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The current Gorkhaland agitation in Darjeeling have old roots. The issue is being deployed in aid of an ongoing turf war. Examine. Also, do you think that the demand for a separate Gorkhaland is justified?

The current Gorkhaland agitation in Darjeeling have old roots. The issue is being deployed in aid of an ongoing turf war. Examine. Also, do you think that the demand for a separate Gorkhaland is justified? (GS 2)

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  • Anjani Roushan

    The current agitation for gorkhaland dates back to pre- independence era.To understand the roots and causes of the current agitation it would be better if we travel back to the british raj era.

    BACKGROUND
    In the 1780s Gorkhas of Nepal invaded Darjeeling and nearby areas which were a part of Sikkim and occupied it, later in early 1800s to control the expansion of territories under the gorkha rule an Anglo-gorkha war took place which resulted in a decisive win by the british.The gorkhas were forced to sign the SUGAULI TREATY where the british took control of the annexed territories.

    The roots and causes of this agitation are explained in the chronological order below.
    1.IMPOSITION OF RULE BY BRITISH- After the suguali treaty , the leaders who wanted certain amount of autonomy and respite from the harsh suguali treaty made several representation of their demands to the then important government organisations
    a. In 1907 they presented their demands to the morley- minto reforms panel
    b. In 1929 the leaders tried to put forth their demand before the “All white” simon commission.
    c.The demand for autonomy was raised in the constituent assembly by a member that represented the hilly areas of Darjeeling.
    but unfortunately all their efforts were turned deaf and this lead to a popular agitation in 1980s under the leadership of Gorkha National Liberation Front.

    2. CULTURAL AND ETHNIC REASONS- There are around 22 lakh of nepali gorkhas in the Darjeeling silguri area.Their lifestyle ,language, cuisine are completely different from the rest of the state.Recent government orders of west bengal making bengali compulsory in schools from 1 to 10th was seen as a direct attack on their cultural sentiments.

    3.INTERFERENCE IN GTA – Gorkhaland territorial administration that was setup in 2011 failed to satisfy their demands for a separate state.The then CEO of GTA resigned citing reasons of excess interference of state government in the administration of GTA.

    4.POLITICAL EVENTS – With the recent foray of TMC in the municipal elections of the Darjeeling area, the Gorkha janmukti morcha feels that its wings are getting clipped and fear the very existence of their party in the state due to the mainstream parties like TMC etc.

    5. CURRENT NATIONAL EVENTS – In 2014 parliament crafted a new state by the name Telanganna from Andhra Pradesh.This added extra fuel to the fire of the already existing agitation for a separate state named gorkhaland.

    Conclusion – The centre and the state governments must deal the issue tactically and ensure stability in the region of silguri and Darjeeling.These areas are strategically important for India to maintain close contacts with the north eastern states and any prolonged instabilityin the silguri area may cut off their entire North eastern states from contacts with india.