Darjeeling Shut Down

Al Jazeera reports in this video that a six-day-old indefinite bandh in Darjeeling was called by "the Gorkha community" in a demand for "a separate state," and is costing $500,000 a day. "The Gorkhas" refused to speak to the West Bengal government, according to Reuters, preferring to speak to New Delhi directly and "unconditionally." Reuters also reports that the Darjeeling bandh has ramifications beyond the immediate area: the government says the bandh is costing Sikkim $2.3 million a day from lost tourism and presumably other factors and is also affecting army activities.

Conflicts in South Asia (and elsewhere) are frequently depicted to the general public in ethnic terms without looking at other factors that might be causing them as well. For example, who is driving the demand for separation; what is "the Gorkha community" and why does "it," whatever "it" is, want a separate state within India? If "the Gorkhas" are doing things, what does it means if non-Gorkhas in the area support the demand?

Deepak Kusaryi, a Bengali whose grandfather migrated from Kolkata to Darjeeling, said: “I always support the Gorkhaland demand. Though I don’t belong to the Gorkha community, I can easily relate to their problems as I have been born and bred in Darjeeling.”

...Mustaq Ahmed, who took part in a rally at the Darjeeling Chowrasta, said: “This place has a composite culture. We have no enmity with the Bengalis. But it is just that we don’t want to remain a part of West Bengal.”

How do ethnicity and economics intersect in the local area?

“There has been little development and people are deprived of basic facilities,” said Kusaryi, a teacher at St. Joseph’s School here.

“There are no water supply lines, no proper sanitation systems. The hills also do not have an adequate number of educational institutes for economically backward local students,” Kusaryi said.

In a survey of some of the separatist movements that have occurred India, Dean McHenry writes in 2007 (pdf) that:

...the statistical data suggests the following: First, it does not support the claim that economic deprivation is central to most separatist undertakings. Half of the separatist movements considered here had higher per capita income or product than the states from which they sought separation (e.g., Uttaranchal, Jharkhand, Darjeeling/Gorkhaland). Second, economic inequalities between the separatist areas and the states from which they sought separation exist in most cases, though not in all cases (e.g., Chhattisgarh vs. Madhya Pradesh). Third, the vehemence of separatist movements is not always related to the degree of inequality (e.g., Telangana vs. Rayslaseema).

... [passage on problems with the data]...

On the other hand, the identity data show that the perception of economic inequality is a characteristic of each of the separatist movements. It was/is used to differentiate the separatist identity from the identity of those of the territory from which separation was sought. The “other” was seen as acting to promote or sustain a favorable economic position for itself at the cost of those seeking separation.

There are problems with this analysis too; for example, I didn't see him consider the idea that wealthier regions can secede from poorer regions, which is one way that some people describe the Khalistan movement, or look at other measures of inequality in depth like this paper by Sriskandarajah on Sri Lanka's conflict (pdf).

But I don't want to go too far down that road here. I just want to point out that Al Jazeera's approach of describing something an ethnic conflict without any attempt at deeper analysis is not enough. Yes, journalism is based on clear description that's accessible to people, but there is a difference between useful clarity and clarity based on oversimplification. This can have particularly damaging effects when, as McHenry notes, how you describe a separatist movement is itself political and the repetition of that description over time can have extreme real world effects for many people.

Luckily, we have other options now than relying on journalists (or me or any other single voice!):

So go find out more, and then come back and tell us what you found! :)

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Comments

Dr. A — plenty of people care

Dr. A — plenty of people care about corruption. And if you think the WB isn’t “that” corrupt, you’re mistaken. I don’t agree that a mass movement has virtue simply because it may have to face repression. Where do you draw the line at what is acceptable behavior by a mass movement? Violence? Intimidation? Extortion? Given the history of separatist movements in that part of India, I’d say that mass movements like this one usually end up losing legitimacy because they often turn to criminal behavior. Now, some might find that justified, but that’s a different question…

When I say "that" corrupt, I'm speaking relative to South Asian standards. The reality is if you have economic scarcity and are still engaged in the process of building the state and the economy (which is what India has been doing for the last 60 years), there's going to be corruption. There's going to be crime. Saying that there will be corruption is like saying that the government is in a developing country - it doesn't tell you much. Moreover, it's unclear that attempts to remove corruption should really be the highest priority at least in terms of economics (you can make an argument in other aspects of people's lives). South Korea had a ton of corruption while it was developing and most rich countries have other ways of distributing buyoffs to people (e.g. earmarks in the United States, or lobbying, both of which are essentially legal forms of corruption).

I agree that state incompetence or failure to meet demands/needs can lead to separatist movements, but there’s also a growing sense among various clans/ethnic groups/caste based groups/regional groups that the way to power and enrichment is through promotion of a particular identity. It’s a mix of motives.

The only word I disagree with in this paragraph is "growing" :) This has been the reality in South Asian politics since at least the British Raj :) I think that what happens in current times is that if a group is systematically denied in its attempts to achieve resources or recognition or other things, it progressively moves up the ladder from claiming benefits to claiming autonomy to eventually claiming a separate state. That doesn't say anything about the relative economic position of the group (e.g. like Khalistanis wanting to leave India vs. the Bangladesh movement which would probably be my benchmark for determining whether I "support" it or "oppose" it (not that either really matters :)

Hey ANON!!! it is Bakwass....

Hey ANON!!! it is Bakwass.... pure and simple.... Bakwass... meant to be that way

Upendra #9: Looks like

Upendra #9:

Looks like someone has been drinking a little too much raksi...

Dr. Anon: "Automatically

Dr. Anon:

"Automatically assuming that the Maovaadi’s victory in Nepal has implications for what is happening in India is a very Indo-centric point of view"

Actually, I realize after re-reading this phrase right here that this makes no sense, and no logical connection, so scratch this bit. But thinking about the Nepali Maovaadis as an extension of Indian Maoists, communists, etc or conceiving the Nepali Maovaadis in the same manner as the Indian ones is Indo-centric.

Children, play nice. The

Children, play nice. The Gorkhaland issue is obviously contentious, and people are going to have different perspectives on it. If they can't be aired out, it's not going to lead anywhere positive.

But thinking about the Nepali

But thinking about the Nepali Maovaadis as an extension of Indian Maoists, communists, etc or conceiving the Nepali Maovaadis in the same manner as the Indian ones is Indo-centric.

I think you might be misreading what i was saying. My suggestion was that it seems intuitive to me that a place that's geographically close and probably hears a lot and cares a lot about what happens in Nepal might be influenced by the zeitgeist more than, say, Chennai, Delhi, or Calcutta. I'm not saying that this is true - I'm saying only that it's worth looking into, rather than dismissing it outright without looking into it further.

I would assume that there are a lot of other factors at play that might explain why Nepal and the Darjeeling area are both experiencing different forms of upheaval (among them inflation produced by the global crisis, though I don't know - again another area of exploration, not a "truth.")

That's my question too :)

That's my question too :) I'm sorry I don't have any answers - I was simply stating that I think the question is worth looking into before dismissing it. Maybe someone else knows. Upendra? Fsowalla? Anyone?

Superb article and thanks a

Superb article and thanks a lot.... because the demand for Gorkhaland is not only the demand of Gorkhalis it is the demand of every individual living in the region.... The government of West Bengal ably supported by Bengali held news paper try to describe our demand as either a secessionists movement or an ethnic movement.. both of which are not at all true...

Hope and pray that your article is read by every Indian... Million thanks again

There is an ethnic aspect to

There is an ethnic aspect to the ongoing problems in the Darjeeling hills as well as power politics. Goes something like this:

Poor, corrupt governance by the previous GNLF (Sibhas Ghising).
Support (sometimes armed) for the GJMM (lead by Bimal Gurung) coming from Nepal youth groups. Ethnic Nepalis in Bhutan and Sikkim also being drawn in. Anyone care that Tibetans living in the area are often forced to participate in the protests?
Darjeeling's status as an autonomous district is now problematic for the West Bengal government because they don't have a guy on the inside.
A real sense of Nepali "possibility" is in the air, in large part due to the Maoist victory in Nepal.

Separate state in the future? Maybe. Or a flood of non-Nepalis from Bangladesh and states in India might happen as a way to change the demographics...though it may be a nice term paper for someone to research, it's doubtful that people's lives will get much better as a result of this.

Upendra, Thanks for your kind

Upendra,

Thanks for your kind words. I'm curious what you see as the factors behind the conflict besides ethnicity and also whether there are people in the region who are opposed to the movement, and who they are and why.

fsowalla,

thanks for the analysis. to play devil's advocate, how do you explain the comments by people who not Gorkhas who are participating in the autonomy movement? Is it fear or is it a calculation of interests or is it a deeper sympathy? The article linked raises the questions, but doesn't conclusively resolve them (which is a good thing for articles to do :)

"A real sense of Nepali

"A real sense of Nepali “possibility” is in the air, in large part due to the Maoist victory in Nepal."

Uh, no. This connection you are making doesn't have that much basis.

Fsowalla: "There is an ethnic

Fsowalla:

"There is an ethnic aspect to the ongoing problems in the Darjeeling hills as well as power politics. Goes something like this:"

Well, what do you expect? The northeast has been a history of annexation on India's part and/or forcing folks to be a part of India. Sikkim used to be a part of Nepal; Assam's history has been one of being in the center of a tug of war.

"Support (sometimes armed) for the GJMM (lead by Bimal Gurung) coming from Nepal youth groups. Ethnic Nepalis in Bhutan and Sikkim also being drawn in."

Nepali speaking Bhutanis are refugees and need a 'home' since they have been languishing in refugee camps, so it's easy to see how they would be attracted to this struggle.

BTW, when you say "Nepal youth", do you mean kids straight from Nepal, or people born and raised in Darjeeling? I think there is a difference. Most people in Darjeeling consider themselves Gokhali, not "Nepali", and to call them Nepali is like calling the Madhesis in the Tarai of Nepal "Biharis". Which opens up all sorts of "you are an outsider" sentiments.

"Anyone care that Tibetans living in the area are often forced to participate in the protests?"

How are they forced?

Uh, no. This connection you

Uh, no. This connection you are making doesn’t have that much basis.

Is this something you can elaborate on or point us to some evidence? It seems pretty intuitive that massive social change in Nepal might encourage or enliven people in northern West Bengal / Sikkim etc., but that's just speculation on my part and would like to know if it is on fsowallah's as well.

Ok Fsowalla and Dr... here

Ok Fsowalla and Dr... here are the facts.....

Darjeeling hills was annexed by the Brits way back in early 1800s....this area always had a mixed population of Nepali, Sikkimese, Lepchas and Bhutias.... However, over the time these communities got amalgamated and now prefer calling themselves Gorkhalis (to distinguish ourselves from citizens of Nepal)....

Here's a very short entry regarding the demographics of the Terai region published in 1898 by the then British Government

Table 5: Percentage share of Different Ethnic Groups in Darjeeling Terai: 1891

Ethnic Group Percentage Share
Lepcha 3.0
Bhutia 1.1
Nepali/Gorkha 26.9
Bengali 0.0
Others 68.9 (British and Rajbanshis)
Total 100.0

Source: Sasi Bhusan Dutt, Report on Darjeeling Terai Settlement, Bengal Secretariat Press, Calcutta, 1898, P. 5
http://www.darjeelingtimes.com/news/Historic-Documents/Reclaiming-the-Da...

Darjeeling hills always had 100% Gorkhali population which over the time has changed and today the hills have 30% non-Gorkhali population.

The real problem is not ethnicity, but the constant refusal of West Bengal government to treat Gorkhalis as Indians... Time and time again the Gorkhalis have been subjected to discrimination, humiliation and state terror, just because the Gorkhalis share ethnic ties with Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. The whole region has not seen any development in the past 60 years except for tourism which is not because of infrastructure but breath taking scenic beauty....

Further, Darjeeling hills and the terai are very rich in natural resources and we supply all the electricity to North-Bengal, further Darjeeling tea amasses huge revenue for the state government, tourism brings in Crores of revenue annually... The West Bengal government has siphoned off Crorers of rupees over past 60 years without giving back our due... I guess it's high time we took control of our destiny...

Further we have been socially-economically and politically deprived.. I'll give you some examples...

Darjeeling hills and the Terai region which had majority of Gorkhali population was divided into two parts in 1971 by the then Chief Minister Siddharta Shankar Ray... so that we would not unite... Gorkhalis used to elect 3 MPs and 7 MLAs now we have ben marginalized so much and our areas curtailed so much that we directly elect only 3 MLAs which is peanuts compared to 254 in the West Bengal assembly.

Added to this there has been a surge of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who have been freely allowed to settle in the Darjeeling foothills and Terai region by the West Bengal government, which has lead to marginalization of our people. Currently the Bengali population in the region exceeds over 50% from 0 in 1898, we have been rendered minority in our own place by the systematic incursion of Bangladeshi illegals supported and aided by the WB Govt.

A very recent example which lead to the rising of Gorkhaland demand once again....

We had demanded a Central University in the Darjeeling Hills area as our education system do not match that of the plains... WB chief minister Buddhadev Bhattachrjee immediately protested and stopped the central government from even considering the request... One week after that WB government demanded a Central University to be built in Jalpaiguri which is only 35 kms away from the North Bengal University....

If ever the WB government wanted to include Darjeeling and her people in to the developmental process we would not have demanded separation from WB but enough is enough.. we'd rather die than stay humiliated any more...

The groups that are currently protesting are CPI(M) frontal organizations like Aamra Bangali (We are Bengali), Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Bachao Samity (Save Bengal and Bengali Language), SFI, DYFI and CPI(M)... the first two organizations are composed of Bangladeshi immigrants and they work like Gestapo for the CPI(M)...

I hope this helps clear some of your doubts.. if interested do let me know I'll write more.. thanks for your curiosity...

Support Gorkhaland - Save India from being inundated by illegal Bangladeshis

Dr. Anon, "Is this something

Dr. Anon,

"Is this something you can elaborate on or point us to some evidence? It seems pretty intuitive that massive social change in Nepal might encourage or enliven people in northern West Bengal / Sikkim etc."

Automatically assuming that the Maovaadi's victory in Nepal has implications for what is happening in India is a very Indo-centric point of view (and so is lumping Nepali Maovaadi with the Indian communists, Marxists, etc). People in Sikkim, Darjeeling, etc have their own agendas and positions that are tied into and rooted what is happening in India (like Ghising asking for the Scheduled caste designation for Gorkhalis). This is like assuming that the Maovaadi victory will embolden Nepali-speaking Bhutani in Bhutan in some way. This is far from true. Not to deny that some people might bring in Nepali politics with the movement for Gorkhaland (though I haven't heard anyone). I know loads of people who are of Nepali origin from India (Siliguri, Darjeeling, Assam, West Bengal, Sikkim, etc), but they are preoccupied with their rights in India within the Indian context, not using the Nepali Maovaadi's victory in some way for their issues and concerns in India.

Upendra:

"Save India from being inundated by illegal Bangladeshis"

Save this baqwaas, yaar. Seriously.

Positive Dr. Anonymous

Positive Dr. Anonymous Positive??? What positivism can we expect from the likes of Desi who tries to be an Italiana??? All he has written is baseless ramblings of a demented mind.. what positivism can we expect??? He didn't reply to points made by myself and Dr. Anon.. all he is doing is rambling like his communist masters.

La DesiItaliana.... Gaalti ma

La DesiItaliana.... Gaalti ma Mistake Bhayecha... Raksi Khako Bela Ma Testai Ho... Dr Anon Lai Gaali Garum Bhaneko Ta.. Tapai Lai Po K K Bhani Paathayechu.. Sorry hai...

Jai Gorkhaland

Upendra, I didn't say

Upendra,

I didn't say anything about the legitimacy and validity of the Gorkhaland movement, so how can you insinuate that I am anti-Gorkha or whatever? For the record, I think that the Indian state's actions are partially- if not mostly- responsible in some way for sparking off movements like this, and that they should be heard. What I'm taking issue with is your baqwaas about 'saving' India from 'illegal Bangladeshis".

"all he is doing is rambling like his communist masters."

Please. Did I say anything in favor of the Nepali Maovaadis? All I said is that it's a mistake to automatically assume that what's going on in Nepal has bearing on the situation in northeast India.

And BTW, I am not a he, but a she. Thanks.

Ok, let me frame this

Ok, let me frame this differently: in what concrete ways has the Nepali Maovaadi victory "emboldened" those asking for Gorkhaland?

Gorkhaland demand started

Gorkhaland demand started from 1907 when even Chairman Mao himself was not born.... Gorkhaland demand was supported by undivided CPI in 1951.. they made a Volta face once they came to power.. Gorkhaland demand went violent from 1984 when Nepali Maowadi Chairman Prachanda was a scholar at JNU... Gorkhaland demand became vocal again from 2007 when Maoists were still fighting for their rights and Nepal was still under the King.... Now Dr. Anon.. you tell me whose demands and whose revolution "emboldened" whom???

As asserted earlier by Desi... Darjeeling is very different than Nepal and to think that people in Darjeeling got "emboldened" after Maoists came to power in Nepal is like trying to analyze the strength of BJP after the fall of the only Hindu king in the world... or trying to find how Bengalis in America feel "emboldened" by Communist rule lasting over 30 years in West Bengal...

Your question itself is wrongly put... you could have asked.. "Does Maoists coming to power in Nepal bears relation with demand for Gorkhaland in India"... you are asking the question assuming that there is a direct (CONCRETE as you put it) relationship between the two different political phenomenons in two different countries.... There is none...

Anything else I can help you with??

As for your.... "I would

As for your.... "I would assume that there are a lot of other factors at play that might explain why Nepal and the Darjeeling area are both experiencing different forms of upheaval" goes...

Gorkhaland demand has nothing to do with factors other than neglect.. indifference and hegemonic dictatorship of the CPI(M)lead WB govt... We have been deprived against and we are being discriminated against.. for details please refer to my post # 7...

It's not unreasonable to

It's not unreasonable to point out that there is some influence between Nepalis living in Nepal and those living in the Darjeeling Hills. It's difficult to get "concrete" evidence, particularly as regards security matters, but there are people in Darjeeling receiving training from the Youth Communist League of Nepal, and other "liberation" groups such as ULFA and the KLO are also actively supporting the GJMM. Yes, there has been a long-standing demand for a Gorkhland state -- however I find the gross generalization of discrimination against Nepalis a bit much. Subhas Ghising, a Gorkha himself, called for a Gorkhaland state and had been in charge of the Hill Council for years, I suppose it was too much to ask him not to be corrupt?

More interesting to me is why the people think Bimal Gurung will be any better as a leader? He has little experience in such a role, and let's be honest, do you really believe that a separate Gorkhaland will be any more successfull, any less corrupt, than other administrations in India? With the anti-Bangladeshi garbage being spouted, it only sounds more and more like calls for "Assam for Assamese" (ULFA). As for the Tibetans being forced to join the protests, that's what my colleagues who spoke to Tibetans told me.

Wow, I am so behind on the

Wow, I am so behind on the news...even my dad didn't know about that.

*correction: my dad didn't

*correction: my dad didn't understand what I was saying because I mispronounced Ghorkaland. I am a walking lol.

do you really believe that a

do you really believe that a separate Gorkhaland will be any more successfull, any less corrupt, than other administrations in India?

who cares? the west bengal government, as far as i know, isn't particularly corrupt, but the question is how the money that's diverted by "corruption" is actually used. most developing countries deal with this problem.

2 things - one, when people in an area create a mass movement for something, that mass movement itself can have results that are positive. moreover, given the costs of creating this kind of mass movement in terms of the repression they might face, etc., usually they, at least, believe that it's worthwhile for them, or they are getting economic benefits, or they are being forced into it.

second, if the local area is formally given power to govern itself, it's allowed to make resource decisions for itself, as opposed to depending on the cpi(m)/calcutta. It's basically a replication of any anti-colonial argument (whether the argument for bangladesh or the argument for assam or anything else) and it usually has a variety of factors behind it and the course it takes. But a really important one is usually one that Upendra's pointing to - which is state incompetence in terms of dealing with the autonomy demand. Usually, people dont start asking for autonomy or secession, in South Asia, anyway, unless the state fails dramatically to meet their needs and include them somehow. you can take as two examples the way that parliament stopped tamil separatism from emerging in south india through linguistic organization (effective state policy in reducing separatism) vs. the way that i. gandhi / r. gandhi administrations dealt with the khalistan movement and how they exacerbated it.

Now as to whether it would even be possible for the state (in this case west bengal government) to do so is a separate question. For example, it's pretty easy to make a case that Pakistan's two halves were doomed to separate given the recency of the Pakistan movement at independence, the geography, the economics, the politics and ethnicities left behind by the British and what happened subsequently, international politics, etc.

Dear Dr. Anon.. Thank you for

Dear Dr. Anon.. Thank you for your objective analysis....I am starting to like your input...

As for Fsowalla.....
U say... "It’s not unreasonable to point out that there is some influence between Nepalis living in Nepal and those living in the Darjeeling Hills."
Brother trust me ask 10000000 Gorkhali youths from Darjeeling who or what Youth Communist League is and every time you ask...they will answer "must be some kind of CPI(M) organization on the lines of Aamra Bangali"...It is not only unreasonable it is kind'a demeaning when you try to find some connection between Indian Gorkhalis and Nepal Nepalis.... It's like trying to find relationship between Tamils and LTTE... it's like trying to find relationships between terrorist groups in Bangladesh n Bengali's in WB.... The Gorkhalis of Darjeeling are similarly related to Nepal as Bengali's of Kolkata are related to Bangladesh... DO you get the point now??? So if you suspect us of having anything to do with Nepal we then suspect your CM Buddhadev and your CPI(M) of having the same relationship with Bangladesh...

U say... "It’s difficult to get “concrete” evidence, particularly as regards security matters, but there are people in Darjeeling receiving training from the Youth Communist League of Nepal, and other “liberation” groups such as ULFA and the KLO are also actively supporting the GJMM."
As for your doubt that KLO and ULFA etc are training us... come on give me a break.. we are Gorkhalis the fiercest martial race in the world.. the only race the British could not conquer in South Asia... U tell me since U seem to know so much about us.. Do we need training from ULFA or KLO which have been waging fight that they themselves know they will never win???? Do you think we are that stupid any way??? Remember it's the Gorkhalis who fought against Pakistan and China while your CPI(M) and every one who supported it was happy supporting China in 1962 Indo-China war....and it's the Gorkhas who keep the border protected even today...if ever we wanted to go the violent way.. our Khukuris would be more than enough against cowards like you.

You further assert... "More interesting to me is why the people think Bimal Gurung will be any better as a leader? He has little experience in such a role, and let’s be honest, do you really believe that a separate Gorkhaland will be any more successfull, any less corrupt, than other administrations in India?
Let me answer you... We think that Bimal Gurung will be better than any other leader because we will keep him in check.. we made a mistake before with Subash Ghishing.. allowing him to be a puppet in the hands of CPI(M) we the peopel are not allowing that to happen ever again... Bimal may not have experience as a Chief Minister (which no Gorkhalis will have if we continue to stay with WB)... but we know that it will be much better than being ruled from Kolkata... Bimal will be uncorrupted as we Gorkhalis do not indulge in lies of deception by nature... this time over and above that we the people will keep him and any other leader in check...

U say.... "With the anti-Bangladeshi garbage being spouted, it only sounds more and more like calls for “Assam for Assamese” (ULFA)."
Dude... as for what you consider Anti-Bangladesh Garbage.. please read national news papers regularly (not just CPI(M)controlled papers of WB).. you may be surprised to find that for our motherland India... Bangladesh garbage is actually a bigger threat than Pakistan sponsored terrorism...and we the Gorkhalis love our motherland too much to allow that to happen...

U further said... "As for the Tibetans being forced to join the protests, that’s what my colleagues who spoke to Tibetans told me."
So it was your colleague who spoke to Tibetan??? well let me tell U this my Girl friend is Tibetan and in Darjeeling....every Tibetan is as much at home as every Gorkhali or Bengali or Marwari...etc..etc.. We do not discriminate and you may be surprised to find that we have so much of Inter-race marriage that every one prefers being called Gorkhali rather than Gorkhas or Tibetan or Bengali or whatever... SO dude please do keep trying to divide our community coz that way you will not be spending time spreading lies.. We those who believe in Gorkhaland are one community and we will not be divided by you or your kinds...

Any more queries Dr?? or Fsowalla??

Jai Gorkhaland....

Upendra, you just proved my

Upendra, you just proved my point. Best of luck to you keeping people "in check", drawing lines around perceived racial identities, or whatever it is...dude. Odd that Tibetan settlements which provide education, health services, etc., (like Sonada for example) even exist in the harmonious world you describe. Guess not every Tibetan feels the same way you do.

Dr. A -- plenty of people care about corruption. And if you think the WB isn't "that" corrupt, you're mistaken. I don't agree that a mass movement has virtue simply because it may have to face repression. Where do you draw the line at what is acceptable behavior by a mass movement? Violence? Intimidation? Extortion? Given the history of separatist movements in that part of India, I'd say that mass movements like this one usually end up losing legitimacy because they often turn to criminal behavior. Now, some might find that justified, but that's a different question...

I agree that state incompetence or failure to meet demands/needs can lead to separatist movements, but there's also a growing sense among various clans/ethnic groups/caste based groups/regional groups that the way to power and enrichment is through promotion of a particular identity. It's a mix of motives.

Dude… as for what you

Dude… as for what you consider Anti-Bangladesh Garbage.. please read national news papers regularly (not just CPI(M)controlled papers of WB).. you may be surprised to find that for our motherland India… Bangladesh garbage is actually a bigger threat than Pakistan sponsored terrorism…and we the Gorkhalis love our motherland too much to allow that to happen…

Yeah, I have a question. If you're saying that the people who support the Gorkhaland movement have a moral right to a separate state, then how can you speak about Bangladeshi migrants that way (or Pakistanis for that matter)? For those of us who have sympathy for people who are being oppressed in all contexts, why should we take what you say seriously instead of giving you the completely justified response that Desi Italiana gave you to your comment above about Bangladeshi migrants? How can you call any other person "garbage"?

In other words, you need to decide if you support this movement because it's just or just because it's in your interests.

Fsowalla....."Odd that

Fsowalla....."Odd that Tibetan settlements which provide education, health services, etc., (like Sonada for example) even exist in the harmonious world you describe. Guess not every Tibetan feels the same way you do."

The Tibetan settlements are there by the choice of the Tibetan ex-pat communities living there.. We didn't force them... they are ably aided and supported by the locals... The Tibetans who live in these settlements are funded by every Western Government... including our Govt of India... they get access to Refugee benefits all over the world and it keeps their hope of going back to Tibet one day alive.. the locals don't have anything to do with it.. It's their choice and the locals respect it... However, those who have wanted to move on and become part of the main stream Darjeeling community are very welcome and if ever you visit Darjeeling you will see for yourself how amalgamated Darjeeling actually is....

Dear Dr. Anon..."If you’re saying that the people who support the Gorkhaland movement have a moral right to a separate state, then how can you speak about Bangladeshi migrants that way (or Pakistanis for that matter)? For those of us who have sympathy for people who are being oppressed in all contexts, why should we take what you say seriously instead of giving you the completely justified response that Desi Italiana gave you to your comment above about Bangladeshi migrants? How can you call any other person “garbage”?"

The term was used by FSOWALLA if you care to read comment # 21 above... I just reiterated what he had said... Let me restate what I am trying to say...

The communist lead West Bengal government have allowed the Bangladeshis to settle illegally in India in order to increase their vote bank and they have been successfully doing that for past 30 years... Their modus-oprendie is that, the illegal immigrants cross the border, they are met by local CPI(M) leaders and taken to a temporary shelter... within a week of their arrival, they get their ration card, voters ID and CPI(M) primary membership card... now they are Indians...

The problem started when these illegal immigrants were allowed to settle in the foothills of Darjeeling by the CPI(M)... the number of illegal immigrants started to raise dramatically since 1980's and these people are now majority in our area and we have been turned to a minority.... No imagine CPI(M)is only worried about their vote bank and nothing else... but many of these immigrants have agenda of their own... they are many a times trained ISI supporters and anti-Indian... Look at the recent spate of violence in India.. including the Jaipur blast.. who were involved?? All Bengali's... look deeper.. all of them were provided with documents by the WB govt including voters ID, Ration card etc...the security agencies looked further and thy found that all involved were originally from Bangladesh who came to India in last year and were provided all the documents by the CPI(M)strong man from Purullia... During investigations they confessed that they were planning to bomb Darjeeling, Agra and Goa... So if any one wants to kill my brothers and sisters and harm my country for me they are garbage...

Dr. Anon.. oppression and discrimination need not necessarily be physical or direct... it can be done in the manner the WB government has been able to do.. Marginalize people to the extent that their voices become murmur..slowly fading into nothingness.. because of the majority surrounding them... Our situation is slowly turning into the story of "An Ungrateful Camel..."... Look at what happened in Assam or Tripura or Orissa.. The Bangladeshis now control everything... from Governance to society... the locals are now languishing in the jungle fighting for their survival... We refuse to become refugees in our own country in our own land....

I am not against any community who seeks refuge geniuenly.. but I am against planned exodus of illegal immigrants who are supported by one political party to meet their political requirements.. while threatening the balance of national unity and security into shambles... and FYI what I said in comment # 7 Support Gorkhaland - Save India from being inundated by illegal Bangladeshis stands...

Dr.. in order to further

Dr.. in order to further clarify.. I request you to kindly watch this video... intensively researched and prepared by AAJ TAK...
http://hawkeyeindia.wordpress.com/2007/03/12/illegal-bangladeshi-immigra...

Please also watch the following series of video.. click the link below.. watch this video and then watch all other related videos...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV6z59RMGas&feature=user

We are not against any one... We are very warm and welcoming people.. but we refuse to be taken hostage to fulfill the political ambition of CPI(M). We need Gorkhaland to protect our Identity and Culture and Tradition.. which we will loose if we allow CPI(M) to continue this way.

Support Gorkhaland - Prevent Terrorism

Dr. Anon... U said... "hen

Dr. Anon... U said... "hen why is your demand:

"Support Gorkhaland - Save India from being inundated by illegal Bangladeshis stands…

rather than: Support Gorkhaland - Save the people of Gorkhaland from the poltical ambition of CPI(M)?"

Don't U see the obvious?? We are worried about India and not just Gorkhaland... For CPI(M) will continue to rule over WB for next 60 years (thanks to Bangladeshi refugees)... we the Gorkhalis cannot accept that.. and we want to keep these people within a checked area (say future WB).. they are like cancer.. if U don't Cut them off... they will cause your death and we will never see our motherland India dieing....

Jai Gorkhand... Down with Communism.. Down with Bangali hegemony... Save India.. Support Gorkhaland

If this is true: We are not

If this is true:

We are not against any one… We are very warm and welcoming people.. but we refuse to be taken hostage to fulfill the political ambition of CPI(M).

Then why is your demand:

Support Gorkhaland - Save India from being inundated by illegal Bangladeshis stands…

rather than: Support Gorkhaland - Save the people of Gorkhaland from the poltical ambition of CPI(M)?

This part of your argument's not really tenable, though the details you provided are really helpful in understand what the thinking is and the objections to a "planned exodus" make things...complicated...for me to come to a feeling about this on.

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