Is the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state justified?
Gorkhaland is a proposed state in India demanded by the people of the Darjeeling Hills and the people of Indian Gorkha ethnic origin on the Northern part of West Bengal on the basis of linguistic and cultural difference with regard to Bengali culture. The area has often witnessed revolutionary movements leading to strike, rallies, and recently bomb hurling and car torching.
The Nepali speaking people of India demand to get themselves identified as Indian Gorkhas and develop their own identity that they feel has been denied to them since forever. State of West Bengal is keen on keeping the hill stations as they are a large source of revenue for the government. Is the demand for the state of Gorkhaland justified?Yes:1. Difference:
The tea growing people of Darjeeling, the people belonging to the Nepali origin are different from the people of West Bengal in terms of culture, language, ethics, etc. They were merged together after independence and have fought for their separate identity ever since then. They have the right to be recognised. People are ignorant about them to the extent that they are called Nepali wherever they go. They are Indians and should be given the recognition.2. Underdeveloped:
Though extremely hard working, the people of this region are underdeveloped in terms of literacy, employment and standard of living. The West Bengal government continues to be ignorant of their needs and demands while sucking all the benefit out of them. Darjeeling, though a world heritage, is not getting the proper care. They need their own administration in order to flourish and hence their demands are justified.3. Other states:
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been doing well after the split. Jharkhand has seen better days too after the separation. Smaller states are easier to govern. They can look after their respective needs; there is more infrastructure development and job creation. Taking example from these states, it should be given to the people of Indian Gorkha origin to have their own state.4. Racism:
The Gorkhas are subject to racist discrimination all over the country. People are so ignorant about them, even the ones who lived and grew up in the hills. The kind of discrimination these people are facing has to stop and they should get the recognition they deserve. The Gorkha regiments contribute a great extent to the Indian National Army. After shedding their blood all these years for the nation, do they still need to be subject to this kind of bigotry and prove their nationalism time and again?5. To stop the stifle:
The entire clash leading to violence is disturbing the lives of common inhabitants in the area who do not want to be a part of the politics. To make life easier for them, the demand since independence should be fulfilled.No:1. Does not qualify as a state:
Darjeeling is a district with a population of 132,016 (2011). Even the smallest state in India Goa with two districts has a population of 1.817 million (2012). In terms of ethnic diversity if all the communities in India start demanding different states, we will have more than a hundred states in the nation.2. Unjust mapping:
The map proposed for Gorkhaland includes entire Terai and Siliguri, dominated by Bengalis. It will create unnecessary trouble when people have to migrate or bear the wrath of the dominating. Bengal will be divided in smaller bits if ethnicity of people is considered for rewarding separate states. Just the tea plantation and tourism industry is not enough to flourish a state.
The demand for a separate small state of Gorkhaland is definitely justified from ethnic views. However, it should be ensured that the areas under the new state only include dominated areas of Gorkhas and not Bengalis.