Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is there a GORKHALAND?

Is there a Gorkhaland? If not, then why should there be car number plates starting with the alphabets GL plying in North Bengal. Cars belonging to the state of West Bengal start with WB, and these are being erased and re-painted illegally GL. Not only car number plates, but WB is also being erased from government buildings in Darjeeling and neighbouring districts.

“We would continue making the alterations on the signboards. Changes will be made on the signboards of shops and private establishments as well. Also, any vehicle — save a few which we will consider — has to sport ‘GL’ number plate while plying in the hills,” said Binay Tamang, the media and publicity secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

What has the government done? District magistrate Surendra Gupta said seven FIRs have been filed against the Morcha for changing signboards of state government offices.

Fantastic, as if this will deter GJM.


This is pure and simple anti-national activity and the state should have come down hammer and tongs at GJM. Because of weakness of the state apparatus, the militant outfits get breathing space to form outfits and special interest groups – that take the form of committed people forming a vote bank. This “corrupted and special interest” vote bank then blackmails the government to listen and accede to its demand, else it resorts to civil disobedience and riots. We should never fall victim to such blackmails and we are willing to sweat it out a little – but the government should come crushing down on GJM and charge them under stringent anti-national acts.

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 37 of 1967 penalises advocacy of secession or questioning of India's "territorial integrity".

The typical Bengali mentality of doing nothing and waiting for the Centre to intervene will have disastrous consequences. Terrorism breeds terrorism and other special interest groups that feel threatened. This is the natural life cycle of such movements and in this case, we have the following “outfits that are feeling threat from GJM”.

1. SHIV SENA has threatened with a 48-hour bandh in Siliguri sub-division, parts of Jalpaiguri and the Dooars from Tuesday (21st Oct’08).

2. BANGLA O BANGLA BHASHA BACHAO Committee has called a 24-hour shutdown in north Bengal on Wednesday (22nd Oct’08).

3. AMRA BANGALEE agreed to postpone its indefinite bandh after the additional district magistrate of Siliguri purportedly sought 24 hours to see if the organisation’s demand could be met. “If the administration fails to provide us with satisfactory evidence, indicating that steps have been taken to curb the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s highhandedness, we would be forced to go on an indefinite strike from Tuesday,” said Khushiranjan Mondal, the north Bengal zonal secretary of Amra Bangalee.

Shiv Sena, which is active in Maharashtra, is active in North Bengal. By giving space to GJM we have led in the reactionary politics of Shiv Sena into Bengal and this will change the character of politics in the days to come. We have to deal with goons from Trinamool Congress, the goons of CITU, the goons of GJM and now goons of SHIV SENA. How much space you have given for these "goonda outfits" to take shape, dear Chief Minister?

Dear CM, we do not like GJM, we do not like CITU, and most certainly we do not like Jamaat and its new found friendship with Trinamool.

Let the police do their job. Let the corrupt be caught and punished irrespective of the party – let the citizens know that you are against the corrupt and anti-national elements, and not against any party or community.

That is the only way forward Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya.

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