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Why The Demand For Gorkhaland Has Landed The BJP In A Hot Mess

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by zebra7, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. zebra7

    zebra7 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    "Gorkhaland is an idea whose time has come," Sushma Swaraj, then the deputy leader of the Opposition in the lower house of the Parliament, said in 2009. "Left aghast" by a meeting with people from the Darjeeling Hills, who complained to her of being derided as "Nepalis" in spite of serving the Indian Army for years, she had rallied behind the demand for a separate statehood, using every argument in the book to justify their cause.


    Less than a decade later, her party colleague Dilip Ghosh, in charge of the BJP in West Bengal, seems to be forced to eat her tall words.

    "Our alliance with the [Gorkha Janmukti] Morcha is only for electoral purposes," he was quoted as saying, as life in the hills remained effectively paralysed by a fresh bout of rebellion. "Their demands and political lines are different from ours. We do not support their demand for separate statehood," Ghosh added.




    [​IMG]RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI / REUTERS


    His statement is typical of the forked tongue with which the BJP appears to be speaking of late.

    Before Gorkhaland flared up, the nation was driven to distraction by the ruling party's equivocation on the beef ban. When a modification to an existing law prevented the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter—thus reinforcing a ban on consuming beef for all practical purposes—several states in the Northeast rose up against the injunction. Within hours, the BJP, desperately seeking a foothold in the region, retracted. It promised to exempt the communities in the Northeast from its diktat, though its position is still ambiguous, as evident from the recent expulsion of a member who organised a "beef party" in Meghalaya to celebrate the Modi government's third anniversary in power.


    With regard to Gorkhaland too, the BJP has been sitting on a fence, although with the escalating crisis in Bengal, it is finding it harder to maintain a fine balance with each passing day. Already there's a dissonance between its state unit and the powers that be at the Centre on the issue of dividing the state. And as facts stand, the blame for such a hot mess squarely lies with one entity: the BJP alone.



    [​IMG]HINDUSTAN TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES


    The GJM, which came into being in 2007, has supported the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for nearly a decade now. It rallied for the BJP to get "a toehold" in the state, as Firstpost puts it, helping Jaswant Singh win from Darjeeling in the Lok Sabha elections in 2009. Since then, GJM's relationship with the BJP has remained unbroken, though it hasn't progressively improved. Thanks to the GJM, the current MP from Darjeeling, SS Ahluwalia, is a BJP member as well. In Assam, too, the GJM has campaigned for the BJP in the recent assembly elections. In return, the Morcha seems to have got relatively slim pickings.

    Perhaps the alarm bells should have rung for the GJM when the BJP failed to mention Gorkhaland in its manifesto for the 2014 general elections, which gave it an outstanding victory over the Opposition.

    Just a year before, the Morcha had revived its demand for Gorkhaland when the state Telangana was created out of Andhra Pradesh in 2013. To flatly ignore any mention of Gorkhaland, involving one of its crucial allies in the East, seemed like an act of political bravado for the BJP. After the GJM put pressure on the BJP to amend this omission, a cryptic concession was made under duress: the BJP said it would "sympathetically examine and appropriately consider the long pending demands of the Gorkhas, the Adivasis and other people of Darjeeling district and the Dooars region".

    Be that as it may, having consistently given the BJP an electoral base in Bengal, and now beyond, in the Northeast, the GJM is not unreasonably expecting the favour to be returned. But the BJP is entangled in a trap of its own making.



    [​IMG]HINDUSTAN TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES


    In theory, the BJP has always favoured the formation of small states. In 2009, Sushma Swaraj mentioned the creation of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand to bolster her argument for Gorkhaland. She refused to call the demand for new states secessionist, while also overlooking the fact that the states she had cited as examples were all created after the legislatures of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh had consented to have these divisions of territory made. Bengal, in contrast, has been steadfastly opposed to the idea of dividing itself.

    The resistance to the idea of Gorkhaland is perhaps the only common ground between the erstwhile Left Front government, which ruled West Bengal for over 30 years, and the current TMC administration under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

    Initially sympathetic to their demands of autonomy, Banerjee conceded a degree of independence to the Morcha by allowing the formation of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) when she came to power in 2011. But the semi-autonomous body was soon revealed to be a ruse—or at least, that's what GJM leader Bimal Gurung claimed—with only a handful of the promised units functioning under it after 5 years.



    [​IMG]AFP/GETTY IMAGES


    Recently, Banerjee also ordered a probe into the use of funds, to the tune of several hundred crores, given to the GTA by the state government. If the enquiry had made Gurung sit up, her decision, announced a few days later, to make Bengali compulsory across schools in Bengal gave him the perfect excuse to revive the movement against the Bengal government. Pride in Nepali language and their culture has always been the cornerstone of the Gorkha agitation, especially against the dominance of Bengali-speaking communities in the hills.

    Although TMC ministers hurriedly clarified the order, exempting the hills from its ambit, the damage was already done. The spark ignited by Banerjee's flippant project of linguistic supremacy turned into a full-fledged conflagration, leading to violent clashes between the police and the protestors.

    As the state BJP unit struggles to make an impact against the ruling TMC, it can only flounder in the face of this dilemma. Supporting the demand for Gorkhaland, in accordance with the party's leaders at the Centre, will mean a severe erosion of support base among its potential electorate in the plains. Already, in spite of the BJP's valiant mobilisation on the ground, TMC has begun regaining its rural vote, which seemed to have defected to the right for a while. To support the division of Bengal under these circumstances would mean political suicide for the BJP in the state.

    In the Centre, too, the BJP, which is the party in power, is in as much of a soup. The situation in Darjeeling already mirrors the one in Jammu & Kashmir—curfews, clashes with security forces, Internet shutdown and an angry people, willing to defy the establishment at risk to life and limb. With much of the Northeast and the valley in such turmoil, the government doesn't need another liability on its hand.

    Source http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/0...-has-landed-the-bjp-in-a-hot-mess_a_22489167/
     
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  2. Śakra

    Śakra FULL MEMBER

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    I support the bifurcation of all indian states
     
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  3. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Gorkhas are true followers of Sanatan Dharm unlike communist Bengalis.I am inclined to support them.
     
  4. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Huffington post written by another bong Commie. No wonder they blame BJP and make it look like BJP has everything to lose. Formation of Gorkhaland will cut down the power and votes of Mamata Banerjee, i suggest BJP support such state creation.
     
  5. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    I do so too, but only for administrative reasons and not linguistic reasons. For the apparent reasons.
     
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  6. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    They just might, timing being the key. Simmer the issue and convert it when required ...... I am not against this policy. Neither am I against redistribution of states on basis of population on administrative grounds.

    But conceding the same for reasons of language is the problem .....

    One needs to look at the two States of Telangana and Andhra as an example of benefits. The immense rivalry between the political entities there has resulted in development projects being undertaken at a rate that is unprecedented elsewhere.

    Telangana, a newly formed state, was in doldrums upon creation. In one field (as an example) it brought about a total reversal as a result of this 'rivalry' and wish to be better - from being an electricity deficient state (with most of power production units being in Andhra) to being a power surplus state now. Similarly, it has undertaken tremendous efforts in water management and capacity building in this field.
     
  7. surya kiran

    surya kiran 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    There is also an urgent need to bifurcate UP.
     
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  8. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Man ... that is one of my fantasy .. of launching an agitation demanding a separate state by quadrification of the state.
     
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  9. Flyboy!

    Flyboy! Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The division of states on the basis of language and ethnicity was a big blunder. Expect more uprisings.
     
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  10. turkish

    turkish Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    I totally support a new state. The reason is simple if anyone has gone to Darjeeling you will know the place has no relation to Bengal or Bengalis ... I have stayed in Kolkata and in Darjeeling both feels like a different place. Also if you see the contribution made by nepali's for India you will know that they need a identify of their own. Sorry ! for me Darjeeling is not in West Bengal!
     
  11. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Captain FULL MEMBER

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    I do agree redistribution of states shouldn't be on language basis, Infact, Formation of AP from Madras Presidency was done on the basis of Telugu speaking people, AP was the first linguistic state in India,later it broke into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Apparently,Language unity didn't last much longer.

    There is rivalry between both CM's of AP and TG both trying to outdo each other to justify creation of new states.
    I am from Telangana, every summer we used to experience 5 hour power in 5 slots,each lasting 1 hour. It was hell during Summer, nowadays,we don't see any Power cut even in Summer, other than the odd occasional power cut to cool down transformers in summer heat for 10-15 minutes.

    Isn't GorkhaLand landmass too small to be a state? Will they be self sufficient in case a state is formed?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  12. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    What was the actual basis for the AP-Telangana split if both states speak Telugu? I personally support division of states if they are too big (UP should become 4-5 states), if there are significant enough linguistic and cultural differences between groups (Gorkhas & other hill people vs Bengalis), or if there is some other historical issue/reason.
     
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  13. Flyboy!

    Flyboy! Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    tomorrow any tom dick and harry will wake up and say his part of land has no relation with the current state. Hence he must have a new state. This is all bullshit politics and you buggers who support these imbecile activities are nothing more than phony pawns. For gods sake we are all bloody Indians before any thing else.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  14. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Plenty of tom, dick and harry's already do, doesn't mean all of them get a state does it? There is nothing wrong with division of states when there is a legitimate case to be made, and this in my opinion, and in the opinions of some other users here, is a legitimate case.

    For example, in Gujarat, at different points in time there were movements for a separate Saurashtra State (the peninsular part of Gujarat) and a Kutch State (the area bordering Sindh across from the Gulf of Kutch). And because none of these movements made much sense, they didn't come to anything. There are other such examples in India as well.
     
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  15. Flyboy!

    Flyboy! Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Language? Religion? Ethnicity? Brain size? IQ? Are we in the time of maharajas? What legitimate cases can you cite? Its nonsense. With all due respect, the gorkhas are fighting on the basis of cultural differences with bengalis and nothing else. Its hugely regressive and our politicians will go to great extents to get votes in exchange for some ass licking pleasure.
     
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