar had been intended to apprise the people of the hills about the benefits of greater autonomy. “It was not called to show off our support base in the hills as some Morcha leaders had interpreted it,” Sarkar added. However, the district administration revoked the permission for the meeting, citing objections from police.
“We have accepted the administration’s permission for the sake of peace in the hills. The attitude of the Morcha leaders, however, is despicable as they called a meeting in Baghajatin Park here only to create tension.”
The Morcha had challenged the CPM to prove its support base in the hills on January 8 through a public meeting in the hills. On the same day it had proposed to hold a rally in Siliguri to show off its strength. No permission has been given to the Morcha rally as well.
Bhattacharya alleged that Trinamul, the Congress and the BJP had a nexus with the Morcha that wanted a bifurcation of Bengal. “It is evident because only Mamata Banerjee was welcomed in the hills, other parties were not.” He was referring to the Trinamul chief’s hill tour in October.
The minister also said during the strike in the hills starting from January 12, the administration would have to keep the offices and courts open and traffic undisrupted.
KCR demands separate Telangana state 
[Note:Email us  for 505 page full report of Srikrishna Committee (size 11.4 MB): Editor, KalimNews ]
Samay Live, Hyderabad: The Osmania University Joint Action Committee has called for a ‘Telangana Bandh’ on Friday to protest the Srikrishna Committee report.University Joint Action Committee (OUJAC) OUJAC and the Telangana Joint Action Committee, comprising various groups fighting for separate state.
 Osmania University called for  a  ‘Telangana Bandh’ on FridayThe Justice Srikrishna Committee report for Telangana suggests six options, but comes down clearly in favour of a united Andhra Pradesh with special constitutional measures for the social and economic development of the Telangana region, including a constitutionally empowered Telangana regional council.
But pro-Telangana leaders  demands nothing less than a separate Telangana state and are planning protests .The TRS wants the government to introduce a bill for the formation of a separate Telangana in the Budget Session of Parliament. Expectation of an increase in reservation benefits (to 12%) in the new state is one of the major reasons for their demand for separation," the Committee said in its 461-page report.
"The people of Telangana are not prepared to accept anything short of Telangana state and Hyderabad as its capital," Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao said.
In view of the strike called by the Osmania University Joint Action Committee ,the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSTRC) has cancelled buses .The JAC has also called for a bandh of educational institutions on Friday in protest against the lathicharge on OU campus.
Shops and business establishments were also closed in some parts of Nizamabad, Warangal, Karimnagar and Medak districts while the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) stopped plying buses on some routes as a precautionary measure, officials said.
The Telangana JAC has also called for lunch-hour demonstrations by government employees.
Osmania University, the nerve centre of the Telangana agitation, remained a tense a day after violence on the campus.
The OUJAC spokesperson Kailash Netha appealed to all the public representatives from Telangana to resign from their posts to register their protest or else they have to face the wrath of the people.
“We will not ply our vehicles to Hyderabad if any violence is reported  due to the bandh,” said, M Vasudevan, secretary, Confederation of Surface Transport Tamil Nadu. He said, “Otherwise, the trucks will be operated as usual without any disruption. However, it is expected that 30 per cent of transportation will be affected.”
Congress at the centre is worried that a Telangana state could inspire similar demands for separate states elsewhere as well But as news came in that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had decided to intensify its agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state, the Centre's worse fears seem to be coming true.
Srikrishan Committee report evoked mixed response in Andhra Pradesh.  Muslims in Hyderabad do not want a separate state of Telangana to be created.
However, their community members in rest of the Telangana region are in favour of carving out a separate state from Andhra Pradesh .
CBI reminder for investigation on CM corruption probe
Diwash Rai, KalimNews, GANGTOK, January 7: Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) president Nar Bahadur Bhandari, who returned from New Delhi yesterday, has claimed that the CBI has sent a reminder to the Sikkim government on its October letter seeking permission to conduct investigations on the corruption charges leveled against Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and a dozen other ministers, both former and present.
“The CBI has given a reminder to the State government here on the letter it had sent in October. If the State government does not give permission to a Central organization that it means constitutional crises which will lead to imposition of President’s rule here. It is better for all if the government does not give permission and there will be no option but the President’s rule”, said Bhandari in a press meet here at Gangtok.
Bhanadri said that during his Delhi trip he met the new CBI director and briefed him on the corruption allegations filed by the SPCC against Chamling. The new CBI director told me that the investigations on Chamling depend on the Centre and hence, I wrote a letter to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the matter, he said. 
There are two ways to overcome the notification issued by the State government mandating CBI to seek its permission for conducting any probe in Sikkim against any public servant associated with the State government, said Bhandari. The CBI can go to court challenging the notification or the Union cabinet can issue an ordinance and start investigations immediately, he said.
The SPCC chief also highlighted the urgency for CBI investigations to being in Sikkim. If there is a delay then important files could go missing from government offices, he said.
Panchayat Office inaugurated
Diwash Rai, KalimNews, Gangtok, 7th January: Mr. Bimal Dawari, Zilla Panchayat Adyaksha, East District Zilla Panchayat(EDZP) inaugurated the Aho Panchayat Ghar in the presence of Area MLA Namcheybong Constituency Mr. B.B. Rai today. The Panchayat Ghar has been constructed with an sanctioned amount of Rs. 29,00,000/- through East District Zilla Panchayat. The Panchayat Ghar has a provison for room of Zilla Panchayat member, Gram Panchayat members, meeting hall and staff room. Secretary and the officers of the Rural Management and Development Department also attended the inaugural function.
During the seminar held on the occassion of Prabhasi Bharatiya Diwas on the topic “Healthnext-Public Private Partnership in India” at Bigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 7th of January 2011, the Minister of State for Health, Mr. Dinesh Trivedi in his key note address stated that for the development of the country, the country should adopt what the Sikkim government is doing in increasing the Happiness Index of the people.
The seminar was attended by renouned NRI doctors including eminent heart specialist Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII, NHC.
Joint public meeting on Residential Certificate on 9th
Diwash Rai, KalimNews, GANGTOK, January 7: The Sikkim Subject Bachao Committee (SSBC), a united front of opposition political parties and a couple of apolitical organizations, announced today that it will be conducting a public meeting on January 9 at Jorethang to highlight its opposition against the Residential Certificate decision of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government.
“We are conducting a public meeting on January 9 at Jorethang for which permission has already been given by the authorities. We have informed all the members of the committee. The speakers from different parties will be speaking only on the RC issue. We are trying to feel the pulse of the people and if the RC notification is not withdrawn, there may be agitation from the people”, said SSBC convener and former MP Pahal Man Subba in a press meet here at Gangtok.
“The RC issue which is very threatening to the rights of Sikkim Subject certificate holders is very serious and we expect the people to come and attend our meeting to understand the issue”, said Subba.
Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) president Nar Bahadur Bhandari, who is also the SSBC chief coordinator, said that the objective of the committee is to put the RC issue in the public domain and let the masses decide for themselves. “We have only one question for the people. Do they want the protection of Sikkim Subject certificate or lose their future by accepting the RC notification?”, he questioned.
Bhandari reiterated that the RC notification of the State government issued in October last year is illegal and the State government has no right to decide on citizenship issue. “The RC notification is a threat to the locals. A RC holder means a local person and as such, there is a threat that RC could encroach on the rights of local Sikkimese holding the Sikkim Subject certificates. Our demand is that the RC notification should be withdrawn”, he said.
11 students rusticated from NBU and NBU Hostel 
Vvekananda Hostel of NBU 
DK Waiba, KalimNews: 11 accused  in ragging students of North Bengal University had to leave the University and hostel. They were compelled to leave the hostel with regret. In the presence of Police the accused were sent off the hostel in the day time without any disturbance.Though there was commotion in the hostel no one dared to utter a word and the group of accused left the hostel with tearful eyes.
NBU has so far sent off 11 of the 14 students while 3 were permitted to stay till their present examination is over.
Registrar of the NBU issued a letter to Dipu Roy, Dibakar Sarkar, Biplab Biswas, Shyamal Das, Sanjay Roy, Hasimul Islam 3rd semester students of Philosophy MA were sent off from the University as well as from their hostel. While 5 students Prashant Sarkar, Jogen Burman, Mithun Chandra Das, Rash behari Roy and Uttam Burman were awarded milder punishment, they were ordered to leave the hostel but my continue in the university. The former 6 are debarred for two semester period after which they may seek readmission the Office order signed by Registrar of the NBU stated. 
However Jannat Alam Miah, Sanjay Barman and Manasha Barman students of 3rd semester of Philosophy department were debarred to stay in the university hostel for 4th semester. As they are appearing in the 3rd semester examination they may continue to stay in the hostel till their examinations is over after which they have to leave the hostel for the next semester.
It is recalled that these students were found guilty of ragging while 17 junior student victims of ragging were found naked in the hostel with the accused 14 students by the 3 hostel wardens. But due to political interference no action was taken against. 2 of the accused belong to the ruling SFI union of the University and CP and TMC students union alleged that that they were been sheltered by the Anti Ragging probe committee of the university. Only after the intervention of M.K.Narayanan the Governor of the state and Chancellor of the NBU the matter was settled without any further allegations.
Sikkim an example for the nation
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KalimNews: Three photographs of Samiran Paul a freelance photographer and Press photographer of KalimNews  will be exhibited in the 9TH PHOTOGRAPHY EXPOSITION at Kolkata from 7th January to 9th January. It was inaugurated today at Kolkata Information Center.
New road opens to ease traffic on NH5
TT, Siliguri, Jan. 7: A parallel road between Siliguri and Sukna was opened today so that traffic problems on a busy stretch of NH55 connecting the hills and the plains could be mitigated to a large extent.
The alternative road could be opened following the construction of a 4.5km stretch between Sukna and Milan More. The existing 6.5km road between Champasari More in Siliguri and Milan More had been widened around a year ago.
The new road will be an alternative route to the Darjeeling More-Sukna stretch of NH55.
“A major portion of the existing road from Champasari to Milan More had already been made a double lane. However, a new stretch was needed to be constructed to connect this road with NH55 near Sukna for the completion of the parallel route. Considering that a lot of tribal people live in tea estates near Sukna, the state backward classes’ welfare department had allotted Rs 1. 29 crore for the road,” said Pascal Minz, the sabhadhipati of Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.
“The construction of the stretch between Milan More and NH55 near Sukna was undertaken by the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority finished,” he added.
The road was inaugurated by state urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya this afternoon.
Vehicle owners as well as local people welcomed the parallel road.
“Over the past few years, new schools, housing estates, entertainment parks and other buildings have come up on either side of NH55. As the highway is the only direct road from Siliguri to Darjeeling and Kurseong (diversions to both the hill towns begin at Sukna), there has been traffic congestion on the stretch between Darjeeling More and Sukna, particularly during school hours,” said Sandip Das, a resident of Pradhannagar.
“A number of vehicles plying between the hills and the plains can now take the alternative route,” he added.
Kamal Khawas, the secretary of the Siliguri Taxi Owners’ Association, said: “Traffic has substantially increased on NH55 and there are frequent blocks at places like Dagapur, Panchnoi and Darjeeling More. The new road will ease the congestion on NH55.”

Moving trajectory

The study of the Gorkhaland movement that has been going on unimpeded for longer than one would care to remember in the hilly terrain at the northern tip of Bengal remains focused on assertions and resistance and the resultant turmoil. romit bagchi digs deeper.IT is said — and perhaps with some truth — that humankind’s happiest times involve the blank pages in history. And this holds true in the sense that history does not come in when there is uninterrupted peace and order. Turmoil in collective life brings history in. Individuals, cut out for leadership, play precipitating roles and tend to mould history in a drift all their own. Whatever the Marxists and others say while eulogising the role of commoners, history remains, in essence, the biographies of outstanding personalities known as leaders.
Though some would say it is wrong to put excessive stress on individuals since ideas play an equally, if not more important role as far as the drift of history is concerned, things remain the same for those individuals who are to become the leaders and use the ideas, whatever these may be, to bring themselves into focus. Ideas by themselves amount to meaningless jargon until embodied by someone exceptional.
There is another opinion: that history is an endless repetition of the wrong way of living. That might mean there is no room for history if people can remain reconciled with the existing state of things. But life is neither a spectacle nor a feast; it is a predicament. And this it is bound to if viewed from a deeper angle, for there cuts through life a mystic evolutionary curve.
We have not arrived at a stage — and it is doubtful whether we will ever arrive collectively — when life would be like a fairy tale. However, there is a meaning in every curve and line as regards the endless movement in time, with some fragments, and that too on the surface, getting enshrined in the pages of history.
The study of the Gorkhaland movement that has been going on unimpeded for longer than one would care to remember in the hilly terrain on the northern tip of West Bengal, remains focused on assertions and resistance and the resultant turmoil. The homeland demand has been raised for around 30 times since 1907. History has remained a chronicle of unappeased unrest down to present times, though the goal remains as far off as ever.
A group known as the “Leaders of the Hill People”, comprising representatives of the Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalis, submitted a joint petition to the British government in 1907, asking for an administrative set-up, separate from the one existing in Bengal for those domiciled in the Darjeeling hills.
That was the beginning.  A decade later, the Hillmen’s Association, another organisation dominated principally by the tea planters, demanded the same, though it did, for the first time, add the Dooars area in Jalpaiguri district to the envisaged geographical contours of the proposed separate unit. It was stressed, for the first time, that historically, culturally and ethnically, there was no affinity between Bengalis and Gorkhas. 
The demand was raised several times in British-ruled India till the Communist Party of India (then undivided) propounded a “Gorkhastan” comprising Darjeeling district, southern Sikkim and Nepal in 1947. Again, in independent India, the All India Gorkha League raised the matter in 1948.
The process continued in one form or the other till Subash Ghising of the Gorkha National Liberation Front emerged on the scene in 1981. He gave the movement a collective fillip in his inimitable style. Then some time in late 2007 the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha entered the picture.
There is a contention in intellectual circles that the demand for separation from Bengal has a more sinister implication than what is seen on the surface. Many among the Bengali intelligentsia are inclined to think that the real intention is to create a “Greater Nepal”. And to understand the “Greater Nepal” concept, one must study the Sugauli Treaty signed between British-India and Nepal in 1815. It thwarted the territorial ambitions of an ascendant Nepal to such an extent that it seems to have never recovered from the strategic setback. 
However, Nepal has kept simmering within since then, and naturally so. For in an unimaginably short period spanning some 30 years or so, the mountainous country occupied vast areas deep into present-day India, including Kumaon, Garhwal, Gorakhpur and Purnea, apart from almost the whole of the Terai. Even the Nepalese army occupied, albeit for a short period, the Kangra Valley. It was forced to give up suzerainty over these areas following the Sugauli Treaty, but not before putting up stiff and valiant resistance to the qualitatively much superior English troops.
The genesis of its triumphant march must be traced to the tumultuous ascendancy of the redoubtable Prithwi Narayan Shah. Formerly no more than a chieftain of a small principality called “Gorkha” lying on the periphery of what was then conventionally known as Nepal, which comprised three principalities known as Katmandu, Patan and Bhatgaon, he gave a new twist to history, bringing to the fore a new nation that would be known as the “Gorkhas” by the middle of the 18th century. The history of Nepal would henceforth be known as one of the Gorkhas. 
There is, however, not much historical evidence as to the origin of the Gorkhas. Yet from the legends, it can be supposed that the reigning classes in Nepal following the Gorkha ascendency were lineally connected with descendants of the great Udaipur dynasty in Rajasthan. However, history remains murky on this point.
The name “Gorkha” is supposed to have been derived from Sri Gorakh Nath, patron saint of the Gorkhas. The ascendancy of the new nation seems to be inextricably linked with this saint, for he remained the sole inspiration for the temporal adventure of the Gorkhas. Prithwi Narayan Shah not just brought all the three principalities in the Nepal valley under his firm sway but set his descendants afire with a conquering passion. They first invaded Sikkim in 1780 and followed it up in 1792 with another in Tibet. However, the Chinese came to the rescue of the beleaguered Dalai Lama and repulsed the onslaught and forced the Gorkha rulers into a treaty on its own terms.
But far from being chastened by the setback in the east, they started penetrating deep into the west. Kingdoms and principalities, spread over the Himalayas, began falling one after another before the indomitable conquering zeal of the Gorkhas. And the British troops had a tough time in freeing these territories from Nepalese occupation. They had to beat ignominious retreats several times. At long last they succeeded, but not before incurring heavy casualties. The Sagauli Treaty divested the Gorkhas of their domination over Sikkim, Kumaon, Garhwal and the Terai. The kingdom was then reduced to its present geographical limits.
The people of Nepal have never reconciled to the country’s capitulation through the treaty. And from the sense of humiliation coupled with a lingering nostalgia associated with the display of the exemplary martial exploits seems to have originated in what is known as the “Greater Nepal” concept. 
Some prominent leaders are even on record as having said that India and Nepal should consider reviewing the Sagauli Treaty. The contention implies a suppressed craving for the lands Nepal had to part with by way of the treaty. Though a ridiculous contention, the idea rouses sentiments in the Himalayan state. 
But the pertinent question is: has the demand for Gorkhaland any connection with the “Greater Nepal” demand? There is no dearth of intellectuals in Bengal who would sound affirmative on this point. And it is a fact that statehood protagonists since the time of the All India Gorkha League stalwart Dambar Singh Gurung, down to the GNLF chief Subash Ghising, had intimate connections with the political dispensations in Nepal. And there is an opinion, too, that the politicians in Nepal coaxed Ghising to revive the movement to counteract a growing demand for citizenship in the Terai parts of the country in the late ’70s and the early ’80s.

There is a history regarding the Terai under Nepal. As has been noted, Nepal had to cede its conquered territory, including parts of the Terai known as east Monarg, including what is now known as Siliguri, previously parts of the Sikkimese kingdom, by the Sagauli Treaty. But by way of concessions to ease anti-British sentiment in Nepal, the former viceroy, Lord Hastings, gave a part of the Terai under British occupation back to Nepal the next year when the treaty was ratified. That part stretched from the rivers Gandak to the Kosi. Much later, when Nepal pleased the British by its active participation in quelling the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, the British government gifted another part of the Terai under its occupation to Nepal.
But history says that a major portion of the Terai now under Nepal remained within the known territory of India from time immemorial, politically as well as culturally. The languages used in the region are the much-used Indian languages like Maithali and Hindi and the people inhabiting the tracts are of Indian origin. And those inhabiting the Nepal Terai are supposed to be the aboriginals who are understood to have settled there much before the Gorkhas invaded the territory.
A demand for Nepalese citizenship raised by these people of Indian origin in the Terai, which extends to the southern boundary of Nepal bordering India, created excitement in the Himalayan country. The government of Nepal, however, kept rejecting the demand. And it is supposed that to restrain the growing tension in the Terai, Nepalese politicians used Subash Ghising to instigate political unrest in the Darjeeling hills. Ghising, though, vehemently denied such contention.
Objectively viewed, it does not seem that the statehood protagonists in the Darjeeling hills nurture a weakness for the “Greater Nepal” notion. Perhaps they are aware of the impracticality of such a notion. Yet it is true that their original Nepalese identity is intimately linked with the home-rule demand. For it is evidently a manifestation of a separative identity consciousness as set against the mainstream cultural identity of Bengal. They claim that they have no inherent antagonism towards Bengalis as a race. On the contrary, they claim they have regard for the culture the state is a repository of. Yet they demand a homeland where, they think, they can progress according to their cultural genius and means without depending upon the munificence of Bengalis in every department of collective and individual life.
There is another weapon that is being used to the hilt against the statehood movement in the Darjeeling hills. It is said that the “unconquerable land lust” on the part of ethnic Nepalese is being manifested in an unimpeded migratory stream from across the Nepal border into several parts of the country, particularly the hills and the adjacent plains in North Bengal. The argument is that as a military occupation is an impracticable dream, the country is pushing its population into India to demographically occupy it. 
These intellectuals make use of the history of Darjeeling turning into a Nepali-majority region from a sparsely populated one during the hills’ accession to Bengal under the East India Company. The people of Nepalese origin are supposed to be spreading and deepening their penetration into other parts like the Dooars and the Terai, including Siliguri, to claim these areas for themselves in time to come. 
Such an apprehension exists in regard to Bangladesh too in view of the infiltration. But the difference is that while the cross-border movement outside the legal mechanism from across Bangladesh amounts to infiltration punishable by the law of the land, the same from Nepal is a mere migration and it is legal, too. For the 1950 Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty has bestowed upon citizens of both the countries rights to come and settle as migrants, though they would remain devoid of political rights. The treaty would come up for discussion later. For though an important milestone in the annals of bilateral relations, it has become a thorny issue of late, with many on both sides demanding its prompt abrogation in view of the changed geopolitical reality in the region. 
Yet ascribing ulterior motives to the migration from across Nepal would not stand objective scrutiny. First, it is not illegal as long as the 1950 treaty remains in force. Second, the migration takes place principally because of politico-economic factors. Previously, Nepal remained an underdeveloped country and it is now mired in political turmoil with no hope of reprieve in the near future. Besides, India being a vibrant and growing economy gives more economic opportunities than a tiny mountainous state can offer. This aside, India represents a pluralist democracy, a kind of lassez faire, which is unthinkable in Nepal. 
However, the democratic polity, India’s strong point vis-à-vis the neighbouring Himalayan nation, is yet to make a deep impact on collective life in the Darjeeling hills. And this is principally thanks to the emotive statehood issue that has for long dominated the socio-political horizon in the restless region. The enlightened section of people, however, is different. Having moved out of sequestered geography, they have seen a lot, met and interacted with others unlike them and, consequently, their mental vistas have broadened. 
The study of the Gorkhaland movement never flags. Apart from being associated with a multi-layer significance, it has a goal, which would remain unattainable at least for the time being. How it would evolve taking in its stride the almost insurmountable hiccups with the political trajectory moving on in inexorable drift would always keep interested minds focused. 

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