It’s been 50 days since the trouble seems to be bubbling up in the hills of Darjeeling with no apparent solution to the demand and protest for a separate statehood.
During a public meeting held at Chopra, Dinajpur Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee maintained that she won’t let Bengal fall apart at any cause and Darjeeling would remain an integral part of West Bengal under any circumstances.
Life has come to a grinding halt in the hills and in spite of all odds, it’s the rage and passion in people seeking a separate identity and authority of their land that keeps them alive!
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has resumed her appeasement politics by trying to win over the tribal population in the Terai, Siliguri and Dooars region of the foothills, who have stern opposition against the formation of Gorkhaland.
In a meeting held on Wednesday with the Tribal advisory Committee held at Uttarkanya in Fulbari, the Chief Minister said, “The hills are an integral part of Bengal. We are not going to let the peace in the region culled by agitation. I stand by the sentiments of the people in the hills who are the victims of this high strung political crisis.”
She also made a kind gesture to the Adivasis and assured the punishment of the culprits accused of molesting two tribal girls in Raiganj two months back. Mamata Banerjee also pushed order to identify all the surplus tea gardens lands in Dooars and distributing them to the indigenous people who have been toiling hard for ages.
On Tuesday the GMCC President (Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee) Kalyan Dewan asserted that the indefinite strike for the demand of a separate state would continue to respect the honour of the people of the hills. “We cannot withdraw the strike unless we get full support of the centre and the state regarding the matter.”
Meanwhile, the GJM supremo Bimal Gurung hit the chord, saying it’s only the GJM which will have the final word in calling off the strike, which is not going to end any sooner.
The 30 member Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee is an apex body representing all the parties in Darjeeling was there in Delhi for a meeting to resolve the political crisis in the hills.
The Gorkhaland issue has stirred up many concerns with both pros and cons of the matter. While the Gorkhas feel that they feel abandoned and disgruntled over cultural discrepancies without access to complete autonomy in the region. The counter argument lies in the fact that the region also inhabits the Lepchas and the Bhutias who are not willing to resign to the leadership of Gorkhas.
So it is Mamata Banerjee’s gimmicks to pacify the minorities in the region and tighten the screws of her leadership skills. Because ultimately it’s the Bengali votes that matter in the state.
Unfortunately even the NDA government paid no heed to the Gorkhaland issue, in spite of having an electoral voice in the parliament, nominated twice to address the demand for statehood of Gorkhaland. Turning things bitter, both Lok Sabha MP SS Ahluwalia and recently nominated Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Chhetri to refrain from discussing the burning issue in the region and prefer to remain, dumb spectators, at the beck and call of the Centre.
Shanta previously a pro-Gorkhaland activist representing GNLF in the 1980s, joined the Trinamool Congress to contest the 2016 assembly elections from Kurseong but got defeated.
They are blamed by all the pro-Gorkhaland parties of doing little to voice their concerns to the centre.
All this is making the Gorkhas even more agitated and arousing them to lose their faith in the governance. The centre should arrest the ongoing turmoil by holding a tripartite talk and bring all the right reasons to the table to attain a peaceful solution. And not merely reducing the Gorkhas to election trump cards.