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'Darjeeling is not a Killing Field'- 25 Questions to Mamta Banerjee on Gorkhaland issue

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 21 June 2017, 15:26 IST

The people protractedly striving for a separate state of Gorkhaland want the Hon’ble Chief Minister to be very clear on the following FOUR ISSUES:

i) Darjeeling is not a killing field of West Bengal Government

ii) The people want West Bengal to separate from Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency and Dooars and not the opposite. Darjeeling Parliamentary constituency consist of Darjeeling and Kalimpong district, Phansidewa, Naxalbari and Chopra.

iii) This 110 year old historic demand is constitutional. After Telengana state was created in 2013, the Union Government does not require any resolution to be passed by West Bengal State Assembly in the creation of the 30th State of India i.e. the state of Gorkhaland.

iv) This separate state demand is not against any community and geography. Its against a system represented by WEST BENGAL GOVERNMENT that systematically crushed our history, plundered our resources, demolished our institutions, uprooted our culture and societies, disfigured the natural beauty and endangered the nation’s security.

The people have seen and heard Hon’ble Chief Minister trivialising the historic demand for a separate state by making highly emotional statement like “Banga bhanga hovena” (Bengal will not be divided) and also unfounded populist statement linking the ongoing movement with “insurgents” and “foreign countries”. The Left Front Government exactly did this calling it “anti-national” in 1980s. No one will buy this narrative now. People of India can distinguish between White and Black.

Its not an emotional demand. This demand is based on hard historical records, blatant practices of internal colonialism by West Bengal Government after 1947, systematic mis-representations before various national commissions and well documented state repressions and physical crushings of this demand.

This demand actually carries the voice of Aadivasis, Rajbongshis, Koche-Meches, Bengalis, Biharis, Marwaris, Gorkhas, Bhutias, Lepchas and Hindus, Muslims,Chritians and Buddhists and all others that inhabit this most resourceful region.

This demand has in it serious and substantive contents of identity, history, culture, society, geopolitics, nature, bio-diversity, polity, economy and most critically safeguards of national security.

As the citizens of India we want the answers from Hon’ble Chief Minister to the following 25 questions:

1 Why Chief Minister only speaks about partition of Bengal in 1905 and in 1947 and why do you ignore several representations made to the British India Government starting 1907 seeking separate politico-administrative status for Darjeeling and also by Hillmen’s Association to Sir Samuel Hoare, the Secretary of State for India, on October 25, 1930 ?

2 Why the status of ‘partially excluded area’ given by British India Government to Darjeeling was withdrawn in Bengal and why they were continued in other regions including the North East region of India.

3 Why the recommendations of the famous Darjeeling Enquiry Committee of 1952 were not implemented ?

4 What were the recommendations of the West Bengal Government on Darjeeling and its inhabitants to the State Reorganisation Committee in 1955 and in the Act of 1956

5 Why Mandal Commission Report in early 1980s presented a very poor understanding of various castes in Darjeeling District and Dooars ?

6 How and why the delimitation of Darjeeling and Dooars Parliamentary constituency and state assembly constituencies were done in 1970s and again on 2000s.

7 Why there was not a single inquiry on the reported killings of 1200 people during the Gorkhaland movement in mid 1980s and even on the brutal assault on the Gorkhas ex-servicemen in Siliguri in 2009. And why the report of the inquiry commission (Bhattacharya Commission) on the police firing in Darjeeling town killing young and vibrant artiste Krishna Subba in 1981 is not made public even after 36 years. How much of humanitarian compensation was paid to the families of these victims ?

8 Why the Minimum Wages Act 1948 of the Government of India has been implemented even for the workers in Dal and Bidi factories in West Bengal and not implemented till today in the world famous tea estates of Darjeeling and Dooars ?

9 Why world famous 150 years old Cinchona Plantation is sick and dying today which exported quinine to the tune of Rs 71.72 lakh in 1966-67 alone and did so for several decades.

10 Why constitutional provision of Three tier Panchayati Raj which was disbanded in Darjeeling in 1992 has not been restored despite the fact that Articles 34-36 of the GTA Act 2012 very clearly allows for the same and even quashes the DGHC Act 1988 under Article 74.

11 Why despite so many people belonging to below poverty and antodaya the Development Boards have not been created in other parts of West Bengal for example in the caste and tribe based names like Nag, Yadav, Bhattacharya, Nandi, Toppo, Kapur etc.

12 Why many Acts of Government of India including Forest Rights Act 2006 have not been implemented in Darjeeling and Dooars region ?

13 Why ignoring the 1961 language resolution passed by the West Bengal Assembly to implement Nepali language in the Darjeeling district, Bengali was nearly foisted by the present Government.

14 Why the people of Darjeeling hills had to wait for full 30 years to see the failure and total collapse of both the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. Who will compensate the loss of two generations of talented youth in this 30 year period ? Knowing that GTA will fail, why did the West Bengal Government sign the Tripartite Agreement ?

15 How do you explain the inclusion of Sikkim and Assam in the North Eastern Council and MDoNER and the exclusion of the contiguous Darjeeling and Dooars ? It is through Darjeeling one can reach Sikkim and through Dooars one can reach Assam.

16 How do you explain unprecedented decadal growth of population in Siliguri and adjoining areas as recorded in the census of 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011 ? What are the national security ramifications of such unnatural growth of population ?

17 What action West Bengal Government has taken to reopen the Jelep la Trade route to Tibetan Autonomous region of China ?

18 Besides emotions and emotive issues, why West Bengal Government has been consistently against the demand for a separate state in the hills, plains and terais of Darjeeling, Dooars, and Chopra ?

19 What West Bengal government will gain and lose if Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency and Dooars become the 30th constituent state of India ?

20 How many and which “insurgent” groups are active in Darjeeling hills and which “foreign countries” are behind the conspiracy of present movement for the separate state. Could you please put forth your vision about the management of four international borders around the Darjeeling and Dooars and the crucial Chicken Neck Corridor that connects the North East region of India ?

21 What percentage of state’s total Annual Plan outlay has been spent in Darjeeling hills and Dooars separately in the last 30 years and what percentage of Central sector flagship projects have been implemented in Darjeeling hills, Siliguri and adjoining areas and Dooars separately in the last 20 years ?

22 What have been the revenue generations of West Bengal Forest Development Corporation since its inception in 1974 and what has been the contribution of Darjeeling district and Dooars separately yearly for last 43 years?

23 How many people from the Hills and Terai and Dooars have reached the rank of Secretary in Govt of West Bengal, become members of various state level commissions, legal bodies and professional agencies and headed various University level educational institutions since India became independent ? How many hill people have been recommended for national Padma awards by the West Bengal Government in the last 70 years ?

24 How much of total foreign and domestic investments have come to Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency in the last 25 years ?

25 How many employments have been created and in which departments by the West Bengal Government in the Government and semi Governments institutions in Darjeeling Hills in the last 30 years (yearwise)

The people want two responses from the Hon’ble Chief Minister :

i) Answers in writing for the Indian public to read and assimilate


ii) An open public debate with the Hon’ble Chief Minister on all these 25 questions and other issues in New Delhi in the course of next two months

First published: 21 June 2017, 15:26 IST