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Shahid Diwas or martyr's' day in Darjeeling - Gurung doubt on statehood sincerity

Bimal Gurung in saheed diwas darjeeling
Bimal Gurung today wondered whether those demanding the creation of Gorkhaland, including leaders of his party Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, were sincere about the statehood demand.

He flagged unity among hill parties as a requirement for the Gorkhaland movement to succeed.

Gurung was addressing a meeting on Shahid Divas at the Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan when he said: "We give big speeches, talk big but are we really serious (about statehood)? Has this (demand) just become a show, is it just a begging bowl?" the Morcha chief asked.

Shahid Diwas or martyr's' day is celebrated to commemorate the death of 13 people in a police firing in Kalimpong on July 27, 1986.

"Neither the leaders, nor those running the administrative machinery and family members of martyrs, seems sincere. Is this martyr's day only about song, dance and collecting gifts? Are we forgetting the sacrifice of the martyrs now. The martyrs' sacrifice was for Gorkhaland and unless we achieve it, we cannot be satisfied," Gurung said.

He then spoke of Gorkha unity across political outfits. "Unless we are united, we will not be able to achieve our goal for generations," he said.

"At the moment, most think only about themselves, it is about I, my house and my family. People are getting involved in selfish politics. The martyrs' sacrifice was not for an individual but for a cause and for a demand by everyone," the Morcha chief said.

The hill leader also said it was time for the martyrs' families to question the hill leadership.

"You should question everyone, including Opposition leaders, my sabhasads (GTA Sabha members) and also me about our vision for Gorkhaland," Gurung said.

Gurung, who formed the Morcha on the mantle of seeking the separate state in 2007, was of the opinion that it was time for the general public, political parties, social workers and intellectuals to come together for the statehood cause.

"It is the same Gorkhaland that all of us are demanding. Why can't everyone come to a common platform for the demand?" Gurung said. "...Social workers, political parties, intellectuals, everyone must come together, and when Gorkhaland is formed, everyone can go and start their own political parties."

It is not that the Morcha had not formed a common platform of all political parties demanding statehood. The initiative could never flourish and with the Morcha being the principal party, it was blamed by rival outfits for the failure of the joint movement.

The Telegraph

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