The ethnic movements in general in India and in particular in West Bengal are in very complex. India is a multi-ethnic country with a federal democratic polity. There are 28 states, which are multi-ethnic in nature. The state of West Bengal is predominantly ethnically Bengali; however, its famous hill station of Darjeeling is populated by the Gorkha ethnic group. Due to sheer numbers, the Bengalis effectively control the political, economic and social fabric of the state of West Bengal. This has caused much hatred among the Gorkhas, resulting in violent conflict since the mids Kaushik,
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Historically, they have earned their reputation as a martial race, in fact, following the wars with the British, the Gurkhas as they were referred were conscripted in the armies of the former. What is however known to far lesser number of people is the chequered history that the region has had for almost two centuries now. Debate raged on, apart from the division on linguistic lines, to the exclusion of certain tongues from the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution the scope of the said debate is however beyond the present discussion, suffice it to say however that the exclusion of certain tongues created fertile ground for dissent.
Application of the rationale soon became a matter of debate as there were nationalities demanding their own province- the Center ceded in certain cases, resulting in the creation of Haryana, for instance. The mention of Nepal however appears as a kingdom in the Allahabad Pillar inscription of Samudra Gupta, while the Mithila kings left an unmistakable cultural impression on the culture. Their story in the east saw clashes with the kingdoms of Sikkim as well as Tibet- the situation in fact, was such that the King of Sikkim fled to Tibet where he died in with Tibet itself under serious threat of being overrun.
The aforesaid territory shall be evacuated by the Gurkha troops within forty days from this date. Firstly, the British, in order to achieve their ends intervened by suppressing the incursions of Lepcha refugees in in return for which, Darjeeling was handed to the British by Sikkim on February 1, in return for an allowance of, firstly Rs.
With deteriorating relations however, the British were looking for a way out from paying the allowance, yet again they found a way out- this time Dr. The British, subsequently, managed not only to secure their release but also forego any further payments of the allowance to the Rajah.
Siliguri of today, as well. With the Sinchula Treaty the district of Darjeeling attained final shape, with the addition of the Kalimpong subdivision to the former. In other words, the British having seen the aptitude for combat of the Gorkhas, sought now to use their services in the armed forces of His Majesty.
It was he who provided crucial assistance, both during the times of the Anglo-Sikh War as well as during the Sepoy Mutiny of Especially during the latter event, the Rana himself appeared at the head of Gurkha soldiers to help rescue Lucknow  from rebel hands.
It was now becoming increasingly clear to the British that certain sections of the population made better soldiers than others, this was to eventually become the cornerstone for the martial race theory which was in turn to be used for the recruitment of Gurkhas in the British Indian Army.
So, going by the same logic, if the Bengali was effeminate, then the Gurkhas had to be brave. Lloyd visited the Darjeeling hills, they found a few Lepcha households but that was almost about it, the region was virtually unpopulated- they definitely did not find any Nepali inhabitants. Here religion will play a leading part As fate would have it, Nepal from the time of Prithvinarayan Shah started to undergo a process of Sanskritisation- the Hindu Monarchy unleashed a series of repressive measures directed against the non-Hindu Nepali tribes.
As a direct result of this the likes of Rais, Limbus, Tamangs were all vulnerable to the oppression of the Brahmin Chhettris as well as the Kshatriyas. Another added dimension was of course the poverty levels of the workers which made them work at absurdly low levels of remuneration.
At the same time, it also urged the Calcutta University to consider Nepali as a major vernacular to be taught by it. Nepali however, was recognized as an official language in the hill subdivisions according to the West Bengal Official Language Act, The first challenger it had was in the form of the Prant Parishad but the latter too, faded away primarily due to a lack of leadership.
In the course of events that followed there could be three phases identified i. He has also managed to convince them.. In other words, the feeling that the state is unwilling to effectively redress the grievances of the affected group.
In other words, the only requirement was a spark that would lead to the flames of agitation engulfing the entire state yet again. Prashant Tamang was a contestant in the talent show Indian Idol where the contestants had to get voted to be saved from elimination. All this was fine but certain comments that followed on air over radio caused a stir amongst the Gorkha community.
In fact, many a times Bimal Gurung, the leader of the GJM reiterated the fact that he was different from Subhas Ghising in the sense of being a leader of the people, a  grassroots leader who led by wanting to serve the cause. This argument was initially quite important in justifying the agitation launched by the GNLF.
Lopita Nath, a scholar from Cotton College in Assam captures this in her work bringing to fore the aspects of insecurity that the Gorkha community faced there despite them having lived there for almost two centuries. Leaders such as Sardar Patel as well as Morarji Desai were guilty of making such remarks, which naturally further marginalized the Gorkha population.
Other factors such as the lack of attention to the developmental aspects, lack of political influence of the Gorkhas in the West Bengal Parliament all played their roles into making the movement into what it became. Is the Gorkhaland Movement Unique?
Prior to independence, the region did not feature prominently in the political discourses, save for a few corners in the local dailies. The emergence of the GJM was also a testament to the fact that despite an interim solution there was no definitive consensus regarding a more permanent solution that satisfied all parties concerned on the Gorkhaland issue.
Instead, it was a hybrid of sorts where one seemed to complement the other- this in a large way differentiated the movement from the ones such as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh or even Uttaranchal, where the primary motivator was economic backwardness.
Phil dissertation by Mr. Nilamber Chhetri in his work  As observed in the daily The Times of India, July 19,  This was declared by the GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri, who argued that renaming the GTA to GATA made it more inclusive of the aspirations cutting across communities  Rechristening took place under similar principles as above  For a detailed understanding of the machinations behind the Telangana movement please refer to Kannabiran, Kalpana.
History[ edit ] In the s, Subhash Ghisingh  raised the demand for the creation of a state called Gorkhaland within India to be carved out of the hills of Darjeeling and areas of Dooars and Siliguri terai contiguous to Darjeeling. The Gorkhas have been demanding for separation from West Bengal since on the grounds that they are culturally, ethnically different from West Bengal. The demand took a violent turn, which led to the death of over 1, people. The agitation ultimately led to the establishment of a semiautonomous body in called the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council DGHC to govern certain areas of Darjeeling district. However, the government decided not to hold elections and instead made Subhash Ghisingh the sole caretaker of the DGHC till a new Sixth Schedule tribal council was established. Resentment among the former councillors of DGHC grew rapidly.