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Kohima, Jul 30: Thousands of Gorkhas in Nagaland today joined the Global Gorkhaland Unity March demanding creation of separate Gorkhaland in India while also extending moral support and solidarity to the suffering Gorkhas in Darjeeling under West Bengal.
The rally was organized by Nagaland Gorkha Association (NGA) in collaboration with sister organizations in four districts Kohima, Mokokchung, Kiphire and Wokha.
As part of the rally the NGA submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Nagaland Governor P B Acharya.
Through the memorandum, the NGA said Indian Gorkhas have been permanently settled in various parts of India which accounts for about 1.5 crores in population.
Besides, Darjeeling district and adjoining Dooars under Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal is the home of about 35.00 lakhs of Gorkhas with an approximate area of 6450 Sq. Km, it said.
Recalling history, NGA said these people have been ruled, administered and exploited by numerous rulers, administrators, agency as well as dictators, but till today no authority appeared to have given due attention on the logistic development of region vis-à-vis ethnic people on the principle of democratic welfare state.
NGA highlighted how In 1907, the Hillmen’s Association of Darjeeling had demanded a separate state for the Gorkhas to the British India Authority while in after attaining free India Independence and on the basis of Indian States Reorganization Act 1956, the land of Gorkhas under Darjeeling district and Dooars along with its inhabitants was merged with the state of West Bengal without the consent and will of the local diligence.
This act of the Government was found to be inconsistent, as language, customs and ethnicity of Gorkhas are completely different from that of the majority Bengali people, NGA stated.
NGA also stated that forceful imposition of Bengali language on the Hills areas and inhuman attitude of the West Bengal Government machineries to the ethnic people of Darjeeling deserves nothing but condemnation by all right thinking people.
Despite 70th year of India’s independence and the country having developed by leaps and bounds, the plight of the Gorkhas have remained unchanged and has rather become miserable, it said while accusing that this is purely due to sheer negligence and step-motherly treatment of the West Bengal Government.
The ethnic Gorkhas of Darjeeling are treated and leading a second class citizen in their own homeland. As such it is not possible for them to be ruled and governed under the same State Administrative setup, NGA stated while adding that they have been subjected to racial discriminations and marginalization thereby a great injustice have been meted to them from generation to generation.
Therefore, the Gorkhas from Nagaland urged the Prime Minister to give Gorkhas justice by granting a full-fledged State of Gorkhaland under the Constitution of India.
“This is also the desire and aspiration of entire Gorkha community of India to establish their Indian identity so that every Gorkha can proudly defend their country, that is, “BHARAT” from the enemy with the sense of pride, honour and dignity.
In the State Capital – Kohima, under the aegis of Gorkha Public Panchayat Kohima (GPPK) around 10,000 young and old Gorkhas from Kohima, Tseminyu, Zubza, Lalmati, Medziphema and surrounding areas converged at GPPK Ground in Chandmari.
During the rally, solidarity messages were conveyed by Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) member Joshua Newmai, Chairman of Tsutuonuomia Khel under Kohima Village Thepfüvilie Suohu, Angami Students’ Union President Visakho Rino while NPMHR General Secretary Neingulo Krome’s message was also read out.
Holding placards and banners supporting the demand for Gorkhaland, they also rallied through the main streets till Raj Bhavan and submitted the memorandum, a copy of which was also handed over to Governors, Chief Ministers and Members of Parliament from Nagaland, Sikkim and Assam.