Einstein proposed the ‘theory of relativity’ and said “it’s all relative.” A matchbox company agreed and took that logic a step further and added these epic lines to it “Success is relative, the more successful you are, the more relatives you will have,” and called it the “theory of relatives.”
If recent scientific findings about neutrinos are anything to go by, then Einstein’s “Special Theory of Relativity” has been proven to be wrong, given which it seems like the “theory of relatives” put forth by the matchbox company has stood the test of time and is thus true. Success begets relatives – left, right and centre and indeed the more successful you are the more relatives you will have.
Nowhere is this theory more evident that in our own beloved hills. Where it seems like a race against time has started in earnest by different groups and communities to declare Mamata Banarjee as their ‘sakkhey relative” – Nepali ma bhan nu ho bhaney saino kelaunu thalyecha.
Hands down the race was won by GJM and its moronic leaders who claimed birth relationship to Mamata by calling her ‘Didi.’ Not to be undone, the Lepchas claimed their relationship with Mamata to be of higher order and they called her the “Kingchum Darmit – Bhagya Vidhata.” And today the All India Tamang-Buddhist Association claimed their piece of Mamata by calling her “Nana.” All of these various groups and communities have benefitted from staking a “relative” claim to Mamata and gained economic and financial largess.
But wait, wasn’t all these quest supposed to be about reclaiming various ‘identities’? If I remember correctly, GJM was seeking Gorkhaland so that we’d get rid of the identity crisis. Lepchas were seeking to protect their language and culture, and the Tamangs… well by now no one even cares about the reason it seems. The Tamangs were honestly blunt, they are not coating it up, they want Tamang Development Council for “prosperous future of Tamang community,” indeed that is what all this is about after all – ain’t it?
Having said that, even I support all these Tribal Development Councils, in fact I urge every tribal communities across Bengal to demand such development councils. Why should the Santhals or the Mundas or the Oraons or Rabhas or Totos and such not enjoy the benefit of such a tribal council? It is the right of every tribal community to have their language, culture and traditions protected and conserved. Why should only the Lepchas and Tamangs be deemed special? If West Bengal does not hear your plight, I urge the tribal communities to file a “discrimination case” against the state government in Supreme Court of India.
Honestly speaking, the people in Darjeeling, including your’s truly, owe a sincere apology to Subash Ghishing. When he wanted Darjeeling to be included into Scheduled – VI of the Indian Constitution and demanded tribal status for all the hill folks, I remember the whole hill people spoke against such “attempts at division of our hill community and people.” It was Ghishing’s push for 6th scheduled status that got him kicked out of Darjeeling.
Today the same people who protested against the perceived divisions 6th scheduled would bring are lining up, claiming their “saakhey saino” with Mamata. I would not be surprised if we find out tomorrow that after all it was Subash Ghishing directing this whole charade from his beloved home in Matigarah.
2014 General elections are round the corner, and Mamata has now placated and in turn gained unspoken support for her MP candidate in the upcoming elections from three major groups in the hills – GJM, Lepchas and Tamangs. Rest of those who are clamoring for ‘Development Council’ may have to wait for… like forever.
Bengal never cared for Darjeeling or its people and it never will. GTA was TMC’s gift to shut up GJM and its leaders. Lepcha Development Council was the first wedge that TMC had used to divide the hill community, and Tamang Development Council is TMC’s quest to gain enough hill votes to see them through 2014 elections.
Wait and watch and mark my words. All these interim stop-gap arrangements are nothing but a Trojan horse, which eventually Bengal will use to destroy the very fabric of our society and our people, which pushes us to demand Gorkhaland. In rushing in to claim the “saino” with Mamata and thus Bengal, our own people are forgetting that, you can ride the tiger for a while, but the tiger is going to get hungry and when it has devoured everything, all that will be left for it to devour is YOU.
Guess now, the Limbus will call Mamata – Pee Pee, Bhutia/Sherpa/Dukpa will call her Aji, Rai will call her Dema, Newar will call her Taa-ta and so on. In the quest for seeking ‘saino’ with Mamata, I fear that we will forget the ‘saino’ that really matters… Khoon ko. Please take a moment to ponder if in seeking all these development councils, are we not selling out the future of our children?
Remember… “Dekhos na dekhos yo bartamaan, bhawi pidi le dekhne cha… kasai le chadma bhesh ma, timro itihas lekhdai cha…”
[2nd picture by Lhadup Moktan]
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