Was Sudipta Sen’s muckraking howl a TMC ploy to tarnish the President?
A Murky Missive
Failed chit fund Saradha boss Sudipta Sen’s letter bomb to CBI became public on April 24
First victims were Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose, TMC MPs depicted as allies-turned-extortionists
But the real target was President Pranab Mukherjee whose strained relations with TMC is known. The letter painted the first citizen as a patron of
The Souring Of Relations Between Trinamul And GJMM
Barely a few months ago, Bimal Gurung, the chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) had hailed Mamata Banerjee as a ‘mother’. Today the ‘mother’, in his estimation, is a conspirator engaged in the dirty politics of divide and rule in the hills. In Gurung’s reckoning, the CPI-M never played divisive politics in the hills. Furthermore, it is much better as a political party compared to the Trinamul Congress. Having disowned his “mother”, the GTA leader has sought to replace her with a “father” and President Pranab Mukherjee has qualified for that stature. It is on his request that the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha declared on 8 March that the proposed bandhs would be deferred.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s decision to put on hold its agitation in the Darjeeling hills demanding a Gorkhaland State spells prudence. The separate shows of strength staged by the GJM and the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) this past week are proof that games of political one-upmanship are not about to wane in the region. The GNLF’s bid to get back into the arena could give room for renewed jockeying for political space by the old rivals. The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Agreement of July 2011 was running the risk of being caught in the crossfire. While the pluck Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee showed in trying to come to grips with the problem early in her tenure was remarkable, her recent remarks terming the Gorkhaland movement ‘separatist’ have been poorly judged and have roiled public sentiment in Darjeeling. It was clear all along that she had shown haste in claiming a breakthrough on an issue that had generated tensions and sporadic violence for more than three decades. The tripartite agreement was signed without really figuring out ways to address all the substantive questions. For Mamata, it was essentially all about one-upmanship vis-à-vis the predecessor Left Front government.
It has been broadly proved that the political violence is the ultimate upshot of the unethical culture. The consequence is always dire, we have seen it in the history as well as in recent past at our own threshold. indeed, political violence is a global phenomenon, however, so far peaceful Darjeeling hills is concerned, political violence has been never a major problem until inception of 1st phase of Gorkhaland agitation was initiated demanding separation from Bengal. Gorkhaland agitation led by Subash Ghisingh, we have witnessed crushing our own people, brother killed brother, officially 1200 martyrs recorded, unofficially 3000-3500 sacrificed their lives, had been disastrous impact in the society. Ultimately, outcome of such huge losses was the beneficial for Bengal.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is up in arms again. The message from the organization is that enough is enough, and that nothing short of a separate state will do. But have the Morcha leaders been forced to play to the gallery because of a growing suspicion that they are also going the Subash Ghisingh way? Are there now lingering doubts that they are keeping the statehood issue dangling in order to make hay by virtue of their positions in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration? Publicly they are saying that the GTA has become meaningless because of constant interference from the chief minister in the functioning of an autonomous body. The complaint is not without substance, given the way in which the chief minister is announcing projects for the Lepchas, a step that should have been the prerogative of the autonomous body. But was this reason enough to cause such anger or do the GJM leaders fear that with the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League and the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists raising the pitch for a separate state, they may be seen as betrayers if they do not follow suit and in a bigger way.
If Darjeeling’s fragile peace is threatened once again, Mamata Banerjee’s indiscretions during her last trip there are largely responsible for it. She had gone to the hills to open a cultural festival, but ended up stirring fresh political trouble there with unnecessary political statements. The people of Darjeeling only recently elected a new Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. The chief minister and the state government should try and do everything to ensure that the GTA functions properly. The GTA chief, Bimal Gurung, has often complained of bureaucratic problems hindering its work. Ms Banerjee should have used her trip to discuss administrative issues with Mr Gurung and other members of the GTA. Instead, she blundered into using the cultural event for a political debate over the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. Mr Gurung retaliated by reviving the Gorkhaland agitation. Her pronouncements regarding the formation of two councils — one for the Buddhists and another for the Lepchas — were also both untimely and indiscreet. Such councils can do some useful work for the promotion of Buddhist studies or of the Lepcha language and culture. But Mr Gurung and his party, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, saw in her pronouncements a ‘conspiracy’ to divide the people in the hills. All this was unnecessary and could have been avoided only if Ms Banerjee had kept politics out of the cultural programme and taken Mr Gurung and the GTA into confidence about her plan for the councils.