GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: Morcha to offer three options – Hill party willing to leave territory decision to Delhi – a ‘win-win’ situation for all – ‘astute political compromise’ gets no better ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, July 23: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will place three alternatives for the hills at the tripartite meeting in New Delhi tomorrow but it is looking at the Centre to decide on the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed set-ups.
Sources who are in the know of things today told The Telegraph that the negotiations would start with the demand for Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh or a new state.
The Morcha had re-christened the Gorkhaland state it wanted as Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh to woo the Adivasis or tribals so that they joined the statehood movement. A document justifying the necessity of GAP is likely to be submitted during the meeting.
But given the fact that the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, which represents the majority of tribal population, has not yet “officially” agreed to the Morcha proposal, Bimal Gurung’s outfit will also deliberate on two “interim arrangements”. One of them is similar to the proposal submitted to the Centre and the state during the last tripartite meeting in New Delhi on March 18.
“The Morcha is aware that the demand for statehood cannot be achieved immediately at any cost and is now looking forward to things that could be a stepping stone to statehood,” said the source.
The Morcha, according to the source, is pinning its hopes on an “interim arrangement outside Bengal”, which actually amounts to “Union Territory-like status”.
“They will place the demand for an interim arrangement, which will have nothing to do with Bengal,” said the source. Observers believe that this proposal would essentially mean that the Centre should extend its jurisdiction over the area with no interference from Bengal until a concrete arrangement is worked out for the region. However, this proposal is unlikely to be accepted by the state government.
The third option is an “interim set-up within Bengal but with minimal interference”. This would be in line with the document placed by the hill party during the last tripartite meeting, where it wanted the local administrative body to be answerable directly to the governor.
If the government accepts any of the proposed interim arrangements, the Morcha would probably be willing to negotiate on the territory. The Morcha had wanted all areas north of National Highway 31C in Jalpaiguri district to be included in the set-up besides the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling.
“The Morcha will not be averse to forming a joint committee to conduct a survey on the areas demanded, as had been done to settle the territory issue when the Bodo Territorial Council was formed,” the source added.
ABGL begins hunger strike – relay hunger strike a better option, now to only sustain it, without repetition ?!!
From Darjeeling Times
By DT Correspondent
Edited by Himal News for clarity
Darjeeling, July 23: Demanding justice for the brutal murder of Madan Tamang, Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League started an indefinite relay hunger strike in Darjeeling today, 23 July 2010.
“It’s more than two months and the administration has been unable to bring the culprits to justice, therefore we are compelled to initiate a hunger strike”, said Dawa Sherpa , working president of the ABGL at Chowrasta premises, where the hunger strike is taking place, by seven ABGL activists including Bharati Tamang, wife of late Madan Tamang.
ABGL believes the murder of Madan Tamang was conspired by Janmukti Morcha. “It is ridiculous that Morcha leaders, including Bimal Gurung are asking for CBI inquiry”, said Laxman Pradhan, secretary ABGL.
The ABGL team headed by Bharati Tamang had appealed to chief minister Buddhadev Bhatacharjee for the immediate arrest of the offenders involved in the murder of Madan Tamang, directly or indirectly. ABGL also pleaded to the governor of West Bengal M K Narayanan for immediate arrests and a CBI inquiry.
BGP denies association with new Forum – clear on BGP’s non-political agenda, Bengal’s ongoing ruse clear, ABGL sadly discredited too ?!!
From Darjeeling Times
Edited by Himal News
Friday, 23 July 2010:Yet to be named, a forum based in plains, consisting of two Naxalite outfits, the CPRM, the ABGL, the SUCI(C), the Darjeeling Terai Dooars Gorkhali Adivasi Welfare Samiti, Sikkim Darjeeling Ekikaran Mancha and a few other outfits, claimed yesterday that the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh is also part of this forum.
Today the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP) has issued a press release against it.
AND THEN THE PRESS TWIST
Sixth round of Hills talks today, but state sceptical – actually, 2nd round of political level talks… Bengal sceptical because it has failed the people of Darjeeling and all Bengal as well as the Indian Nation at large ?!!
FROM THE TIMES OF INDIA
KOLKATA, Jul 24, 2010, 01.05am IST (TNN): All eyes are on Saturday’s tripartite talks the sixth so far between the Centre, Bengal government and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
While health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra will represent the Left Front government, Union minister of state for home Ajay Maken will attend the meeting on behalf of the Centre along with Union home secretary G K Pillai.
On the other hand, Union minister of state for health Dinesh Trivedi said he would be present at the meeting as a representative of Trinamool Congress. “We need to keep tabs on the developments in Darjeeling,” he added. He was present in the last tripartite meeting as well.
Sources at Writers’ Buildings say chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has decided to skip the meeting because he is against holding any talks with GJM, whose influence in the Hills is on the wane since the May 21 assassination of ABGL chief Madan Tamang.
The names of GJM president Bimal Gurung, general secretary Roshan Giri and nine other top leaders figure in the FIR filed after the murder. Besides, a number of low-ranking GJM activists have been arrested in connection with Tamang’s killing.
“Now, they (GJM) have lost the support of the Hills people,” said urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya, who hails from Siliguri in Darjeeling district.
Bhattacharya said he decided not to attend Saturday’s talks “in honour of the sentiments of the Hills people”. He added: “I don’t think the meeting will yield any fruit. The Centre is giving unnecessary importance to GJM. The people of the Hills do not have any faith in the Morcha. There should not be any dialogue with GJM.”
“Once the meeting is over, the Morcha will go back to its disruptive politics, which is harming development work in Darjeeling,” said Bhattacharya.
Sources said the meeting will focus on finding ways to have an interim set-up in place of the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. The Centre and the state want to include only the three Hills sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in the proposed set-up while GJM is seeking inclusion of the Terai and Nepali-dominated pockets of the Dooars.
Earlier, ABAVP had asked the government to involve it in any talks on the Dooars and the Terai where tribals outnumber Nepalis.
(Indian Gorkha Identity still not accepted in India, therefore the necessity of a new state – a catch 22 situation for Bengal ?!!)
BIASED OPINION: Cultural schism ~ and Darjeeling – still the Nepal link and non recognition of the Indian Gorkha identity, even after Indian Independence well over half a century ago ?!!
From The Statesman
23 July 2010
The tension permeating the Gorkhaland movement has its roots in Nepal and the consequent cultural upheavals. Romit Bagchi elaborates
OPPOSED to the adage that “history repeats itself”, time that flies sticks to its trajectory, leaving no imprint of its passing. And yet, when left to itself, time would appear devoid of meaningful direction, always in a flux — like a circus crew packing up and moving on – but in retrospect does tomorrow depend on what happened and their repercussions today? To be sure, humankind is a unique species bent on transcending barriers that divide yesterday from tomorrow.
History has recorded timeless occurrences which, if studied diligently, throw up meanings that, though seemingly bereft of any teleological intent, make life much easier to understand. We are the only species on the planet that records history, hopefully never committing past mistakes but definitely bound to roots. We are in essence evolving creatures, regarding existence as a means to consummation of a quest. We can neither disown the past – because we can least afford to lest we be reduced to nothing.
Everything has a beginning, though where the end lies nobody can tell. And yet we do, as we must, reach down to the roots or else the present would resemble a shallow flimsiness, devoid of any shade of progressive drift.
The tension permeating the Gorkhaland movement has its roots in Nepal and the consequent cultural upheavals. An intolerance for democratic norms, seeking recourse to a disruptive stratagem and a clearly discernible expansionist propensity can all be traced to when Nepal was struggling to come to terms with two mutually exclusive schools of culture: one represented by the Newars, the original inhabitants who contributed much to the development of that country’s rich heritage; and the Gorkhas, who later overran and ever since have dominated the political landscape of the country, a truly warrior class indifferent, though, to the cultural embellishments.
History records that Nepal for many centuries was representative of valley that was a central part of the present state that comprised three principalities — Kathmandu, Patan and Bhatgaon. The Newars were a clan, Mongoloid in origin, that inhabited and ruled these territories the Gorkhas, who emerged from a place called Gorkha located some 25 miles west of Kathmandu and got involved in a fierce fight with the Newars.
That chapter began some time in the middle of the 18th century and legendary Gorkha figure Prithwi Narayan Sah led the march. He finally established suzerainty over all of the Nepal valley, despite immense Newar resistance that left its scars on a bruised Gorkha psyche.
But before the more warlike and supposedly less civilised Gorkhas overturned the political applecart in the valley, there existed an ancient civilisation and history. The origin of the Newars remains mired in indistinctness, though there is reason to believe that they migrated from China. There are some claims, though, that they descended from the Nair clan in southern India, which, however, remain far from substantiated.
According to legend, someone known as Manjusri was the first migrant who arrived from China and through him came the Newar domination of the valley. This clan’s culture remained a conglomeration of Tibetan-Chinese and Indian. Though distinctly Mongoloid, their culture had deeper Indian underpinnings.
Both Hinduism and Buddhism lent them a peculiar blend. Buddhism reigned in these parts before Hinduism creeped in with the advent of pilgrims from India. Legend says that Manjusri introduced Buddhism in Nepal. And worthy of mention is the belief that Ashoka, the great king and preacher of Buddhism, marched on a pilgrimage here about 250 BC, for Goutama, known as Sakyamuni, was born somewhere adjacent to the valley. However, after some time Hinduism kept creeping in and both cultures co-existed somehow peacefully, though both comprised orthodox schools.
And then a new phenomenon emerged in the wake of the Gorkha conquest of the valley. Intolerant and less susceptible to cultural subtlety, the Gorkhas, who were disciples of a Hindu saint, Shri Gorkah Nath, spared no effort to eliminate traces of Buddhism. They plundered Buddhist temples and confiscated land owned by Buddhists. There is evidence that those professing Buddhism were penalised and even sentenced to death. Thus did Buddhism give way to a Hindu preponderance, with many of the former faith being converted as a means to escape relentless persecution.
Historians believe the stamp of Indian culture was more marked in the way of life evolved by the Newars over the years than the influence of several Mongoloid clans then in ascendancy in regions like Tibet and China. The outward aspects of Newari civilisation might have borne a resemblance to those prevailing in the Mongoloid world, but the inner core, the pluralistic tolerance and a less militaristic and more culturally-minded essence came from growing Indian cultural penetration.
But the Newars were not averse to fighting when that was required. And the Gorkhas and their chieftain, Prithwi Narayan, got a bitter taste of this when he embarked on an expansionist campaign that lasted for more than four years from 1749 into the Nepal valley. Prithwi Narayan faced resistance from all the three principalities, namely Katmandu, Patan and Bhatgaon, in fair measure and he had to beat an ignominious retreats several times before he established sway.
Kirtipur stood memorial to the vengeance linked to the Gorkha onslaught and the valiant resistance by its residents. Prithwi Narayan’s outrage at this resistance resulted in one of the eyes of his brother being lost and he ordered the noses and lips of all inhabitants to be cut off, not even sparing infants. He also changed the name of the place to Naskatipur or the “City of the Cut Noses” by way of a reminder of the consequences to the resistance to his expansionist plans.
To be sure, the Gorkha zeal to spread is is mythical. Not always prone to taking stock of the strategic pros and cons, they delighted in plunging headlong into conquering missions. Even setbacks here and there did not deter them from advancing and how skilful and courageous on the war front they were the British realised at a heavy cost.
Two distinct cultures, one militaristic on the surface and on the other a more humanistic and tolerant approach, seem to have been ingrained in the common Nepalese psyche, given its peculiar history.
Perhaps the current political tension might have its origins in the cultural tension that keeps the general Nepalese psyche sharply divided.
AND IN RETALIATION TO SUCH PAROCHIAL BIAS
12 hr Siliguri Bandh – desperate to steal Siliguri from Darjeeling District and unwilling to live in a different state than Bengal in India in a secular non-parochial India ?!!
HIGHLIGHTED BY KALIMNEWS
24 JULY 2010
BOBBBC has called a 12 hr Siliguri Bandh from 5 am to 5pm in protest against the sixth tripartite talks. Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee an anti Gorkhaland organisation has been opposing the tripartite talks. According to the BOBBC there is no democracy in the hills and Goondaraj is reigning the hills since the GJMM started its agitation, people are being forced to join in the rallies and GJMM programme.
GJMM is anti-national and spearheaded by Nepalese citizens instead of sitting for talks their nationality should be verified and all foreigners be driven away. GJMM is stopping public from paying taxes of vehicles and others, revenue of telephone and electricity, have their own parallel police force, and directly and indirectly involved in the murder of Madan Tamang.
Meanwhile it is learnt that Home Minister P Chidambaram had requested Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to participate in the talks but he replied in negative.
Home Minister P Chidambaram along with Ajoy Maken the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Dinesh Trivedi the Union minister of state for health and Union Home Secretary GK.Pillai is representing the Center in the talks while Health Minister Suryakanta Mishra and state Home Secretary Samar Ghose is representing the state.
GJMM team consists of Roshan Giri, HB Chhetri, Rohit Sharma, RB Bhujel, LB Pariyar, Raju Pradhan, Santosh Rai, DK Pradhan, Triloke Dewan, LB Rai, Binay Tamang, Pradip Pradhan, P Arjun and Wilson Champramari.
It is also said Vijay Madan the interlocutor for the tripartite talks will also be present in the talks.
UGRF Chief brought to Kalimpong – an armed struggle for Gorkhaland the result of Bengal’s prolonged and unjust delays ?!!
Edited by Himal News for clarity
Kalimpong, July 23, 2010: Ajay Dahal, United Gorkha Revolutionary Front (UGRF) chief arrested on February 9 this year in Sikkim under the Arms Act with a country made pistol and three cartridges in his possession at Gangtok, was granted bail by Chief Judicial Magistrate of East district, Sikkim.
Today he was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kalimpong as he has some cases of murder pending in the Kalimpong Thana.
Dahal was refused bail and was ordered to be kept in judicial custody of the Kalimpong Correctional Home. United Gorkha Revolutionary Front Chief Dahal was in judicial custody at Rongyek Jail before his release in bail.
Since November 21, 2004, after the foundation of UGRF, Dahal, a former Central Industrial Security Force personnel, after declaration of an armed struggle for creation of a separate State of Gorkhaland, was wanted by the Kalimpong Police. Later he was wanted for the murder of Yohan Singh Lepcha, a GNLF supporter.
THE TELEGRAPH ADDS
Kalimpong, July 23, 2010: A court here on Friday remanded Ajay Dahal, the chief of the United Gorkha Revolutionary Front, in judicial custody till August 3.
Dahal is an accused in the murder of a GNLF leader in 2006 and has been charged by Kalimpong police for waging war against the state.
He had been brought here from Gangtok, where he had secured bail in connection with a case under the arms act.