How many of you are aware of the fact that when a tea garden worker dies, and his/her body needs to be buried, they cannot simply do so? That the family concerned has to apply for a piece of the land to bury the body in through the tea garden management, and that the land thus provided is in the name of the tea garden and not the person who died?
This is the fundamental reason why we need Gorkhaland. Not many know that despite 70 years since independence, the Gorkhas, the Adivasis and the Rajbognshis who work in the tea gardens of Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars are still treated as slaves, whose very existence and identity is attributed to the tea company he works for.
“IDENTITY”, this is what the Gorkhas have strived for since 1907 when the Hillmen’s Association first asked for a separate administrative unite (new state) comprising of Darjeeling and Dooars region.
Almost 99.99% of politicians from Bengal will never understand the humiliation, and discrimination that we the Gorkhas have lived through. For them we will continue to remian “ora – the others”.
When the Bengal BJP Chief Dilip Ghosh recently spoke his half-formed bigoted opinions against the formation of Gorkhaland state, much outrage followed. Almost all the hill opposition parties jumped in the bandwagon to decry his statements as being the official BJP stand against Gorkhaland. What was more ironic was the fact that the political groups that are not even demanding Gorkhaland were most vocal to criticize Dilip Ghosh’s anti-Gorkhaland statements.
Thus, when a semi-literate moron from Kolkata comes to our hills and vomits his half-baked bigoted opinion against Gorkhaland we all feel hurt, and rightfully so. However, this is where the beauty of our constitution comes in. His opinions don’t matter.
The framers of our constitution were some of the most knowledgeable scholars of their day. Thus, they put the onus of realigning the geographic boundaries of our nation on the Central government and did not provide for much (any) room for the state governments to have a say.
Article 3 of our constitution, which deals with the formation of new states reads…
“3. Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States: PARLIAMENT may by law
(a) form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State;
(b) increase the area of any State;
(c) diminish the area of any State;
(d) alter the boundaries of any State;
(e) alter the name of any State; Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired Explanation I In this article, in clauses (a) to (e), State includes a Union territory, but in the proviso, State does not include a Union territory Explanation II The power conferred on Parliament by clause (a) includes the power to form a new State or Union territory by uniting a part of any State or Union territory to any other State or Union territory.”
Please note it’s the PARLIAMENT and not the “State Government”, nor the “Unit of Party in Power in the Center” or “political parties,” which is entrusted with the formation of a new state.
The framers of our constitution were aware that there would be bigoted morons like Dilip Ghosh who out of chauvinism and suffering from acute superiority complex would oppose the formation of a new state, by carving out a portion from their existent state. Thus no matter what politicians from Bengal say, Gorkhaland is a reality waiting to happen and sooner or later it will be formed.
Take the example of Jharkhand, one of the most colourful and the then powerful politician Lalu Prasad Yadav had said “Jharkhand kabhi nahi banega… Hum mar jayenge lekin Bihar ko alag hone nahi denge… agar Jharkhand banega toh meri las ke uppar se hokar banega”… well we all know how that play ended. When Telangana was formed, the most vocal critics were the then Congress party MLAs from Andhra Pradesh, yet the UPA government, headed by Congress at the center went ahead and formed Telangana. So it is normal for the state unit of any party to protest against the formation of a new state, which is why it would be futile on our part to give much significance to the ramblings of a demented individual like Dilip Ghosh of Bengal BJP.
Let me honestly ask you this, do you remember who was the last President of Bengal BJP? or the last President of Bengal Congress or the last president of Bengal CPI(M)?
Individuals change, but ideas remain, and “Gorkhaland is an idea whose time has come” is what one of the top BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj had told the Parliament on July 22, 2009 [Details: http://bit.ly/2hDp7dx].
In the same year, the current MoS (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in Narendra Modi’s government Rajiv Pratap Rudy had said, “the Gorkhas, Bhutias and the Lepchas have a social, cultural and linguistic affinity with the tribals of the Dooars region, i.e. Santhals, Uraons, Mindas Totas, Rabhas, Mechey and Raj Banshis and Nepali is their lingua franca and is spoken throughot the region of Dooars; the demand (Gorkhaland), when fulfilled, will ensure the protection of the Gorkha’s distinct socio-cultural identity and will bring them into the mainstream and inculcate a sense of belonging… this House (Parliament), therefore, urges upon the Government to create separate states of Telangana and Gorkhaland with a separate Legislature, Executive and Judiciary in accordance with the Constitution of India.”
The reason why I have quoted them is because, for every naysayers we have 10 more within BJP who are supportive of our demand for a separate state.
All we need to do is remind them of their commitment to our demand, remind the rest of the political parties across India why Gorkhaland needs to be formed, and most important of all remind the PMO India Narendra Modi that it was for him and because of him we voted for BJP and not for morons like Dilip Ghosh.
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