Gorkhaland has been an IDENTITY issue?

Swaroop Sharma | Editor (Northeast) newscaptured.com

Recitations of Jai Gorkha! Jai Gorkhaland! Chanting of we want nothing but Gorkhaland is a chanting in not only across the Indian states but also has been echoing across the world. The chants of “Jai Gorkha, Jai Gorkhaland” means “We want nothing else but Gorkhaland” renting of chants in the air is all over the states of India and beyond, which shows it as people’s movement where people from Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Bangalore, Delhi, and even from countries- Dubai,Oman, USA, France, Nepal etc. are hitting the streets in the support of the ongoing movement Gorkhaland.

In new channels, various social networking sites there have been braving downpour, of the thousands and lakhs of men, women and children from various parts of India and beyond  who  is participating in this people’s movement in a peaceful manner. They have been doing protest through candle march, peaceful rallies, display of rich cultural history of Darjeeling hills, street plays and poetries, use of pro- Gorkhaland banners and placards with people voices for the tyrant rule of Bengal government.

Innumerable protests and solidarity walks are being held across the country and beyond in support of People’s Movement – Gorkhaland. Numerous bodies or organizations in the North East region of India and beyond those demanding for small states have also shown their support.  On 22nd June innumerable rallies were taken out in various districts of Assam, while in Tripura state, a Tripura based tribal party organized rallies in 29 places across the state yesterday support the demand for a separate statehood – Gorkhaland.

In the state of Arunachal Pradesh a rally took place which started from IG Park, ended at the Itanagar monastery where the marchers lit candles in memory of the three deceased victim’s soldiers (protestors) during the police firing on 17th June in Darjeeling. During this peaceful rally the president of the All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Youth Welfare, (AAPGYWA) Shyam Ghatani, mentioned in his address that, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members of Mahesh Gurung, Sunil Rai and Bimal Sashankar. We, the people of Arunachal Pradesh, are not supporting the Gorkhaland movement because we want a land in Darjeeling or Kalimpong, but we are here today for our identity. “We are demanding creation of Gorkhaland to preserve our identity, culture and tradition. Most importantly, we are only demanding our rights,” he added to his address.  Leader Chanbir Sonar of the organization said  in his address that, it is high time that Prime Minister Narendra Modi fulfilled promises made to the Gorkha community. He addressed that, “Modi asserted that he would sympathetically look into the demands of the Gorkhas in his election campaigns, but he has failed to live up to it. If the central government can accord statehood to Telangana, among others, on the basis of language, why can’t the Gorkhas get a state of their own?” was probed by Sonar during his address.  He too condemned West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly terming the Gorkhas “terrorists”.

Protest in form of rally also witnessed the support of various organizations and unions  of the state. Among them were the members of the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and All Nyishi Students’ Union who participated in the rally.

Kame Kipa, the president of the Arunachal Pradesh Abo Tani Clans Youth Association mentioned in his address – “The demands of the Gorkhas are genuine as they are not fighting a political or a religious battle. This is the fight for their identity and we solely support it,” and too mentioned that Arunachal Pradesh has been home to the Gorkha community for many eras. The Gorkha population in the state is believed to be more than one lakh.

People’s Movement – Gorkhaland once again has started flaring in the Darjeeling hills after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee recently decided to introduce Bengali as the third language in the hills which comprise Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Terai, Dooars and certain parts of Siliguri.

Being an opponent opposing this rule or a setup by the West Bengal government’s decision, hundreds of protesters, under the banner of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, took out a rally. However, what started as a peaceful protest later turned violent in the wake of deaths of three civilians in police firing and many were left injured. In this very recent news of Mamta Banerjee CM of West Bengal has been honored by the UN highest Public Service Award, this shows that she is owning the respect in the world image but back home in Darjeeling hills people condemn her as the CM . On one hand she is wearing the mask of being a social servant to the rest of the world, and in her own home state of West Bengal she is robbing the basic human rights of the citizens of Darjeeling.

Indeterminate shutdown in the Darjeeling hills has reached its 11th day to this day.

Swaroop Sharma | Editor (Northeast) newscaptured.com

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