Indian Gorkhas

Indian Gorkhas are Nepali speaking community mostly living all along the Himalayan belt and the North-East states of India. Gorkha is an umbrella term for numerous groups and tribes such as Chettri, Bahuns, Newars, Gurungs, Mangars, Rais, Limbus, Tamangs, Sunuwar, Thamis and others.The term ‘Gorkha’ in the Indian context is used to differentiate the INDIAN CITIZENS of Nepali ethnicity from the citizens of Nepal who prefer to be called ‘Nepalese.’ It is estimated that there are about 1,50,000,00 Gorkhas in India or Bharatiya Gorkhas ( Nepali: भारतीय गोर्खा ).

Contrary to perceptions that the Gorkhas are citizens of Nepal residing in India, Indian Gorkhas have lived for generations in India, the areas which they inhabited having been ceded to the British by regimes in parts of Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim during the pre-independence days.

The Gorkha community, which came with the land and culture, accepted India as their motherland and added to the country’s rich diversity. Gorkhas played citizens’ role in the Independence movement, with many of them being martyred during the years India fought to free itself from the colonial yoke.

One of the many Gorkha heroes of the period is Shaheed Durga Malla, whose statue stands on the lawns of the Parliament House. Thousands fought in the ranks of the Azad Hind Fauz, while two Gorkha nationalists were participants in the Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi. An Indian Gorkha was a member of the Constituent Assembly. Post- Independence, many Gorkha soldiers have given their lives for the country in the wars that India has fought against foreign aggressors and in countering terrorism in different parts of the country.

The mother tongue of the Indian Gorkhas is Nepali, a language that is included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution as a national language.

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