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Seminar - Creation of Gorkhaland and Smaller States - inclusion of Dooars

seminar on Creation of Gorkhaland and Smaller States in Darjeeling
Adivasis of Dooars have laid down the precondition for inclusion of their areas in a proposed Gorkhaland state: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha must reach out to the adivasi community and make them feel secure, to begin with, under the Gorkhaland Territorial Authority.
“The GJM must bring those opposing their demand closure and reach out to the adivasis to make them feel secure through the Hill council. If you want such a big area than you must take the
initiative,” Adivasi leader from the Dooars John Barla said in Darjeeling on Monday, speaking at a seminar on ‘Creation of Gorkhaland and Smaller States’ in Darjeeling on Monday,
It may be mentioned that GJM had been demanding the inclusion of several mouzas in the Dooars inhabited by the adivasi community for the inclusion in the GTA. There had been violent protests from a section of the adivasis, too, against the idea. While Barla was not the only leader representing adivasis in Dooars, analyists pointed out, he was one of the influential ones and his opinion would carry a weight.
Perhaps more importantly, the Gorkhaland demand received support from neighbouring Sikkim also, as former chief minister of Sikkim Nar Bahadur Bhandari, speaking at the seminar, recollected his tenure and support to the Gorkhaland movement in the 1980s. “The Sikkim government then had extended all support to the Gorkhaland agitation and its people will continue to do so. The GJM should form a national committee for Gorkhaland and include members of all stakeholders including like-minded states so that the demand gets the right impetus,” he advised.
‘Build a moral upsurge and remain focused in the endeavour in order to achieve a separate state.’ That is the message from Telangana Rashtriya Samity (TRS) to GJM on the formation of Gorkhaland.
“The Gorkhaland demand is justified and legitimate. The present dispensation (GJM) spearheading the statehood movement is doing a good job. However, the moral upsurge to achieve the demand
still needs to be strengthened,” TRS MP and former Congress leader in-charge of Bengal Keshav Rao said while speaking at the national seminar on the formation of a separate Gorkhaland state. The seminar was organized by GJM, the first of its kind, to get moral support from TRS in its demand for Gorkhaland. GJM, it may be mentioned, has been upbeat on the prospects of Gorkhaland ever since the formation of Telangana.
Leaders from Telengana, Uttarakhand and national BJP leaders spoke at the seminar. The idea behind the seminar- - organized by the Study Forum, the GJM’s intellectual wing which is being held over two days is to interact and learn from leaders of other states who have gone through the grinds to ultimately achieve a separate state.
“It always happens that the minorities in a democratic majority suffer” Rao said, recounting his days as an activist for Telangana. “Usually, such a demand as that of a separate state comes about when there is unknown domination by certain segments who think they are a super culture,” he said, while asserting that Darjeeling’s historical situation and the lack of all-round development were potent reasons to demand separation from Bengal. “You (GJM) must however make your case (demand) genuine to the people of the nation that because of only electoral number game you have been deprived of better things,” suggested the MP from Telangana.
Uttarakhand Kranti Dal president Kashi Singh Airy who spearheaded the separation movement for Uttarakhand was forthright in his suggestions when he asked the GJM leadership to be dedicated and committed to their goal. “We had to face several obstacles in our agitation. However, we never made any compromises in our struggle. The leadership heading the present movement for Gorkhaland must bededicated and committed. If need arises than we will agitate for Gorkhaland in Uttarakhand but the movement in the Darjeeling Hills should be democratic and non-violent,” he said.
Former Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh and BJP national executive member Tapir Gao termed the Gorkhas as nationalists and advised the GJM to organize similar seminars in other states to garner support for the statehood demand. “Unlike previously, the modality of Gorkhaland now has a broader sense. It is a necessity and of importance for the Gorkha identity in the country. This should be presented and projected properly before the people of the country,” he
said.
He advocated for the GJM leaders to expand their influence in Delhi. “Don’t only depend in your MP but expand your influence and contacts in Delhi where it matters. You have 45 elected sabhasads, besides the party’s office bearers. If one is able to catch hold of two MPs in Delhi and is able to convince them about your demand, the Gorkhaland bill will definitely be placed in Parliament. This I am saying as a Gorkhaland demand sympathizer and not a BJP leader,” said Gao. (EOIC)

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