For Gorkhaland GJM announces three-day Maha Puja in Darjeeling

Vindhya Vasini Mata temple in Vindhyanchal
A day after the Communist Party Revolutionary Marxist criticized the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha of compromising on the Gorkhaland demand, GJM leaders have made it clear that they are leaving no stone unturned to achieve a statehood for Darjeeling, even going to the extent of seeking divine intervention.

The party on Monday announced a three-day ‘Maha Puja’ from December 26 to 28 in Darjeeling, praying for the formation of a separate Gorkhaland state.

Back home after nearly a month-long ‘puja retreat’ in Varanasi, Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and even Nepal, GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said, “We have decided to hold Mahavindhiya Vasini, 108 Kumari Pujan, Vishnu Mahayagya and Ved Mantra ceremonies over a three-day period. The pujas are for world peace and ‘Gorkhaland prapti’, which is part of our month-long religious programme.”

GJM president Bimal Gurung embarked on the religious path last month with six party leaders that included Tamang reportedly on the advice of Jagat Guru Baba, about whom Tamang refused to give details. “A separate Gorkhaland state is our aspiration since the past several decades. And if it can be achieved through prayers, then so be it. Sometimes we need to be spiritually motivated in order to achieve our demand,” he said.

It may be noted here that the GJM president, who is known to be strongly religiously inclined, has on several occasion harped on non-violence to achieve a separate state and even announced the end of the bandh culture in the hills. Gurung has also said that all agitation programmes for a separate state would be concentrated in Delhi.

During the month-long puja itinerary, the GJM team offered prayers at the Vindhya Vasini Mata temple in Vindhyanchal, Kalighat in Kolkata, Kamakhya temple in Guwahati and at the Benares Ganga Ghat and

the Manokamna temple in Kathmandu. “We decided to conduct a three-day puja in Darjeeling as part of the ‘samapan’ (end) ritual which is a must,” said Tamang.

For the puja, the party has invited 34 ‘pundits’ from the holy city of Varanasi on December 27 and 28. On December 26, the GJM will organise a puja at the party office in Patleybas, Gurung’s residential area. “Not only Brahmins from Varanasi, but we have sent invitation to priestsfrom various places of the hills who are well versed in Sanskrit for the Maha Puja,” said the GJM assistant secretary.

According to the GJM leader, two days of the Maha Puja will be held at the Gorkha Ranga Manch Bhawan from six in the morning till twelve midnight. Tamang appealed to all to attend the puja on December 27 and 28 even as he asked them to refrain from taking alcoholic beverages and non-vegetarian food to ensure the sanctity of the occasion.

One may recall that Gorkha National Liberation Front supremo Subash Ghisingh, towards the end of his tenure as the head of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, had taken to pujas in a big way. His were personal prayers, however, and he would not associate his party GNLF in this. Since Ghisingh would shun public appearance for weeks on end offering pujas, one did not know if his prayers were for the formation of a separate Gorkhaland state, or sixth schedule for DGHC which was his demand towards the later part of his tenure or for any other reason. (EOIC)

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