Pressure Modi, not Mamata: The Gorkhaland agitation is directed at the wrong regime

On June 20, just before the Minister of the Union, Kiren Rijiju, arrived in Gangtok to hold the Yoga Day celebrations the next day, more than 6,000 people marched through the city to Gorkhaland. In the small state of Sikkim, it is a meeting. It was, in fact, larger than the 1975 demonstrations demanding the merger of Sikkim with India.

The next day, shortly after the yoga demonstration Rijiju received a delegation of local leaders from Gorkha. They echoed what Bimal Gurung, head of Gorkha Ene Mukti Morcha, based in Darjeeling in neighboring West Bengal, said that the only way to restore peace and justice to the people is the creation of Gorkha Gorkhaland.

This has long been the position of GJMM. The party has adhered to the same position when it signed an agreement with the central government and Bengal to create Territorial Administration Gorkhaland in July 2011, replacing the Gorkha Hill Council of Darjeeling established in 1988. That day, while the minister Mamata Banerjee said that West Bengal will not be divided, Gurung said that “it has its own political limitations and we have ours.”

However, after the agreement, the GJMM and Congress Banerjee Trinamool seemed to listen well. The party in power has not answered the first election to the territorial administration Gorkhaland in 2012, leaving the party to victory Gurung, taking the 45 seats. Gurung satisfaction by the agreement as a “milestone in a Gorkhaland state.”

Since then, however, the two separate parts. The ruling has only expanded when the territorial administration Gorkhaland is nearing the end of its first term on 3 August. The GJMM has now declared that this provision of governance can not work and that a separate state is the only way to repair Gorkha’s mistakes and safeguard his identity, language, and interests in accordance with the Constitution.

The Nepalese people of Darjeeling Hills have long dreamed of a separate state. In fact, they believe they have been fraudulently denied. Original sin, so to speak, is committed when the ruling elite of Bengal gave demographic drugs to the states,

Reorganization Commission in the 1950s, which ensured that a number of communities were not classified as tribes, which excludes the possibility that the hills are declared independent under the sixth annex of the Constitution. Successive regimes in Calcutta have done their utmost to maintain Darjeeling Hills in West Bengal. In 1988 and 2012, this was achieved by manufacturing, respectively, the Gorkha Hill Council of Darjeeling and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration so that they became Bengal government agencies instead of autonomous constitutional bodies.

This is the context in which two political decisions announced by the Banerjee government in May-June 2017 became the immediate triggers of agitation in progress.

On May 16, the state has made compulsory Bengali teaching in all schools up to class 10. Meanwhile, children must choose two from a basket of languages: Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Nepalese, Santhali, and English. It was the response to the Banerjee Narendra Modi regime to make the teaching of Hindi compulsory in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Education school.