Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM)’s study forum organized two days of seminar on Gorkhaland on 13 and 14 April 2015 at Darjeeling (Bhanu Bhawan). The theme of the seminar was “Creation of Smaller States and its relevance to the demand of Gorkhaland”. Speakers from Telangana, Assam, Delhi, Uttarkhand were flown. Looking at the panel of speakers it appears that GJM wants to get ideas for developing a road map for its fight for the creation of separate state of Gorkhaland.
Lets see the some of the critical suggestions coming from the speakers. (For details see The Darjeeling Chronicle )
1. Set up a Rashtriya Samity that should include representatives from different walks of life, region, religion and others, and said that the Samity”- Narbhadur Bhandari
2. Shri. Kesvah Rao Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Telengana Rastra Samiti, suggested that the parliament should be made aware of Gorkhaland, start with a voice… Get others to join you.
3. BJP National Executive Member Tapi Gao,Former Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh ideated ,“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,”
4. Shri Kashi Singh Airy, President, Uttarakhand Kranti, shared his own experience, “Don't compromise for temporary set-ups. When we were struggling for Uttarakhand... the government tried to make me a Minister so that I would back down... I didn't... they offered us Hill Council... we rejected...in Delhi they arrested he and put me in a hospital... I didn't give in... we never made any compromises in our struggle. The leadership heading the present movement for Gorkhaland must be dedicated and committed. When call was given to unite for Uttarakhand statehood agitation... I set aside my flag of Uttarahand Kranti Dal, and I handed over the leadership to Uttarakhand Sanyuta Samiti... after that all the people of Uttarakhand joined in... from traders to students... from politicians to social workers... everyone united... and we attained our dream of Uttarahand statehood... Why can't you all unite for Gorkhaland? You should"
5. “Reach out to the adivasis” Dooars Adivasi Leader John Barla
6. I will ask PM Modi, when will he fulfill his words- the dream of Gorkhas are my dreams, will talk to other MPs for raising this issue in the parliament -Dr. Suramanian Swamy
7. Article 3 of the Indian Constitution as the easiest route to Gorhaland than Articles 356, 256, 247- Shri. Abhijit Mazumdar, Secretary CPI(ML
8. “If Dooars is merged with other areas in Gorkhaland, then the role of Adivasi leaders should be at the forefront…. more than the Gorkhas who are in minority... The adivasi leadership should show us the way... The Gorkhas must extend their help to Adivasis...” Shri. SN Pradhan, Dooars Study Forum
The suggestions Sounds good and doable. From this discourse what GJM should do if they really mean business:
1. Dissolve Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) and start the movement with a single point agenda of Formation of Gorkhaland
2. Bring all the political outfits from the hills and Dooars under one umbrella with a single purpose “to fight for the creation of Gorkhaland”. You can fight politically once state is formed.
3. Form a lobby group with the members from academia, business, media, policy makers to lobby with the political parties in the centre like Congress, SP, JD(U), BJP etc
These are the starting point and the fundamentals without which future strategies will remain in limbo. Is GJM leadership ready to take up the challenge? Will they be able to accommodate other political, non-political, intelligentsia from Hills and Terai & Dooars in the fight for the statehood for Gorkhaland? Will they be able to forego the power gained from GTA? If yes then Gorkhaland is very certain and the words of speakers that “Gorkhaland is possible” will be a reality otherwise Gorkhaland is a distant reality as I had shared earlier too (Read What Darjeeling needs now is development).