Gorkhatimes

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A visit to ‘Gorkhaland’ with Roshan Giri

Posted by Ramesh Khati on May 14, 2009

Roshan Giri’s Campaign for Gorkha State

The general secretary of the Gurkha Janmukti Morcha party speaks to Telegraph TV about his hopes for the creation of an independent Gurkha state in the hills of Darjeeling.

While the Gurkha regiment in the UK is fighting for its vetarans’ right to remain in the country, in the world’s biggest democracy ethnic Gurkhas feel on the cusp of winning their own state.

Gurkhas in India’s West Bengal have given their sizable vote to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in return for a promise of a “Gorkhaland” in the tea plantation hills around the old colonial hill station of Darjeeling.

The Gurkha vote could prove crucial in the closely fought election contest which ended yesterday.

Darjeeling has been the focus of unrest and violence since the 1980’s because of tension between the Communist-led West Bengal government in Calcutta and the Gurkha community.

Roshan Giri said: “From 1947 the Gurkhas have been surpressed and opressed. We have a distinct race, language, and education. We feel a lot of resentment. This is colonial domination.”

The focus of the Gurkhas’ campaign is to have not only a separate cultural identity but to be recognised as an economically distinct tea producing state unlike the Bengali plains.

source: The Telegraph(UK)

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