१३ जेष्ठ २०८१, आईतवार
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Petition sent to PM Modi in support of the Gorkhaland Movement

नेपालब्रिटेन डट कम्
१ श्रावण २०७४, आईतवार १०:५०

A group of people born in Darjeeling and surrounding hill areas of India but now living in the UK have sent a petition to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, calling upon him to fulfil the demands of millions of Nepali-speaking Gurkhas in India by creating a separate Gorkhaland state. They sent the petition through the Indian High Commission in London.
Talking to reporters, Chairman of the UK Darjeeling Association, Roshan Gurung, said the general strike called in Darjeeling had crossed one month causing immense hardships to local communities. He also called upon the central and state governments of India to fulfil the demands of Gorkhaland for the Nepali-speaking population.
Full text of the petition is as follows:
An open letter to the Prime Minister The Right Honourable Narendra Modi – through His Excellency the Indian High Commissioner UK

Dear Prime Minister

GORKHAS AND GORKHALAND

After decades of political stalemate your premiership with its proven track of leadership brought fresh hope and aspirations to one and all including the forgotten Gorkhas.

Your words of promise to “sympathetically examine and appropriately consider the long pending demands of the Gorkhas, the Adivasis and other people of Darjeeling district and the Dooars region etc… No government has given you this izzat. You have earned your izzat through your honesty, hard labour and strength” etc had never even been whispered in the offices of power.

These promises were equally reinforced by the senior members of your cabinet. We still believe that you are a man of your word but the lack of response to the current plight in the peaceful hills of Darjeeling now casts doubt.

Sir, from Delhi your Government acknowledges the izzat earnt yet just around the corner in the elite Delhi Golf Club whereTailin Lyngdoh a Khasi, the governess for Dr Nivedita Barthakur Sondhi, Honorary Health Advisor to the Assam Government was one of the eight guests invited for lunch at the Club the manager of the Club asked her to leave. “She looked different, dressed like a servant and looks like a Nepali” was the reason for this outrageous act. The inhumane treatment to domestic assistants even when invited as a guest in itself is despicable to say the least but then what followed is beyond redemption.

This is just one recent example to highlight the ignorance if not the demeaning racial abuse and in this case just for looking like a Nepali. Only a Statehood can eradicate such acts and grant the Gorkhas the pride to be who they are – Indian citizens with equal rights and a true sense of belonging.

It would be impolite of us to remind you of the history of our plea for a separate state GORKHALAND perpetuated for over a century. The facts are supported by a well-documented history and far outweighing the grounds on which the recently formed States were approved yet GORKHALAND remains denied.

The immediate concern is the current situation where road blocks forbid any supplies and resources entering Darjeeling which in turn has also affected neighbouring Sikkim. There has been a total internet ban while the indefinite strike is now in its 28th day!

It is an ironic fact that Darjeeling was far better administered by the British than any post-independence political parties that came to power. Darjeeling lost thousands of lives with hundreds of lives destroyed not to mention a whole generation of young students who having lost their academic goals and had their aspirations in life totally obliterated. History is repeating itself today in Darjeeling and yet the Centre seems to be on ‘maun varth’ – if this is not a form of betrayal what is and will this never end?

Once again, the very public servants employed to protect the public have murdered seven young men leaving their families destitute. Students have been unable to apply for colleges and crucial deadlines missed. The whole area is being politically suffocated with all means of communication jammed!

The Central Government responsible to ensure stability and equality remains unconcerned. The Indian Gorkhas are proud that India is the largest democratic country in the world – but this democracy excludes the Indian Gorkhas!

Darjeeling was the epitome of beauty and peace but it has been politically raped and economically strangled leaving it in total disarray. You don’t have to go far, just 62 kilometres down to Siliguri it was then a mosquito infested shanty town which has now grown into a modern cosmopolitan city and growing by the day. Travel a further 126 Kilometres north and you have modern Sikkim which only a few decades ago was an under developed country but now as a new State not only offers the charm Darjeeling once possessed but has been classed as an exemplary State in the whole of India.

Darjeeling struggles to survive on the past laurels of the wonderful educational institutions left by the British(!). They too are now but bare remnants. The famed Darjeeling tea gardens with not a single local owner are a pathetic sight. Not one university in the whole area! Totally inadequate medical facilities, lack of proper sanitation and health care, inefficient supply of drinking water, the national highway is more of its old state a hill cart road unfits for motor vehicles – this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Somehow Darjeeling manages with no complaints or a begging bowl. However, the stigma of being a foreigner cannot be tolerated anymore.

The Central Government should immediately probe into the human rights atrocities and lift the communication ban – a breach of human rights, freedom of communication and an unwanted mode of harassment. Access too must be granted to all media personnel.

Is the intention of this well-crafted strategy to invoke violence? The peaceful nature and unrelenting patience of the Gorkhas across India and abroad have now crossed the limit. These unscrupulous acts affirm that the Indian Gorkhas are not accepted as Indians and even if so only as second-class citizens. This reiterates the fact that only a statehood can abolish this injustice once and for all.

We still have faith in you and strongly believe that the delay on your part could only be for one good reason – the ultimate answer GORKHALAND.