Why it should be “All India Gorkha Channel” ? and not “All India Nepali Channel”

Sanjog Chamling for IG

According to the Statesman article titled ” GTA announces ‘own’ TV channel ” which was later published on Darjeeling Times (details – http://goo.gl/Jl7m4X )  Gorkhaland Territorial Administration have recently announced 24 hr Nepali channel, hosted by NTV, named “All India Nepali Channel” which will be fully functional from the month of September this year. It is to be noted that this has not yet been confirm by the GTA officially.

If the new is  true, this would be the great initiative on the part of GTA, however, there has been campaigns in social medias and change.org to change the name of the channel from “All India Nepali Channel” to “All India Gorkha Channel”. Online Petition addressed to GTA chief Mr Bimal Gurung, Chief Executive and other executives members of the GTA  has been submitted.

All India Nepali Channel" or "All India Gorkha Channel"?
All India Nepali Channel” or “All India Gorkha Channel”?

It was mentioned in the article that .. Addressing a gathering organized to mark the 201st birth anniversary of Bhanu Bhakta Acharya at Gorkha Ranga Mancha Bhawan here, Assistant general secretary of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) executive member, Binoy Tamang said: “ Initially we had thought of keeping the channel’s name Kanchangunga TV or Gorkha TV, but we finalized on All India Nepali (AIN) because the channel will be for all the Nepali speaking population of India

Language, Nepali, has already been recognized, on 20th August 1992 the Constitution of India gave recognition to Nepali language in the eight schedule of the Indian constitution. It is the term “Indian Gorkha” that needs to get highlighted at the national arena.The term “Indian Gorkha” tries to make a distinction between citizen of Nepal and the Indian citizens of the Gurkha ethnic group.

By including the word “Gorkha” in the channel name, people think, it would help take the demand of Gorkhaland to the national level, outside the political realm … one by asserting our presence, two by making people debate more about Gorkhas on national level.

Moreover, word “Nepali” is not only the language but also synonymous with the citizenship of Nepal. Hence, the name “All India Nepali Channel” would only add to the Identity issue  arising out of Indo Nepal Treaty of 1950 which has already blurred the citizenship of the Indian Gorkhas.

Since, every Nepali speaking Indian or Indian Gorkhas aspire for their homeland, Gorkhaland, inclusion of the Word Gorkha in the name of the proposed channel would be supported by the mass. Nevertheless, its up to the concerned authorities to decide whether to go with the mass and use the opportunity to take the demand on national level or stick with their own decision.

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