The Gorkhas and the ex-servicemen have a lot in common and the bulk of the Gorkhas being ex-servicemen the Gorkha community too has suffered political isolation, just as the ex-servicemen. Political identity is the ability for a group to have its voice heard and bring forth its point of view both at the national and regional level. The ex-servicemen organized themselves better and both the national parties are out to woo them, a case in point is the sanction of the One Rank One Pension. The fine print and its implementation are awaited and the battle is still half won because the taste of the pudding lies in eating the same.
Both the ex-servicemen and the Gorkha are spread across India, numbers are nearly the same at 1.25 crore for the Gorkha and roughly 2 crore for the ex-servicemen. The ability to swing the vote at the national level 1.5%to 2%, yet the Gorkha is not politically counted while the ex-servicemen have been able to make themselves counted. This is because as brought out in my book “Gorkhas In Search Of Identity”, the Gorkha lacks political identity which comes about because of political unity. The last time we had to import a representative from the BJP, now the Trinamool has stomped another outsider on us. Gorkhas need an insider not an out sider.
The problem is Darjeeling sees the vote as Darjeeling centric thus it means only one seat, but Gorkhas are spread across more than sixteen locations nationally and that should be the bargaining chip. The entire community agrees on Gorkhaland, let’s set aside other issues which splinter us, thus seeing the larger picture and putting forth one candidate should not be a problem. At the national level to get political consensus for an emotive issue is worth it but our petty differences need to be kept aside.
The Congress for their own reasons because of a tie up with the Left and later Mamata in ten years hood winked the GJM yet now when political isolation stares them in the face is ready for a tie up with GJM for one seat. The GJM and the Bharitya Gorkha Parasangh could never see eye to eye thus today the only national level civil society of the Gorkhas which has pitched in for Gorkhaland cannot put up a united candidate, and are all looking for short term solutions.
Gorkhas need to vote united at the national level the fingers are ineffective but clenched together they make a fist. The candidate must be an insider who does us proud, if it is an independent there must be an understanding with a national political party for votes in other areas of the nation. One of the biggest lessons of Telangana is that if the parliament wants a state it happens, the role of a state government is that of a bystander. If the Jats can get reservation why can’t we because we are not united.
27,322 total views, 1 views today