People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 18

May 11, 2008



There was a strong opposition expressed at a Kolkata convention against the separatist demand for a ‘Gorkhaland’ comprising hill areas of the Darjeeling district in north Bengal. The principal speaker at the programme held under the aegis of the central TUs and federations, was CPI (M) leader and Rajya Sabha member, Shyamal Chakraborty.

Squarely accusing the Congress-led UPA government of irresponsible behaviour in this regard, Shyamal Chakraborty wondered the reasons why the bill for an autonomous hill council of Darjeeling, proposed by the state government also for inclusion in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution was kept hanging fire for all of two years.

What is providing firepower to the belligerency of the separatist outfits and creating misunderstanding about the issue in the thinking of the mass of the people of Darjeeling and elsewhere are the repeated and wrong statements of the union minister and Pradesh Congress leader P R Dasmunshi.

Earlier, the GNLF under Ghising had originally sparked off violence against the CPI (M) in the mid-80s in the name of creating a separate ‘Gorkhaland,’ and later, when he was not able to deliver the goods; he was quickly made a political non-entity in the hills. In the immutable laws of historical development, Ghising was replaced by a more violent man, B K Gurung, Ghising’s understudy for some years, and who proved an angrier fire-eater speaking in violent –‘blood will flow’ -- phraseology while calling for a separate ‘Gorkhaland.’

The Left and the CPI (M) stood against the creation of smaller states simply because such entities are neither politically nor economically viable. The smaller the states would become, the more would be the unitary control exerted over what is stated to be a federated structure on the country. The struggle against the unreasonable demand of a separate state must face resistance from all sections of the society cutting across political affiliations.

Other speakers were CITU leaders Kali Ghosh, and Debanjan Chakraborty who raised the anti-‘Gorkhaland’ resolution that was subsequently passed unanimously.

(B Prasant)