Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling will be arriving in Darjeeling to pay his last respect to his ‘friend’ and GNLF chief Subash Ghisingh who died on Thursday.
Mr Chamling is scheduled to reach the Dr Zakir Hussain Road residence of Mr Ghisingh in the morning after all the rituals are completed and before the cortege moves from his home, GNLF sources said today.
Mr Chamling yesterday expressed deep sorrow at the death of “a scholar, novelist and a great Gorkha leader.” “In him, I have lost a good friend,” the Sikkim CM said in a statement.
GNLF party leaders said the cortege will move around Darjeeling town before proceeding towards Manju village in Mirik, Mr ghisingh’s ancestral home, where the GNLF leader’s body will be cremated.
According to the party sources, the rituals in Darjeeling will be completed by 8.43 am tomorrow, and that the cremation will be held at Manju Park, near the GNLF leader’s house, at around 2.30 pm.
The cortege will halt at Sukhia Pokhari, Mirik, and Soureni for 10 minutes each for people to pay their last respect, before it reaches Manju. (sns)
The annual winter camp at Darjeeling’s premier educational institution, St Joseph’s School (North Point), is an initiative started in 2004 by Fr. Kinley Tshering, currently Provincial of Darjeeling Jesuits. A statement released by the school reads, “The camp is an occasion where we open the twin towers for all our brothers and sisters and give them an opportunity to experience what North Point is.”
This year’s winter camp started on January 2 and concluded on Saturday, January 31. It comprised a six-day week routine and more than 500 children attended the camp. The camp aims to help North Pointers realise their responsibility towards society, true to the spirit of the school anthem, which exhorts each one to “lend a hand to a faltering brother”. The participants also get an opportunity to showcase their talent and learn many new things.
Classroom activities involved learning English, Mathematics, Science and Value Education with classes being conducted by the faculty and Interact Club members. The kids were also actively involved in field games such as basketball, football, throw-ball, athletics, cricket and badminton. Other activities included a quiz and an elocution competition. The school also organised a seminar on the hazards of drug addiction and AIDS. A two-day camp was organised for girl participants by teachers from St Joseph’s Convent, Matigara.
The last day witnessed a mega cultural show where GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung’s wife Asha Gurung was the chief guest. Rector Fr. Shajumon C.K. urged the students to work hard and look forward for an even better camp next year. As many as 50 scholarships were given away along with free stationery. (PR)
From the epithet “Appa” (father) when he was alive, Subash Ghisingh now is being hailed as “Gandhi of Darjeeling Hills” by supporters, ironically abou someone who had led a violent and bloody movement in the 1980s, to achieve a separate state.
As the grand old man of Darjeeling’s body stopped at the railway station Kurseong on Friday, thousands of supporters scrambled and rushed to touch the hearse with tears in eyes. “Darjeeling pahar ko Gandhi amar rahos (long live the Gandhi of Darjeeling Hills),” the supporters shouted replacing their earlier slogan of “long live Appa, long live Subash Ghisingh”.
The railway station was jam packed with party supporters lined up on both sides of the road to catch a last glimpse of their revered leader. More than 100 vehicles followed Ghisingh’s hearse from Bagdorga airport to Darjeeling.
Kurseong town was closed from 2 pm and all traffic was diverted to facilitate the hearse movement. A huge contingent of police force was deployed to control the swelled crowd. Supporters walked with the hearse till the Tourist Lodge some half a km away and then dispersed after twenty minutes of stoppage.
Ghisingh’s body was brought to his Darjeeling residence at 7.20 pm. Supporters laid khada and wreath on his body which was kept outside the house for a few minutes before it was taken inside. Six Lamas (priests) conducted rituals since morning.
Earlier, Ghisingh’s body arrived at Bagdogra airport at 1.45 p.m. in a Jet Airways flight from Delhi. Thousands of his supporters, party workers, opposition leaders and state government representatives were present at Bagdogra airport to pay shomage.
“It is a great loss for everyone,” North Bengal Development minister Gautam Deb said. A sobbing Uma Tamang, Ghishing’s daughter, said, (crying) “I am speechless, whatever my father has done for the people and society till now is witnessed by the everyone and now it all depend on the people to support Mohan and his movement. I thank all my father’s supporter’s who came here today.”
Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief executive Bimal Gurung announced that “as a mark of respect for the late Gorkha leader, Subash Ghisingh, all offices under the GTA will remain closed tomorrow” and also extended his condolence to the family. Ghisingh will be cremated at Manju tea estate in Mirik in the foothills on Sunday as per his wish said a senior party leader.(EOIC)
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Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling has expressed his condolences on the death of Subhas Ghisingh, the chief of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) who died yesterday. “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Shri Subhash Ghisingh, the founder of the Gorkha National Liberation Front. My prayers and condolences are with the bereaved family,” he said in a statement. “Late Shri Ghisingh will always be remembered for his service to the Indian Gorkhas who had been pining for their identity in view of their immense contributions made in maintaining the sovereignty and integrity of the country. He fought for an identity of the Gorkha community whose services in the freedom struggle were also noteworthy,” he added. The CM gave the Late Ghisingh the credit for raising the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland “to establish a firm identity of the Indian Gorkha community at the national level.” sns
Bimal Gurung may be wanting to opt out of Bengal, but he is upholding one Bengali tradition: declaring holidays.
Displaying magnanimity after the death of Subash Ghisingh, whom he
disallowed from coming up to the Darjeeling hills, Gurung today declared
that tomorrow would be a holiday to pay respect to the late GNLF
"As a mark of respect for the late Gorkha leader, Shri Subash
Ghisingh, all offices under the GTA will remain closed on Saturday,
January 31st, 2015," Gurung said today.
Gurung had not only ousted Ghisingh from the hills, but also banished the GNLF chief, who was once called " pahar ko Raja" (the king of the hills) to the plains.
The Morcha president said he would be unable to attend Ghisingh's
cremation on Sunday. "I will not be able to go, but I will send my
people. We will also call a session of the GTA in the near future to
express our condolences," Gurung said.
Gurung was Ghisingh's lieutenant before he formed the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on October 7, 2007.
Ghisingh was forced to leave Darjeeling on July 26, 2008, a day after
a Morcha activist was shot dead, the bullet allegedly fired from the
house of a GNLF leader in Darjeeling.
Even when Ghisingh's wife Dhanmaya died on August 16, 2008, the GNLF
leader's family could not bring her body to Darjeeling for her last
Dhanmaya's body had to be taken back from Kurseong after word spread that Morcha supporters had blocked the road.
The last rites were done at Siliguri Kiranchandra Crematorium.
Ghisingh returned to the hills on April 8, 2011, to campaign for
GNLF-supported candidates in the Assembly elections, but he decided to
leave Darjeeling in May after alleged GNLF supporters killed a Morcha
activist in Sonada.
Ghisingh visited the hills - his Dr Zakir Hussain Road home - on
March 19, 2014, just before the Lok Sabha polls. The GNLF supported
Trinamul in the general elections.
Given the perception among the Morcha leadership that Ghisingh could
not be a political threat anymore because of his failing health and his
dwindling base, Gurung seemed to have softened his stance towards the
Gurung and senior Morcha leaders turned up at a hospital in Delhi on November 15 last year to see Ghisingh.
But the Morcha chief could not meet Ghisingh. He spoke to Mohan, Ghisingh's son.
Gurung offered "help" for Ghisingh's treatment, but GNLF supporters
in Darjeeling refused to accept any help. They pooled in for Ghisingh's
Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) central committee named Mohan Ghisingh, the youngest son of Subash Ghisingh as the new party president of GNLF.
Some leaders in Darjeeling Hills have expressed doubts on the fate the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) in Hill politics after the demise of Subash Ghisingh, the party’s founder.
Meanwhile, central committee members of the party today held a brief meeting and adopted a resolution that Mr Ghisingh’s son, Mohan Ghisingh, will function as the president of the party.
Political observers and a section of the leaders said that the immediate
decision to select Mr Ghisingh’s son as the party president was a “good move” as it avoids a split in the party.
Addressing media persons at the Bagdogra Airport here today, GNLF general secretary Mahendra Chhetri announced the name of Mohan Ghisingh as the successor to the late Mr Ghisingh.
“Ghisingh sahab supported the Trinamul Congress in the last parliamentary elections by keeping in mind several political equations, including his protection and his party’s existence in the Hills. Now, the question is how the Trinamul will increase its organizational strength in the Hills in his absence, as the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) is still a powerful party,” a former GNLF leader, who was at Bagdogra today, said.
“GJMM has the upper hand now in the absence of Mr Ghisingh,” the leader said.
Mr Chhetri, meanwhile, said that under Mohan Ghisingh’s leadership, party activists and leaders will continue their movement and demand implementation of the Sixth Schedule status for Darjeeling Hills.
“We will start a movement, demanding rural polls for the (erstwhile) Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), as the state conducts polls in the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is illegal and it does not have constitutional guarantee. But in the papers and according to the Constitution, the DGHC still exists because it was formed after amending the Constitution of India, while there is still no such amendment for the GTA,” Mr Chhetri said.
Mohan Ghisingh, meanwhile, said that he was unaware of the party’s decision to make him the president.
“I am in a disturbed state of mind. Let me discuss the matter with party leaders before I comment on this,” he told reporters at the airport.
“Everyone has agreed to the decision to select Mohan Ghisingh as the new party chief,” said NB Pradhan, a former councillor of the DGHC.
“It is high time the GNLF fights back to revive itself under Mohan Ghisingh. This is a judicious selection,” said Dawa Norbula, a Congress leader in the Hills.
According to political observers, though he lacks the qualities of his father, the decision to choose Mohan Ghisingh was “excellent” as it will maintain unity among the leaders and help manage factional feud.
“Had the party’s central committee not announced the name of his son, leaders would have started fighting among themselves to become the party chief,” some leaders said at the airport.
The founder of the Darjeeling Dooars United Development Foundation, Mahendra P Lama said: “The decision to nominate Mohan Ghishing as the party president is good. Time will tell what the party has in store. But the present decision was correct.”
Mr Lama, who came to pay Mr Ghisingh his last respect, added: “Unity among the Hill parties is a must to achieve their goals--a separate state of Gorkhaland. We have to wait for the time.” (sns)
The mortal remains of Subash Ghisingh, the founder of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) who died in a hospital in New Delhi on Thursday, reached his house in Darjeeling on Friday amid tight security. [Subash Ghisingh died 29 January 2015] Ghishing's body was brought to his Zakir Hussein Road house in Darjeeling after it reached Bagdogra Airport this afternoon by a large number of GNLF supporters and leaders and a strong police contingent.
"Ghisingh's body will remain at his Darjeeling house tomorrow for people to pay their last respect and on Sunday, the body will be taken to his ancestral village of Manju near Mirik and cremated there," said M G Subba, Darjeeling town committee president of GNLF. Subhash Ghisingh, once the uncrowned king of Darjeeling who championed the cause of Gorkhaland, died in a hospital in New Delhi yesterday after suffering from liver ailments and cancer for the last few years.
With a demand for the separate state for the people of Darjeeling, Ghisingh coined the term "Gorkhaland" and launched a violent movement in Darjeeling in 1980 under the banner of GNLF, thus turning the queen of the hills into a battlefield where bloodshed and killings became an order of the day, leading to deaths of more than one thousand people till 1988.
After the intervention of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu, a historic tripartite agreement was signed between the Centre, state and Ghisingh, thus leading to the formation of an semi autonomous body, Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in 1988.