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Demand for Gorkhaland: Is it a case of developmental neglect or of separatism?
While the warring Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) who have been demanding a separate Gorkhaland, reconciled with the West Bengal government on 25th October, 2013, assuring it would work jointly for development, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on the very next day dubbed them as 'extortionists' and also stated they had no other work but to demand a new state every now and then.

But, there is a section, which also believes that the Bengal government has already broken the unity among people living in the hills with her clever strategy. This has helped her gain support of the Lepchas community, primarily. With time, it would not be surprising if she gains complete control over the hills as well with GJM going down the popularity chart.

Her popularity on the rise in Darjeeling could be understood form the fact with the number of people who attended the meet in Chowrastha in Darjeeling last week, where she addressed. But, the locals are also aware that it is the same CM who has never wanted Darjeeling to be separated from West Bengal. The people of Darjeeling are left stranded and do not know whom to support.

Blaming the erstwhile Left Front government for neglecting the development of Darjeeling hills, Mamata enumerated a host of developmental projects initiated by her government for turning the region into a "tourism hub".  Observing that Darjeeling had more potential than Switzerland as a tourist destination, she said her government was committed towards developing infrastructure in the region with major emphasis on "tea-tourism". Mamata Banerjee is more interested in the development of the hills and not Gorkhaland.

Earlier on 29th July 2013, the GJM chief Gurung told a press conference that their demand for Gorkhaland is older than the demand for Telengana and if the Centre announces a Telengana state then it should also declare a Gorkhaland state.

GJM has also been accusing the West Bengal Government of neglect in the Darjeeling region. With his renewing the demand for Gorkhaland in Darjeeling following UPA unanimously endorsing creation of a separate Telangana state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 31st July, 2013 ruled out division of West Bengal and blamed the Congress for the agitation in the hills.

When GJM  had enforced a bandh, Mamata Banerjee on 11th August, 2013 gave a 72-hour deadline to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to withdraw its indefinite bandh in Darjeeling or be ready to face strong action from the state government. "The West Bengal government is ready for talks with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha if its indefinite bandh is withdrawn in Darjeeling, but there will be no division of the state," Mamata Banerjee had said.

Accusing the West Bengal government of playing "dirty politics", theGorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Sunday, the 1st September 2013  had asserted that its fight was against the central government and it would not compromise on its demand for a separate Gorkhaland. It is for you to judge whether it is a case of developmental neglect or separatism.

(This report has been based on news reports that appeared in Times of India from time to time.)

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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If our leaders were impartial and had ensured equal development of all parts of every State in India, then we would not be having demands like that of Telangana or Gorkhaland etc. which would only disrupt our unity and integrity. However, such has not been the case. When Jaffer Sharif became railway minister, then all the benefits accrued to the State of Karnataka, when Mamata became the railway minister, then all the benefits went to the State of West Bengal and when Nitesh became the railway minister, then all the benefit went to the state of Bihar. This has happened within the States also with some regions which were not well represented in the State Cabinet not reaping the benefits of development. In fact, our leaders have been foolish enough from the very start and instead of creating States on administrative convenience basis, formed the State on linguistic basis giving rise to such anti-national feelings like linguistic feelings, regional feelings, caste feelings, communal feelings etc. In fact, by making reservations on caste rather than on poverty basis, they created deep caste feelings within the Indian societies. At present, it is not more important to create Telangana state or Gorkhaland state etc. but divide U.P. which has more than the population of Pakistan into four states as suggested by Mayawati Govt. The U.P. with its vast population and area is totally ungovernable at present. In fact, we should set a fresh State Reorganisation Commission which should suggest the formation of the States on the basis of administrative convenience. And it is high time that our leaders become impartial in their approach and see beyond their noses. They should try to inculcate nationalist feelings in the mind of the people and shun the politics of casteism, communalism, regionalism etc.
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