EDUCATION & ENTERTAINMENT: Trend & style to mark Morcha bonhomie – Catwalk to reach out to students in plains – bridges that Bengal burned with its irresponsible attempt at hegemony, now Catcalling from the sidelines, with joy or leeriness ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Nov. 9: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has decided to walk the ramp to bridge the hills-plains gap, a precursor to building support for its demand to include the Dooars and the Terai in the proposed interim set-up for Darjeeling.
The student wing of the Bimal Gurung-led outfit, the Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha, that is itself looking forward to an image makeover, today announced that it would host a fashion show in Darjeeling where 31 colleges from the hills and the plains had been invited. It will be a three-day event, starting November 15, the foundation day of the Vidyarthi Morcha.
“We must admit that there has been much acrimony between the students of the plains and the hills,” said Amrit Yonzone, the vice-president of the Vidyarthi Morcha. “There is still animosity between various students unions and we hope that the show will create a bond between them and strengthen their ties. This is why we have invited students from colleges in Siliguri, Malbazar, Jaigaon and Birpara.”
Since 2007 when the Morcha started its agitation for a separate state and took its demonstration to the streets of Siliguri and the Dooars and the Terai, there have been several instances of violence involving students of the hills and the plains.
In fact, in 2008, the authorities had to provide student from the hills a safe haven in Pintail Village near Siliguri fearing a backlash following clashes between those who are for and against Gorkhaland.
“With the interim authority set to be put in place by the end of the year, we want the students in the plains to support our demand for the inclusion of the Dooars and Terai in the new arrangement,” a Morcha leader said. “For this, we are trying to create a congenial atmosphere through a completely non-political route. Let there be amity between all students in the region.”
The Pragya Shri/Sushri Pahari Pratik, as the fashion show is called, is expected to be one of the biggest carnivals for college students in the region. According to the Vidyarthi Morcha, 31 institutions from the region, including Sikkim, have confirmed their participation.
The student outfit is bringing in experts to give a “professional touch” to the event. “There will be seminars and grooming sessions for three days before 10 finalists walk the ramp at Chowrastha on November 17,” said Sister Marcella, co-ordinator of St Michael’s Youth Centre, which houses the extended centre of the International Institute of Fashion Design in Darjeeling.
“We are looking at the event not merely as a fashion show but as one that will help develop the personality of the students irrespective of the region they come from,” said Nima Sherpa, the general secretary of the Vidyarthi Morcha.
“We are also bringing in Brinda Rai of the Academy of Broadcasting to provide tips on the art of public speaking during a workshop,” he added.
The ramp show is also an opportunity for the Morcha student wing to go for an “image changeover”.
It does not want to be seen anymore as an organisation that is only known for agitation and demonstrations, said Yonzone.
The Vidyarthi Morcha also claimed that Miss Sikkim 2009 and Miss Tilottama 2009 would attend the event on November 17. “On the final day there will be three rounds: traditional, western and the party wear round. We promise that the winners will get a steady exposure and we are working on it,” said Sister Marcella.