How the day unfolded – Gorkhas protest in Gurgaon

Dinesh Sharma

Today (21.5.2015), a few concerned Gorkha citizens from across the nation gathered at Gurgaon (Sahara Mall) for a peaceful protest in solidarity with the three youths from Darjeeling who were grievously assaulted (on 16th May 2015) by local goons in Nathupur area. The idea was to hold a peaceful march from the mall to the DCP’s office of East Gurgaon, Deepak Sharan and submit a memorandum with our demands. It was 9:00 AM in the morning and I was perhaps the first one to be there on the field. As I was waiting for others to join the gathering, I observed an unusual movement of police personnel in the shopping mall area. Perhaps the cops had a whiff of the gathering plan through Facebook and other social media. As the number of people started to grow, some of the police personnel came over and question us on our plans and tried their best to dissuade us from carrying on with the gathering. Must say here that they were polite in their behavior and were only trying to convince us that the police is doing their best in the case, and that there is no need for the gathering today. Basically we were exchanging thoughts on the following points:

  1. Why only 5 of the culprits have been booked and where are the remaining 10 plus more?
  2. Why has not the police charged the culprits with section 307 (attempt to murder)?
  3. Why did the police take 2 days to even file the FIR of the incident?
  4. Why has not been Article 153A (racial discrimination) added to the charge?

Gorkha citizens from across the nation gathered at Gurgaon
Gorkha citizens from across the nation gathered at Gurgaon (Sahara Mall) for a peaceful protest
in solidarity with the three youths from Darjeeling who were grievously assaulted .

There are ample witness claiming that the perpetrators shouted kill all these Nepalis. In any case, the wounds of the victims prove beyond doubt that the attack by 15-20 guys with iron rods on three people was racially motivated.

The discussion was held with polite exchanges from both the police and us. As we went ahead with the gathering,a couple of police cars and a mini bus filled with police personnel also tagged along. During the march, we were clear that ours is a peaceful protest and the crowd did not at any point forget their discipline. We reached the DCP’s office and submitted the memorandum, after which the DCP confirmed that Section 308 has been added to the charges, and gave us an assurance that the racial discrimination charges will be investigated upon by the police. The crowd thanked the DCP for the prompt action and we were just about to dismiss the gathering on a happily positive note.

Just when we were thinking the day was over, we got to know that an ASI/SI passed an obscene and derogatory remark against the Gorkha community.  One of the protestor had gone to drink water near the gate when he happened to overhear the police official make the remark. Roughly translated, he said ‘The Gorkha men are basically momo sellers and jhaadoo-poochha guys. And the Gorkha women are basically *andis running their Dhanda(with hand gestures) here.’ One hearing the remarks, the witness informed the gathering about the remark. As some from the gathering went to check what was happening, the police official fled from the scene in a Chevrolet Beats car, bearing Haryana registration number 6627. What was disheartening is that the incident happened right inside the premise of the DCP’s office, and that too by a police personnel posted for the solidarity march. That was a blatant case of racial discrimination right on your face.  The witness has given his statement in written as well as video recording and promises to do so whenever required.

We then start another protest right then and there demanding that the official be booked immediately. The sudden emotional sentiment that ran through the crowd was unimaginable. We all wanted to push our way inside the DCP’s chamber, until sanity prevailed. Upon insistence, the DCP came out to meet the crowd again and gave an assurance that the accused police officer will be soon identified and brought to the office for further action. The crown decided to sit on a protest dharna in the office complex till action is taken upon the racist ASI/SI. As we started spreading the incident through the media, social network sites, personal contacts, and bureaucrats, the pressure might have soon rerouted to the East Gurgaon DCP’s office and this time the ACP came to meet the crowd. The indent occurred around 1:00 PM and it was already over 5:00 PM by the time the ACP addressed the gathering. The ACP accepted our complaint and took the witness’s statement and promised swift and appropriate action to the guilty police officer. Though our demand for immediate action was not fulfilled, we respected the ACP’s assurance that the incident will be impartially investigated and will not disappoint us. The crowd had decided to follow up with the case after 48 hours and plan further actions based on the outcome of the investigation. Meanwhile, we proceeded to the victim’s place to enquire about them and assisted the family with whatever little we could collect from the spot, shared a few words with them and call it a day.

Now, that was how the day unfolded for me as I witnessed. Personally, today was a day of retrospection for me. The mix of success, near successes, and some disappointments kept me thinking about my Identity and why should I care about it:

  • Why is it that despite being one of the largest migrant community (above 10 lacs) from the North-East in Delhi, we still do not have a voice that the authorities can hear?
  • Why do we fail to rise above petty regionalist politics and think of Indian Gorkhali as a whole?
  • Why do we insist on know which jaati a person belongs to when being introduced for the first time?
  • Why do the bureaucratic and administration circle think of Gorkhali as the most disjointed community in the entire North-East?
  • Why do individual/parties always attempt to politicize such an important social issue? Can we not think beyond our small territory and political affiliation for a while and try and do something positive for the community?
  • Why do we always remain confine to calling ourselves to our place like Darjeelingey, SikkimeseGorkhali, Assamese Gorkhali, Manipur Gorkhali, Nagaland Gorkhali, ShillongGorkhali, Arunachal Gorkhali, and so on? Whats with this prefix to the word Gorkhali? Can we not call ourselves as Indian Gorkhali for once?
  • Why for such an important issue, we only have around 100 people joining us. Where are the remaining 999900 people? At least try reaching out even if you can’t make it. Do something at least.

Enough of these petty politics and jaativaadiamongst Gorkhalis. Let us keep our regional politics to our own respective regions and not carry it wherever we go. In a city like Delhi, we don’t need regional Gorkhalis, we need Indian Gorkhalis. Let us work for a bigger vision and think out of the box for a change. We have been living in our cages for too long a time. It is high time we speak as once as one united voice. Let us all walk as one Gorkha identity and make things better for our generation to come. Like a friend says, we have grown up listening to what people say ‘ GORKHALI KO SALLA, KHARAANI KO DALLA ’, do we also want our future to hear the same thing? This is our time to change how we look at ourselves and what we want to change within us.


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