Gorkhatimes

A Gorkha weblog which intends to keeps you updated about everything and bring together all Gorkhali community

Rohini living under the shadow of fear

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 23, 2009

SILIGURI: Four months since it suffered a political carnage on the first day of this year, Rohini – a picturesque spot halfway between Siliguri and Kurseong ~ is still living in the shadow of fear.
The whole of the Darjeeling Hills has turned hot to the drumbeat of the Parliamentary elections, with the fate of the Gorkha community seeming to hang in the balance. The people of Rohini, however, remain largely unsure of who to vote for on 30 April.
Rohini bore the brunt of a sanguinary clash following the lynching of a GJMM leader in a DGHC-run guesthouse on the night of 31 December. The next day, when the rest of the Hills celebrated New Year, all hell broke loose in the sleepy hamlet as political activists, hell bent on revenging the lynching, burnt down whatever came in their way. The damaged houses are being repaired by their owners. However, the phantom of the guesthouse, blackened by arson, stands out as a fear-blasted witness.
“We would vote, but for whom?” asked the principal priest of the Shiva temple at Rohini, Mr Keshab Brahmin. “Development works have come to a standstill since the DGHC has ceased to function. We are facing an acute water crisis. Potholed roads are becoming almost impassable. Tourists are fighting shy of the place since the blood-splattered New Years Day. We are reflecting on who would lead Gorkhaland if it comes into being at all?” he continued.
Mr Suresh Tamang, another resident, said he did not believe that Gorkhaland was likely to transform hill life at its grassroots. “We would continue to sweat to eke out a living and the leaders would gobble up the statehood privileges,” he said.
“Yet we would vote, for we cannot help but vote. We detest being marked as inimical to the ethnic interests of the Gorkha community,” sighed Mr SB Tamang, a long time resident of the picturesque hamlet.

source: The Statesman

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Pranab Mukherjee rules out creation of Gorkhaland

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 23, 2009

Kolkata, April 22 (UNI): Opposing creation of Gorkhaland by carving Darjeeling out of West Bengal, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the Congress favoured a solution to the problems of the hills people through dialogues and not under threat.
”The problems of Darjeeling have to be solved through mutual dialogues and understanding. But it is not possible to create any new state. The Congress Working Committee has taken this stand even in the case of Telengana and Vidarbha, ” he said during a meet the press programme at Kolkata Press Club.
Mukherjee’s statement came amid a heightened movement for Gorkhaland, spearheaded by the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJM), an outfit in the Darjeeling hills. The GJM is supporting Jaswant Singh, the BJP candidate from Darjeeling, in exchange of an assurance that its demand would be looked into sympathetically. The Minister said the CWC’s decision against backing any move for creation of new states was based on experiences of the ”series of problems” that such an exercise entailed.
” The problems of the people of Darjeeling can be adequately addressed by an experts team, which can recommend an autonomous hill council. Some schedules of the constitution can also be used . But all this has to be done through dialogues and not under threats, ” he said.

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Let’s know Danny Denzongpa

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 22, 2009

Danny Denzongpa

Danny Denzongpa

Danny Denzongpa

Tshering Phintso “Danny” Denzongpa (born February 25, 1948) is an Indian actor. Denzongpa was born in the state of Sikkim, at that time an independent monarchy. He has acted in numerous Hindi films such as Ashoka and 16 December. He has also starred in an international films, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he acted alongside Hollywood actor Brad Pitt. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India’s fourth highest civilian honour. Denzongpa is noted for his roles as a villain. He is also the only actor to have come from Sikkim.

Early career

A Young Danny

A Young Danny

As a boy Denzongpa used to tend to horses in his village in Sikkim. He nursed an ambition to join the Indian Army, and won the Best Cadet award from West Bengal and participated in the Republic Day parade. In an interview to The Times of India newspaper he told that he had qualified for the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College however after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, his mother pleaded with him to give up joining the army after several people of their village were killed. Danny then enrolled in the Film institute in Pune.

Film career

Danny in film Fakira-1976

Danny in film Fakira-1976

During his early film career, Danny used to practice learning Urdu, the lingua franca of Bollywood at that time by talking to the ocean. The Urdu came in handy in films such as Sawan Kumar’s Sanam Bewafa and Mukul Anand’s Khuda Gawah where he played the role of Pathans.

He started out with B-grade movies such as Zaroorat in 1971, and later moved on to Mere Apne and Kala Sona where he played more positive roles. He then went on to play the roles of the villain in numerous roles. Some of the antihero roles he played were an unscrupulous politician, corrupt policeman, traitor, and mingy landlord. He got his major break in Gulzar’s Mere Apne, and later in B R Chopra’s Dhund where he played a crippled and frustrated husband. He missed out on one of the most famous villain roles in Indian Cinema, that of Gabbar Singh for Sholay. He was the original choice for the role but had to back out because of a clash of dates. The character later became an icon and made Amjad Khan a star overnight.

He is also an accomplished singer having sung with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhonsle, three stalwarts of Indian music. He has released Nepalese songs and has sung for Nepalese movies. His two most famous songs are “Chiso Chiso Hawama”, and “Rato Rani Phule”. He is also a painter, a writer and a sculptor. Denzongpa owns two breweries, one in South Sikkim, and the other in the state of Orissa.

He is currently acting in his first South Indian film, Endhiran, starring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai.

Awards and Honours

Danny Denzongpa

Danny Denzongpa

2003: Padma Shri, India’s 4th highest civilian honour.

Filmfare Awards

1993: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Khuda Gawah(1992).
1992: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Sanam Bewafa(1991).

Films

A scene from his Film

A scene from his Film

  • Endhiran (2010) (Filming)
  • Karzzzz (2008)
  • Chamku (2008)
  • Big Brother (2007)
  • Hattrick (2007)
  • Frozen (2007)
  • Jaan Ki Baazi (2006) (post-production)
  • Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo (2004) (Colonel Ashfaque Khan)
  • Shikaar (2004)
  • Sandhya (2003)
  • Parwana (2003)
  • Ek Hindustani (2003) (Special Appearance)
  • Soch (2002) …. Nautiyal
  • Ab Ke Baras (2002) …. CBI Officer Sikander Baksh
  • 16 December (2002) …. Vir Vijay Singh
  • Yeh Mohabbat Hai (2002) …. Aman Khan
  • Moksha (2001) …. Bachelor Simon
  • Indian (2001) …. Shankar Singhania
  • Lajja (2001) (aka The Shame)…. Gajendra
  • Asoka (2001) …. Virat … aka Ashoka the Great (India: English title) (USA) … aka Samrat Ashoka (India: Tamil title: dubbed version)
  • Pukar (2000) …. Abhrush
  • Officer (2000) …. Pratap Rai/Dushyant Singh
  • Tune Mera Dil Le Liya (2000)
  • Silsila Hai Pyar Ka (1999) …. Jabhal Khargoshi
  • Dahek: A Burning Passion (1999) …. Jabbar Bahkshi
  • Kohram: The Explosion (1999) …. Minister Virbhadra Singh
  • Zulm O Situm (1998) …. Sikander
  • Vinashak – Destroyer (1998) …. Jailer Lankeshwar
  • China Gate (1998) …. Maj. Ranjir Singh Gurung
  • Udaan (1997) …. Mr. Rana
  • Seven Years in Tibet (1997) …. Regent
  • Dhaal: The Battle of Law Against Law (1997) …. Advocate Indrajit Diwan
  • Himalay Putra (1997) …. Rana
  • Ghatak: Lethal (1996) …. Katya
  • Rajkumar (1996)
  • Army (1996) …. Naagraj
  • Shastra (1996) …. Babu
  • Barsaat (1995) …. ACP Neghi
  • Sarhad: The Border of Crime (1995)
  • Vijaypath (1994)
  • Chauraha (1994) …. Baba Bhatti
  • Krantiveer (1994) …. Chatursingh
  • Mohabbat Ki Arzoo (1994) …. Jagpal Singh alias Jaggu dada
  • 1942: A Love Story (1993) (as Danny Dengzongpa) …. Major Hisht Dhartiputra (1993)
  • Gurudev (1993) (as Danny Denzongappa) …. Khakan
  • Prateeksha (1993) …. Dinesh Khanna … aka Prateeksha (India: Hindi title: alternative transliteration)
  • Sangram (1993) …. Madhu’s father
  • Tahqiqaat (1993) …. Bhanu Pratap
  • Drohi (1992) …. J.P. Sethi (Raghav’s boss)
  • Antam (1992) …. J.P.Sethi … aka Anth (India: Hindi title: dubbed version)
  • Balwaan (1992) …. Bhai
  • Khule-Aam (1992) …. INSP. Uday Singh/INSP. Ranvir Singh Rathod
  • Khuda Gawah (1992) …. Khuda Baksh … aka God Is My Witness
  • Lakshmanrekha (1991) …. Birju … aka Lakhsman Rekha (India: Hindi title: alternative transliteration)
  • Vishnu-Devaa (1991) …. Thakur Shamsher Singh/Samppat
  • Hum (1991) …. Bakhtawar … aka We
  • Sanam Bewafa (1991) …. Sher Khan
  • First Love Letter (1991) …. Thakur Ajit Singh
  • Yodha (1991) …. Daaga/Justice Dharmesh Agnihotri
  • Agneepath (1990) …. Kancha Cheena … aka The Path of Fire
  • Pyaar Ke Naam Qurban (1990) …. Prince Yeshwant Singh
  • Baaghi (1990)
  • Chingariyan (1990)
  • Jagira (1990)
  • Shandaar (1990) …. Dhaga
  • Shesh Naag (1990)
  • Shehzaade (1989) (uncredited) …. Thakur Roshan Singh
  • Jung Baaz (1989) (as Danny) …. Mahakal
  • Kasam Suhaag Ki (1989)
  • Galiyon Ka Badshah (1989) …. Inspector Vijay
  • Khoj (1989)
  • Saaya (1989)
  • Ustad (1989) .. aka Conman (International: English title)
  • Commando (1988) …. Ninja
  • Shoorveer (1988) …. Shankar
  • Ek Hi Maqsad (1988) …. Inspector. Deepak
  • Mardon Wali Baat (1988) …. Raja Sunder Singh … aka A Man’s Job
  • Gunahon Ka Faisla (1988) …. Dacoit
  • Janam Janam (1988)
  • Jeete Hain Shaan Se (1988)
  • Mera Shikar (1988)
  • Paap Ki Duniya (1988) …. Pasha
  • Yateem (1988) …. Girivar Prasad Mathur
  • Itihaas (1987)
  • Aag Hi Aag (1987) …. Daulat Singh/Choudhury
  • Deewana Tere Naam Ka (1987) …. Shambhu
  • Chambal Ka Badshah (1986) …. Sultan
  • Bhagwan Dada (1986) (as Danny) …. Shambu Dada
  • Adhikar (1986) …. Vishal’s lawyer (special appearance)
  • Allah Rakha (1986)
  • Maha Shaktiman (1985) … aka Maharudra (India: Bengali title)
  • Yudh (1985) …. Gama Maating/Mr. Chinoy
  • Jawaab (1985) …. Seth. Jagmohan
  • Aandhi Toofan (1985)
  • Aitbaar (1985) …. Inspector Barua … aka Trust
  • Oonche Log (1985) …. Thakur Maan Singh… aka High Society
  • Patthar Dil (1985) …. Jung Bahadur
  • Andar Baahar (1984) …. Shera
  • Farishta (1984)
  • Boxer (1984/I) (as Danny) …. Dharma
  • Jagir (1984) …. Danny … aka Teen Murti (India: Bengali title) … aka The Estate … aka The Three Idols
  • Kanoon Kya Karega (1984) … aka What Can the Law Do?
  • Manzil Manzil (1984) …. Gautam (Pahadi Baba)
  • Mera Dost Mera Dushman (1984)
  • Pyaar Jhukta Nahin (1984)
  • Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye (1983)
  • Lovers (1983/I)
  • Ganga Meri Maa (1983)
  • Andha Kanoon (1983) …. Akhbar
  • Raj Mahal (1982)
  • Kachche Heere (1982) …. Arjun … aka Rough Diamonds
  • Love Story (1981) …. Ram Dogra
  • Chunaoti (1980)
  • Kali Ghata (1980)
  • Abdullah (1980)
  • Bandish (1980/I) …. Kapilkumar … aka Restriction
  • Bulundi (1980)
  • The Burning Train (1980)
  • Choron Ki Baraat (1980)
  • Phir Wohi Raat (1980) …. Ashok
  • Griha Pravesh (1979) (as Danny) … aka The Housewarming
  • Aaj Ki Dhara (1979) (as Danny) … aka Aaj Ki Radha
  • Lahu Ke Do Rang (1979) … aka Two Shades of Blood
  • Devata (1978) …. Inspector Lawrence … aka Devta (India: Hindi title: alternative transliteration)
  • Naya Daur (1978) … aka The New Age
  • Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka (1977) …. Vikram (Jamunadas’ son)
  • Abhi To Jee Lein (1977) …. Danny … aka Abhi To (India: Hindi title: alternative title)
  • Chandi Sona (1977)
  • Khel Khiladi Ka (1977)
  • Mit Jayenge Mitane Wale (1977)
  • Paapi (1977) (as Danny Danzongappa) …. Abdul
  • Fakira (1976) …. Munna/Ajay/Toofan
  • Kalicharan (1976)
  • Laila Majnu (1976) …. Prince Bahksh
  • Sangram (1976) …. Salim/Altaf
  • Dharmatma (1975) (as Danny) … aka The Holy Soul (International: English title)
  • Aakhri Dao (1975) …. Robert
  • Apne Rang Hazaar (1975)
  • Kala Sona (1975)
  • Ponga Pandit (1975) …. Rocky
  • Raftaar (1975)
  • Rani Aur Lalpari (1975)
  • Zorro (1975/II)
  • Chor Machaye Shor (1974)
  • 36 Ghante (1974) …. Dilawar Khan
  • Khotte Sikkay (1974) …. Danny … aka False Coins
  • Dhund (1973) …. Thakur Ranjit Singh (crippled husband) … aka Fog … aka Trance
  • Milap (1972)
  • Rakhi Aur Hathkadi (1972) …. Raja
  • Yeh Gulistan Hamara (1972) … aka This Garden Is Ours
  • Mere Apne (1971) …. Sanju
  • Zaroorat (1971)

Posted in Interviews And Biographies | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Gorkhaland will not solve problems: Yechury

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 22, 2009

Sitaram Yechuri

Sitaram Yechuri

Darjeeling: Formation of a separate state of Gorkhaland will not solve problems faced by people in West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury said on Monday.
Addressing the maiden election meeting organised by the CPI-M in the hills of north Bengal in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls April 30, Yechury said tripartite talks involving the state and central governments and the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) were the only way to find a solution to the Gorkhaland crisis.

He said if the Third Front, in which the CPI-M was playing a major role, was voted to power, Darjeeling hills will get a higher level of autonomy.

The meeting in support of CPI-M candidate Jibesh Sarkar at Chawkbazar in the heart of Darjeeling town attracted a motley crowd.

Lambasting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for following “anti-people policies”, Yechury said none of these two combinations would be able to form the next government at the centre after the polls.

Ridiculing the BJP’s decision to field its veteran leader Jaswant Singh from Darjeeling with the support of pro-Gorkhaland GJM, Yechury said: “Jaswant Singh is no longer a heavyweight candidate”.

source: Thaindian News

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Yechury asks Hill to back Third Front

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 22, 2009

SILIGURI, : The CPI-M Politburo member Mr Sitaram Yechury yesterday asked the people of the Darjeeling Hills not to get swept by the BJP’s pro-Gorkhaland bluster and to strengthen the proposed Third Front instead, to help evolve an enduring solution to the prolonged impasse in the Hills. He was addressing an election meeting at Chowk Bazaar in Darjeeling town today.
“The BJP- propelled Gorkhaland demand would soon crumble against hard reality and the saffronites would desert the hills once the election is over. The same is true in case of Congress-led UPA. They too have failed to live up to the “deep rooted pangs” of the Hills. But the Leftists do not tickle emotions to garner votes,” he said.
Taking digs at the BJP and the Congress, the senior CPI-M leader said that the two principal alliances were crumbling due to lack of ideological coherence and mutual confidence. “This is a natural culmination of opportunism-driven alliances. Their electoral prospects are growing bleak in the same proportions as the acceptability of the Third Front concept is ascending. So we ask the people of this picturesque land to lend weight behind the Third Front as it alone would sincerely strive to solve the problems beyond the electoral claptraps,” he asserted.
Dismissing smaller state concept as anachronistic, the CPI-M leader said that his party had remained steadfast to its commitment on the matter. “ Bifurcating states to cater to ethnic aspirations goes against the grain of the civilization march.

source: The Statesman

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Double trouble in N Bengal

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 22, 2009

It’s a tale of two “messiahs” from two entirely different ideological poles. For almost a fortnight, Jaswant Singh has kept the picturesque Darjeeling hills spellbound. He draws the hysteric shouts of “Jai Gorkha, Jai Gorkhaland,” every time he vows, in his characteristic baritone: “I’ve come all the way from the deserts of Rajasthan to fight for you.”
And in the flatland of North Bengal, it is Meghalaya strongman P A Sangma who has caught the imagination of Rajbanshis, who like the Gorkhas, want a homeland of their own within the Indian Union. “Sangma sahib is trying to get our candidate from Cooch Behar freed on parole,” says Greater Coochbehar Democratic Party (GCDP) general secretary Phanindranath Burman.
GCDP nominee Bansibadan Burman has been languishing in prison for three years in connection with clashes that broke out in Cooch Behar in September 2005. Three policemen, including an additional SP, and two civilians had died in the violence. For some years, GCDP has been campaigning for a separate Rajbanshi state comprising the territories of the erstwhile Cooch Behar kingdom spread over Lower Assam and North Bengal.
There was considerable sensation in Cooch Behar on Sunday when the former Lok Sabha Speaker went to meet Bansibadan at Cooch Behar Correctional Home along with a lawyer. “The NCP leaders say our candidate must get a chance to campaign in the polls. We’ll move a higher court for Bansibadan’s release,” says Phanindranath. Cooch Behar is a Scheduled Caste constituency that has been with Forward Bloc (FB) since 1977.

On his way to New Delhi via Siliguri, Sangma attended a meeting of Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP) in Moynaguri, a part of the Jalpaiguri seat reserved for Scheduled Castes. KPP, an ally of GJM and GCDP, has been fighting for a Kamtapur state for Rajbanshis living in North Bengal. NCP has fielded Dhirendranath Das in Jalpaiguri that has a huge Rajbanshi population. Last month, the state government had banned a similar meeting at Moynaguri where KPP had invited Sangma and GJM chief Bimal Gurung.

Sangma supports the Rajbanshis’ demand for constitutional recognition of their language. “He is also sympathetic to our statehood demand,” says Phanindranath. “We want a state comprising areas that were merged with the Indian Union by the rulers of Cooch Behar in 1949,” he adds. Stepping up their campaign, Rajbanshi activists have floated Greater Koch United Front that includes All Assam Koch Rajbanshi Union, GCDP and KPP.

The Garo stalwart’s association with KPP and GCDP hasn’t gone down well with ruling Marxists who accuse them of having links with the outlawed Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) and Ulfa. They have advised GJM to stay away from KPP and KLO.

“But we have no links with KLO,” says KPP chief Atul Roy, who supports BJP in Darjeeling. On the government’s stand that Bengalis and Rajbanshis are one people, he adds, “We want the government to study anthropology to know the differences between these two communities.” Urban development minister and CPM leader Asok Bhattacharya, who is busy leading his party’s campaign against Jaswant, warns: “Divisive forces are trying to turn North Bengal into another North-East.”

Another factor that has rubbed the Marxists the wrong way is the Rajbanshi leadership’s stand on the region’s demography. Following in the footsteps of Assam-based anti-infiltration parties, GCDP also wants March 25, 1971, as the cut-off year for detection of foreigners. GJM and BJM have also lately expressed concern about the impact of the alleged Bangladeshi influx on North Bengal’s population pattern. “The government shouldn’t give citizenship to people who entered the country after March 25, 1971,” remarks Phanindranath. “The Left has done nothing so far. Since 1977, about 4 lakh people have left our district to do menial jobs elsewhere in the country. Over 95% of them are Rajbanshis,” Phanindranath claims.

Sangma, observers say, shifted his focus to North Bengal after the announcement of the general elections that coincided with the fall of the NCP-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government in his home state. Despite his opposition, the Centre imposed President’s Rule in Meghalaya a day after the alliance won a trust vote in the Assembly on March 17. What upset him more was the failure of NCP’s central leadership to take up the issue with the Manmohan Singh government.

He also approached BJP leader L K Advani for support. Following this, Sangma announced that he would campaign for “good non-Congress candidates” across the North-East and North Bengal. He also mobilised people in Darjeeling district and Sikkim.

“Sangma is looking for more clout so that he can bargain with his party. At the moment, he seems to have been marginalized within NCP,” remarks a Marxist leader.

The Left Front in Jalpaiguri has warned the people against separatist forces’ move to divide the region’s working class and peasants in the name of Gorkhaland, Kamtapur and Greater Cooch Behar. But Sangma’s supporters think otherwise because of his “ethnic affinity” with Nepalis and Rajbanshis. “He can raise our issues in Delhi. He will be back in North Bengal on April 26. If we win, our candidate will support NCP at the Centre,” says Phanindranath.

source: The Times Of India

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Court glare on Gurung for speech

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 21, 2009

Bimal GurungBimal Gurung

SILIGURI, April 20: The Darjeeling police have initiated an inquiry against Mr Bimal Gurung, the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) chief, about his alleged speech at the Gymkhana Club Hall in the Hill town on 30 March.
The inquiry is the fallout of a 13 April order by the Darjeeling Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), wherein the court asked police to investigate the matter under Section 171 C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). If found guilty, he might be sentenced to one year in jail or fined or both.
As alleged, while addressing an open meeting at the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club on 30 April, the GJMM supremo said that anybody found going against the GJMM choice, would be punished after the polls. He also said that party workers would keep a close watch on the situation. Taking cognisance of the alleged threat speech, the Darjeeling Sadar police moved the CJM court in the first week of April and sought permission to initiate a probe against Mr Gurung. On 13 April, the court gave it a green signal, and 29 April has been fixed as the next date for hearing.
Police, meanwhile, will have to submit the final report of the inquiry on or before 29 April. The CPI-M too had lodged a complaint against Mr Gurung with the Central Election Commission (CEC) in New Delhi on 7 April. When contacted, the SP Darjeeling Mr Rahul Srivastava refused to comment.
GJMM general secretary Mr Roshan Giri on the other hand, termed the probe to be a ploy of the ruling CPI-M. He also demanded a probe against the CPI-M Darjeeling candidate Mr Jibesh Sarkar for “trying to divide people on communal lines.”
Meanwhile, the GJMM sent a complaint to the Election Commission in New Delhi against the Inspector General, Police, North Bengal, Mr Kundan Lal Tamta today, alleging partisanship in favour of the ruling CPI-M.

source: The Statesman

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Morcha accuses IG of intimidating voters – At EC door with charges against Tamta

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 21, 2009

Darjeeling, April 20: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has complained to the Election Commission against the inspector-general of police of north Bengal for allegedly intimidating and threatening its supporters in the plains.

Roshan Giri, general secretary of the Morcha, said: “The officer has been misusing his official position for sometime. We have faxed a complaint to the EC against K.L. Tamta for intimidating our supporters in the plains.”

The complaint comes 12 days after Darjeeling police started a suo motu case (on April 8 ) against Morcha chief Bimal Gurung for telling the minority Tibetan community that his outfit would keep an eye on their votes. Tibetans are considered traditional Congress voters although the community has publicly vouched support for the BJP this time. The Morcha, whose writ runs in the hills, is backing Jaswant Singh who has been fielded by the BJP for the Darjeeling constituency.

Gurung had been booked under Section 171(f) of the IPC for trying to unduly influence the electorate.

In today’s complaint, the Morcha alleged that Tamta was using people connected with the murder of C.K. Pradhan, a former GNLF leader, to frighten its supporters. “The people Tamta is using are extortionists against whom various cases have been lodged in some police stations,” said Giri.

Accusing Tamta of working for the CPM, Giri said: “He is behaving like a CPM cadre. Whenever Jibesh Sarkar (CPM candidate) moves around for his campaigns the officer posts at least 100 police personnel in a bid to create a fear psychosis among our supporters in the plains.”

Tamta while denying the allegations said: “Ask them whether anyone has lodged a complaint that they are being threatened. Who are the people that I am allegedly using? Are they on my pay roll?”

The Morcha said if needed it would furnish proof in support of its charges. Even during the tripartite meeting in New Delhi on December 29, 2008, the Morcha had complained against Tamta. “From the time I took charge (of north Bengal), they are having nightmares and speaking against me,” said Tamta.

Surendra Gupta, the district magistrate of Darjeeling, today said it had come to the administration’s notice that certain political parties were telling voters that their supporters could detect where an individual had cast his vote. “I want to assure people that their votes will be kept under secrecy,” Gupta said.

The counting for Darjeeling constituency will take place in Siliguri and the hill town. With 45,000 voters yet to get EPICs, the administration has decided to continue with a drive to issue cards till April 23. “Even if everybody does not get EPIC, the voters can show the 13 other documents (permitted by the EC) to cast their votes,” said Gupta.

source: The Telegraph

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Yechury campaign in Darjeeling today

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 21, 2009

SILIGURI, April 20: CPI-M politburo member Mr Sitaram Yechury will address a poll rally at Chowk Bazar in Darjeeling tomorrow morning in support of the party candidate Mr Jibesh Sarkar.
This is will be the first public rally in the Hills by any major CPI-M leader since the demand for Gorkhaland resurfaced in Darjeeling almost one and half years back. Keeping in mind the political hostility that persists between the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and the CPI-M, the district administration has made elaborate security arrangements for Mr Yechury.
“The CPI-M leader would be escorted to the meeting venue from Siliguri in a convoy led by a DSP, while an executive magistrate too would accompany them,” the SP Darjeeling, Mr Mr Rahul Srivastava said. Besides this, necessary security deployments are being facilitated at the Chowk Bazar meeting venue and additional force would be on standby at the Sadar police station, the SP added.
Darjeeling DM and returning officer Mr Surendra Gupta too have assured adequate security measures for the meeting.
Meanwhile, Mr Yechury, while adressing a rally at Malbazaar and Chalsa in support of the Jalpaiguri CPI-M candidate Mr Mahendra Roy, said that his party would never allow a division of West Bengal to carve out Gorkhaland. “My party is ideologically opposed to formation of smaller states,” he said.

Trinamul-Cong for strong fight
The Darjeeling district Youth Congress and the Trinamul Youth Congress activists appear determined to make the CPI-M run for its money in the coming Parliamentary election in the Darjeeling constituency. “We would ensure this time that the ruling party does not get away with the electoral irregularities like booth jamming, false voting and intimidation of the voters it is used to practicing in polls,” said the district Youth Congress and the Trinamul Youth congress presidents Mr Sujay Ghattak and Mr Madan Bhattacharya today.

source: The Statesman

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Drug Addiction

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 20, 2009

A drug addict injects heroin into himself on the roadside

A drug addict injects heroin into himself on the roadside

An Indian man receives a drug injection on the road side in Mumbai

An Indian man receives a drug injection on the road side in Mumbai

Drug Addiction is a major social evil of modern times. It recognizes no boundaries and detonates everything on its way.Actually, drugs means the chemical or a mixture of chemical used for the treatment of diseases. But in this context, a drug is that chemical that is used by a person intentionally to experience ease and relaxation or exhilaration.
Drug addiction means the physical dependence upon a drug , an abnormal craving for the chemical. If a drug addict is allowed to keep on taking drugs and he might suffer from convulsion, depression, vomiting and other serious conditions.
Researchers have done a lot of survey on why people take drugs. Approximately 15% of the users prone to this habit due to friends at school or colleges; they are easily swayed by them and resort to drugs. It has also been seen that students who are shy, introvert suffer from emotional disturbance, inferiority complex take to drugs easily. There are some other factors, which directly or indirectly are responsible for youngsters, who take to this habit. They can be lack of lack of parental care, lack of moral and religious education, media and pop culture, broken homes etc. The addicts may use a variety of substances like heroine, smacks, morphine, brown sugar, etc. There are other like Cocaine, Speed, Crack and Whiz. The addicts may also use some others like LSD, Marijuana, Cannabis and Hashish.
Heroin is one drug which produces a sense of euphoria, but if taken in large doses it may cause convulsions or even death. Cocaine causes exhilaration but at same time may cause blood pressure, insomnia, etc. Cannabis can make a person jovial, but can also cause disorientation, coma and may also make the user aggressive and violent, whereas Hashish may cause damage to the body organs and raise the blood pressure level.
Drugs user are always at risk of variety of diseases. Addiction to drugs is not an individual problem but is looming large as a social problem for which a solution must be found quickly. In India, drug users have been increased manifold and something needs to be done very soon, There are many NGOs working in this field and they are doing good work but the government must also come forward to help these NGOs by establishing rehabilitation centers for former users.
The basic factor responsible for the proneness to drugs is the sickening emotional and psychological surrounding that leaves the victim with no other options than to seek momentary escape from mental tensions.
If the children are given proper care by the parents, these problems will not arise at all. They may not be compelled to try floating sensations. If that happens, a large number of young men and women will be saved from this curse.So we should help them in order to save their life.

Contributed By: Gopal Gautam

Gopal Gautam (Kolasib Mizoram)

Gopal Gautam (Kolasib Mizoram)

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CPI-ML’s first rally goes off well

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 20, 2009

Kurseong: The CPI-ML’s first election rally in Darjeeling was held peacefullyon April 19. The CPI-ML organised an election meeting at the Kurseong Motor Stand, where the speakers mainly slammed the CPM and the Congress. The CPI-ML leadership also declared their support for the separate statehood demand of the Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling Hills.
While addressing the rally, the CPI-ML state committee secretary Mr Subrato Basu said that the demand for Gorkhaland is democratic and justified. The Nepali-speaking people have their own culture and language, hence their demand should be considered.
While, addressing the meeting, the CPI-ML district committee member, Mrs Dipu Halder said that the CPM had formed the Adivasi Vikash Parishad in order to suppress the Nepali-speaking people’s demand. She alleged that most of the members of the Adivasi Vikash Parishad were from the CPM, but presently the Parishad has been creating huge tension for the CPM leadership by boycotting the LS election. The speakers were campaigning for party candidate Mr Ram Ganesh Baraik, but there were very few people assembled there.
While talking to the reporters, Mr Basu said that some police personnel had stopped their vehicle at Rohini while they were on the way to Darjeeling. Mr Basu alleged that they were asked to remove their party flags and banners from the vehicle. But, finally after the intervention of Darjeeling SP, Mr Rahul Srivastava, they were allowed to go to Darjeeling.

Source: The Statesman

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BJP set to challenge Left in North Bengal

Posted by Ramesh Khati on April 20, 2009

SILIGURI: Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and BJP flags flutter along the bumpy road that runs from Phuentsholing, Bhutan’s second largest town after Thimpu, to Rajabhatkhowa in the heart of West Bengal’s picturesque Dooars. Every time vehicles whizz by, a cloud of dust rises, almost hiding the bluish Bhutanese mountains in the north.

At the head of a dusty stretch of the road near Dalsinghpara, about 4 km south of Phuentsholing, is the GJM poll office where members discuss about their new ally, the BJP. “We’re fighting for our identity and physical existence. BJP can definitely help us fulfil our aspirations,” says Prakash Suel of GJM.

GJM’s trust in its new ally seems total. A poster of L K Advani stands alongside the portraits of its three heroes: Mahatma Gandhi, Birsa Munda and GJM chief Bimal Gurung. Munda, a tribal freedom-fighter joined GJM’s pantheon of idols after the pro-Gorkhaland party began its statehood campaign in the Adivasi-dominated Dooars last year. “Let’s break all symbols of bondage,” reads a slogan below the portraits.

At Kalchini, about 40 km east of Phuentsholing, discontent simmers in the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad (ABAVP). “Hunger and unemployment have made our lives hell. Can you imagine how a tea worker feeds his family of six or seven on Rs 40 a day. That, too, when he gets work for just five days a week,” says Mahesh Barla (65), whose son heads ABAVP’s Kalchini unit.

If GJM views polls as a means to fulfil its dream of statehood, ABAVP has issued a boycott call, a worrying factor for the Left for whom adivasis were a traditional votebank. This, along with BJP’s friendship with the GJM and the Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP), has put the Left in a tight spot. KPP has been fighting for a separate Kamtapur state for Rajbanshis in north Bengal for over a decade. “The whole thing is part of BJP’s evil design to create instability in Bengal,” complains state municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya at the CPM office in Siliguri, where a huge banner calls for resistance against “ Banga Bhanga (partition of Bengal).”

“We are ready to give them the highest form of autonomy. But Gorkhaland is neither possible nor feasible,” Bhattacharaya says. But the mood in large swathes of the Hills and the Dooars is hostile. “Our boycott call is going to hit Left the most. We have been sending Left candidates to Parliament and the Assembly since 1977. But they never showed any concern for us,” says ABAVP’s Kalchini unit chief. Of the three seats in North Bengal — Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling which go to polls on April 30 — the maximum tribal population is in Alipurduar.

For GJM, statehood is top priority. Last weekend, BJP nominee from Darjeeling Jaswant Singh, promised to take the Gorkhas’ problems “to Delhi and beyond”. This earned him support from KPP, which pulled out its candidate in BJP’s favour. Left parties fear that Gorkha, Adivasi and Rajbanshi leaders harbouring separatist dreams may unite under BJP. TMC, on its part, is hoping adivasis’ disillusionment with Left will translate into victory for its nominee.

Considering the strategic location of North Bengal, many Left leaders also fear that BJP’s rise can pose a threat to the sensitive region which is often called ‘Chicken’s Neck’ by military strategists. “The area is not only home to a number of restive ethnic groups, but is close to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and China,” explains a Left analyst.

Source: The Times Of India

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