Demand for a separate statehood comprising of Darjeeling district and the adjoining Dooars is over a century old. This region has very little to do with the state of West Bengal in terms of geographical features, natural resources, socio-cultural pattern and livelihood system. A separate state comprising of Darjeeling district and Dooars region will be most economically viable. This new state could also bring the comprehensive security to India. This would include military, environmental and human security.
The people of this region now have realised that the West Bengal Government would not be able to do any substantive development activity for them. Instead it has ruined the entire forest resources, cinchona plantation, tea industry, opulent biodiversity, rich human resources and most importantly all the traditional institutions. The economy of this region remains in tatters and unmanageably scattered. The traditional institutions have been systematically demolished. The setting up of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council in 1988 in fact became a curse as it took Darjeeling back to the colonial period in every respect.
The indifference of the state government towards the people of Darjeeling makes a separate state the obvious solution to their problems, writes Mahendra P. Lama
The inevitable has happened in Darjeeling district. The demand for Gorkhaland has erupted once again, and this time in a much more vocal, sweeping and determined manner than the last. There are four primary reasons for this. First, the setting up of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council in 1988 as a solution to the last round of Gorkhaland agitation of the Eighties failed to do Darjeeling any good. The DGHC had no power to speak of, as it remained under the control of the Writers’ Building. Its chairman, Subhas Ghisingh, ran it as a personal fief and with the tacit support of the Bengal administration, systematically demolished well-known institutions and created a deep sense of insecurity among the people. The West Bengal government obviously enjoyed this throttling of democratic rights and further consolidated its friendship with Ghisingh. Even nine months back, the Bengal government maintained that there are no opposition parties in Darjeeling.