Fifth Schedule Constitutional precepts to Sikkim and Darjeeling

Advised constitutional roadmap instead land of the Gorkhas.
Writes: Hillman – The Analyst (Karma T. Pempahishey)

Apropos The Statesman, North Bengal & Sikkim Plus 15 Sept 2015 heading “Gurung severs ties with State Govt” without rhyme or reason is an indication of the belief that the GJM leader is not familiar with the ground realities existing at the moment. Whereas the CM West Bengal now the ex-officio Chairperson of Tribes Advisory Council ( TAC ), a statutory body under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India the provisions of which has been imposed in West Bengal since 2012 and functioning since then. This is a very powerful body mandated by the Constitution of India under Rule 4 of the Fifth Schedule and which had been diluted to the point of ‘extinction’ in 1956 while in its stead the State of West Bengal was incarnated and running the roost (State) since then. Till 2012 it had literally vanished into thin air but that was not to be – as the Constitution (the President) happened to be the guardian angel protecting the Sikkimese Darjeeling District from being obliterated by the State. Interestingly political historians may note that the Sikkimese identity of Darjeeling District is preserved within the four corners of the Constitution (Fifth Schedule). By this perceptive it is also now alluded on logical premise that the State of Sikkim also happens to fall within the provisions of the Fifth Schedule. Accordingly the native Sikkimese and Sikkimese Darjeeling citizens are protected by Fifth Schedule and Art.371 contextually under the heading of Chapter XXI of the Constitution, Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. Under these pretexts Sikkim was merged into the Indian Union and therefore it implies Darjeeling District (an Absorbed Area) presumably formerly part of Sikkim requires to be integrated into the Union under Art.371 provisions. These factors are well known to the CM, West Bengal who is constitutionally playing the defined Fifth Schedule program as TAC Chairperson and looking into the development and welfare of the Scheduled Tribes as per Art. 275(1) on basis of which Central Funds area allocated for the same purpose.

Fifth Schedule Constitutional precepts to Sikkim and Darjeeling
The Constitution of India

Without being educated on the above constitutional precepts, seems to be the problem Bimal is facing however though ignorantly it is presumed. He has to be advised in clarification in understanding the implications of the Fifth Schedule which is now in operation, live and kicking, and which eventually will become an adult meaning statehood in the proper time and moment. The implications of the Fifth Schedule and its eventual target in the Constitution is well known to the veteran MP SS Ahluwalia who has deliberated on the Fifth Schedule and Sixth Schedule issues elaborately explaining the difference between the two as to why the former applies to the autonomy demand of the hill peoples of Darjeeling District of West Bengal (and rest of India) while the Sixth Schedule only applies to the Northeast states. Some hill political units still seem to be clinging on to the Sixth Schedule for their political survival pending the Assembly elections in 2016. They too should broad base their political program to the larger issue of statehood demand under the Fifth Schedule which is now presently in vogue, loud and clear, but seems to be inaudible and blind to certain deaf ears and blind eyes seems to be the height of ignorance. Or is it just a sham to cover up the past misdeeds. Instead of repenting for past actions which may have occurred out of total ignorance and plight is no justification for retributive attitude. This mindset needs readdressed and tune into a more definitive mood of peaceful compliance to the present situation implied by the function of the Fifth Schedule which is singularly effective now to eventually target the application of Darjeeling District (GTA) into a Scheduled Area. This legality will finally provide the right to demand statehood. Infact this process is already pending before both houses of Parliament as discoursed in this writer’s article/s.

Therefore Bimal require to buckle his pants and tighten his belt in taking the Fifth Schedule provision further and tightening his hold over the GTA which by the way is also a constitutionally programmed intermediate body till final UT/statehood target is achieved. He should remain calm and steady and not upset his mind by opposition forces particularly the State who doubtless is playing his cards within its limits to disturb the division of West Bengal, however albeit at the cost of the Sikkimese Darjeeling hill peoples. This writer has intentionally projected the term Sikkimese Darjeeling as more near the truth as Gorkha/Nepali seems probably disoriented – as the statehood demand is implicit to the Sikkimese Darjeeling hill peoples whether Scheduled Tribes or non Scheduled Tribes is not the issue when the final deal is closed. Therefore the right path as far as the Constitution of India is concerned that Bimal should take is the demand for a State for the Partially Excluded Area of Darjeeling District and the adjoining Dooars maybe the right attitude. Infact after log use of Gorkha/Gorkhaland terminology the word is losing its sheen despite it being polished by two political agitations (GNLF & GJM) and other such demands by political parties earlier. The result has simply created a lot of backlog in management of the civil society at large in contrast to Sikkim being the parent state which has advanced remarkably ahead of Darjeeling District in development terms.
While Sikkim has left beyond Darjeeling district inspite of the fact that Darjeeling district is an acceded territory obviously require to play a parental role in guiding Darjeeling District to its eventual goal in union with India just as it has done for itself. This is critical from the point of view o international understanding. That Sikkimese Darjeeling legally is still part of Sikkim. This is conspicuously displayed by the fact the Limbu and Tamang were listed as STs under the Constitution of India (Art.342) in 2002/03 is a message loud and clear which even the dumb and blind are to realise if not to understand the implications.

Therefore taking the above understanding into preview Bimal is advised to play a more proactive role with understanding and care to survive the onslaughts of the State maneuvers under the CM who happens to be a political figure and distributing sweets to the children obviously to curtail their wailings. More such doles under the garb of development and cultural boards will be hand out as largesse till the time of elections in 2016. Accordingly Bimal should rise above board and meet this challenge peaceful and cooperatively without anger and despite but as a leader seeking the legal rights of the people and not losing sight of the road ahead. Attempts to coy him doubtless will be experimented by the state at all costs and hence not lose his cool but play his card steady and undistracted in defining his program according to the books (constitution) and not parasitic advises. Hope for the best.

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