Monday, 08 February 2010 00:13
As luck would have it, the ‘Hanuman’ to ‘Ravana’ transition of Darjeeling MP Jawasnt Singh took place against the backdrop of 3rd tripartite meeting held at secretarial level that resulted in-as expected without any astonishment-no substantial result except for the agreement to exorcise ghosts from the past and forming an ‘alternative administrative setup’ (without naming it, which indicates denial). This is by the way 26th call for a separate homeland (counted by Dr. Sonam Wangyal) and it has been droned through a fetid century of disgusting regional and national politics. More than a thousand people died without ‘seeing’ or say in the process of ‘showing’ or ‘making it happen’ what it would be like ‘Gorkhaland payo bhane sungur le pani nuniya chamal ko bhhat khhanccha’ (even pigs will have basmati rice to chomp on if Gorkhaland forms), a slogan popularised by a raconteur that had caught fancy of gullible hills in 80s. Now its calm, but uncertainty looms large with some certainty for sure.
Are we fallen on hard times? ‘Aila’ inundating defenceless hamlets, monsoon triggering landslides and claiming innocent lives, WB government adamant and never ending strikes hampering business, ‘pressure’ groups crying hoarse from 2100 meters below as if the internecine battle would win for them a few brownie points, the national party which we cast our support winning the battle but loosing the war for no fault of ours. Legislative assembly is in denial mode despite walk-outs by our MLAs, majority of parliament is dispassionate about the issue while the only MP we have, too have been stripped of his party affiliation for writing a book. Wow!
Call it a gang rape of justice. There is a flaw in our system, I tell you. Like a hole in a titanic-too small, yet too big. Otherwise, votes wouldn’t go to dustbin. It can be recalled (if we can) that Jaswant Singh had won by a margin of over two lakhs votes- double than the margin by which previous Darjeeling MP (congress that time, we tried everything even CPIM) had won- despite inclusion of Matigara-Naxalbari, a CPIM stronghold assembly segment into Darjeeling constituency replacing the Ishlampur that had been inducted earlier for goodness knows why. Isn’t the win-despite such ‘inductions’- a clear signal what people want? How many Gorkhas and Bengalis must have contributed to that winning vote? How many Lepcha, Bhutia, Bihari, Rajbanshis, Adhivasis must have contributed to that winning figure? Do we need to display those individuals in front of national media to prove the greater and more inclusive meaning of Gorkhaland? But at times even the media makes me feel like we are a bunch of kickbags, meant for taking punches and kicks behind the veil of 4th pillar where there are no witnesses. There are few locals from hills who are into journalism compare to an overwhelming majority from rest of the Bengal and pieces written by journalists coming to Darjeeling-a tourist destination-in a 'to-kill-two-bird-with-one-stone' trip of vacation cum work is bound to be hardly any representative of the real problem. That is still ok as fault is entirely ours for we couldn’t compete with rests in the fields other than defence of this great nation, but there seems to be another school of journalists-although against their code of ethics/professionalism-who seem to have already decided not to support the formation of this new state within India inhabited by minority Gorkhas, Lepchas, Bhutias, Marwaris, Biharis, Bengalis etc. whatsoever.
Of course there are exceptions like Joydeep Majumdar and Ishan Joshi as we read sporadic articles that give us occasional thrills, but they are like one or two MPs or MLAs we have been kindly bestowed with so that we can vote for welfare of a party and not for the farewell of the pangs and problems our men and women are grabbling hard with.