The demand for a separate state for the Gorkhas is nothing new but the fierce passion with which the the hills have been set abalze is something that has not been witnessed in the pro-Gorkhaland movement till date. Growing up in the chicken neck of Bengal , i am no stranger to the kurkis and clashes. But what fanned the dying embers of a revolt which had seemingly been extinguished was the imposition of bengali as a language in all schools of north bengal. Politically, it was a grossly miscalculated move by the Trinamool government – this blatant display of cultural chauvinism not only agravated the nepali-speaking community which had always been culturally alienated but also let all hell lose in the district of Darjeeling that resulted in three deaths and numerous injured together with an incalculable loss to tourism, trade and property.
True, it is reasonable to demand a separate state for our Gorkha neighbours whose contributions to the Indian army have gone grossly unappreciated; who face a bais almost on a regular basis for their physical features; whose resources are almost always usurped by bengali bhodrolok. But having said that it is important to note that a new state does not always mean new methods of development. The demand for a separate state is on the basis of identity alone and not on a political or economic agenda.
But to quote Ralph Waldo Emerso, ” Peace cannotbe attained through violence. It can only be attained through dialogue.” Let the talks begin.