Darjeeling in the middle of political crossroads, squat of unity – Himalayan Talk


A great street sweeper who performed shoddily

Darjeeling in the middle of crossroads, squat of unity

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say “Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Darjeeling in the middle of crossroads, squat of unity - Himalayan Talk
Darjeeling in the middle of crossroads, squat of unity – Himalayan Talk

Darjeeling and its people are in the middle of crossroads, caught between mainstream politics and the demand for Gorkhaland. Here we have some sketching developmental note and there we get voices saying ‘I would speak for the demand’. Difficult task for the people has come to knock its door, to choose from the one between a leader who wants development and others who are ready to raise the demand at the highest level.

Bimal Gurung’s so called fearless and last battle for Gorkhaland is nowhere nearing to achievement. The people had entrusted you to be that great street sweeper but your lack of knowledge on Michelangelo Painting or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare poetry has been clearly exposed. You have lost the battle even before you started it. A battle is won when you leave little option for the opponent to makes its move, infact no option at all.

Dr. Mahendra P.Lama, a noted academician and one of the candidates in the poll fray, turning down a request from Gurung to support BJP for the Darjeeling parliamentary seat holds right in every respect. CPRM backing out to support BJP holds right in every respect. GNLF trying out its own options for making its political survival also hold right in every respect. Let us leave Bhaichung Bhutia. He is not entitled to utter even the letter ‘G’ of ‘Gorkhaland’ because he is a burrowed player from the opponent team.

That Gurung and his aides failed even to go a step further for their last battle for Gorkhaland can be attributed from the above facts. The GJM failed to bring all these forces in a single platform. That, if supporting BJP in the ensuing election will make the battle easier is the sincere logic of the GJM, then it would have been wiser for it to discuss the matter first at the local level with all political and apolitical forces. When you were in trouble you did form the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC). Once you were out of the trouble you forgot about it.

You played football where you seem to be the ball itself. You join hands sometime at Brigade with Didi, now with a Punjabi brother but no relation with your brothers. The lack of political maturity has been exposed.

‘Gorkhaland’ does not belong to Bhaichung Bhutia or S.S. Ahluwalia. It is not their demand. It is the demand of the people of the Darjeeling hills, hitherto the demand of the Gorkhas scattered in the country who has been facing an identity crises. It is not about development only. More than that it is the people’s aspiration who wants to be recognized as Indian rather than a perception that they are a citizen from Nepal who migrated to India.

With every move that you make let not the GenNext Gorkhas curse you rather than calling you a great street sweeper. With votes beginning to divide in the hills even before nominations are being filed, one cannot deny the fact that the TMC would grow stronger by the end of the polls. Time has allowed once again to the hills to reunite and choose a consensus MP in a bid to have atleast one in the parliament who would speak for us.

Submitted by Vivek Ghatani to Indian Gorkhas

Vivek Ghatani is a freelance journalist working since the past 10 years covering Darjeeling, North Bengal and Sikkim. He has already worked with publications like The Statesman, The Telegraph, The Himalayan Mirror and Civil Society Magazine apart from contributing in many local magazines from time to time.

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