It is unbelievable that the high power committee led by retired justice Shyamal Sen who was entitled to resolve the contentious territorial dispute over the regions of Dooars and Terais have come up with such a lopsided verdict to decide the future of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. Selecting five mouzas out of 396 mouzas is not only a shocker but it also reflects the cruel intention of the State Government which is being highly insensible to the demand of the people in the hills and the plains. If five mousas was to be doled out then there wasn’t any use of wasting ten months time by the high power committee. This recent development is a result of well organized plan of the state government. Like Mamta has opposed each and every good decisions of the centre and presented herself as a big obstacle to the UPA government’s progress it was obvious that she will do the same with the GJM’s stalemate in Darjeeling. Shyamal Sen is just a ploy of the state government because all he did is to abide by what Mamta Banerjee and her cronies asked him to do. It has taken everyone by surprise. The secessionist movement of Gorkhaland has always been compromised since long by our leaders in Darjeeling and repents afterwards. Perhaps this is the reason of over expectation from them by the masses. There is no difference between the movement of the past and at present because all they did is showed hopes for self rule and better prospects for life but failed to achieve it due to their blinkered vision and lack of efficient political leadership. When GTA accord was signed it didn’t overwhelm the pro Gorkhaland supporters with euphoria but it has rather made them upset and skeptic. The then it was crystal clear to predict the real intention of Miss Banerjee on undivided Bengal and GTA lollipop but our leaders in Darjeeling took a long time to understand that mistrust and betrayal which now seemed to have appeared.
Didi has used the GJM as a tool to win the assembly election by taking all for a ride. She has seldom introspected that her mandate to equip Darjeeling with economic aid has now been a tale of mere dreams and not reality. Of course, the report is a huge set back to the Morcha leaders and seems to break the friendly equilibrium between the Darjeeling and the Writers Buildings. But the question needs to be asked what the four members of the Morcha were doing when this report wasn’t made public? They can’t put blame only on Shyamal Sen’s report because they are responsible for this mess as well. The GJM has rejected the high powered committee report outright and dubbed it as humiliating. There is some inkling that they can revive the Gorkhaland agitation and discard the semi autonomous provision but what will happen to the promises they have done with the state government and the Centre at the tripartite agreement which was signed at Pintail village in Sukna with full joy and glorious celebration in the last year. The wrong decision that has been taken in a haste has adversely affected the popularity and weakened the strength of the Morcha with great velocity. The upcoming strikes and rally in the hills and the plains will certainly produce contrary results like it did quite a while ago. Of course there is abundant majority of Gorkha dominated areas in many parts of Dooars and Terais and some chunk of Adivasi population might curry favor to the GJM to paralyze the normal life in Jalpaiguri. Even though most of the important places are still dominated by non Nepali communities and they will try to foil this intention including the state government. It’s a tip of the iceberg that the state government has conceded five mouzas to the Morcha under the ambit of the GTA which consists of two from Jalpaiguri and three from Darjeeling. Morcha leaders has not only refused it but been able to vent their spleen against the state government. But this denial and objection might create disorder and chaos.
The tripartite agreement was a harbinger of peace and prosperity in the hills and the plains but the content of the recent partial report has made everything kaput. Retrieving back to agitation and strikes will only makes people unhappy and disturbed, no matter wherever and whenever it happens. Now the GTA bill which was passed in the Parliament, which was likely to be implemented by the state government and refusing it means going at the back of promises. It will push Darjeeling back to a state of oblivion and uncertainties including the Dooars and the Terais which have now become the epicenter of strikes and unprecedented violence if anything happens in the hills. It is apparent that years of struggle and goodwill gesture with state government eventually came to naught. Meanwhile, the centre and the state government hoodwinked the GJM shrewdly and for their lackadaisical approach. The GJM leaders’ reaction was quite vociferous against the high powered committee report. But it unlikely that chief minister will do anything to settle the dispute because now she doesn’t want the votes from the hills .However, the passion and drama that are being unfolded regarding the inclusion of Gorkha dominated areas in Dooars and Terais advocated by Morcha leaders is difficult to understand. Considering the politics of our leaders in the Darjeeling, after gotten the betrayal from Subhas Ghisingh the GNLF’s chief, who duped us while granted DGHC only for the hills. The amount of time that has been invested in the statehood agitation and awaiting to reap the benefit of the GTA accord is a nightmare. Its better either to move beyond this or else wait till the Bharatiya Janta Party forms the government by winning the Loksabha election in two years from now. The Congress has left no option to be there in power yet again for its internal squabbling with its allies and constant policy paralysis. The BJP are in for creating small states and they have always pushed for Gorkhaland state. Hopefully, the BJP government if comes to power then Telangana and Gorkhaland will be a viable option for statehood.
Janga Bahadur Sunuwar