Separate Statehood For Nepali Indians Is Needed

The demand of separate statehood in Darjeeling and surrounding areas in India by the Gorkhas (Nepali Indians) has gained momentum yet again in recent months. The winning of the Indian Idol title by Prashant Tamang, a local boy from Darjeeling, a few weeks ago has also kindled a new hope of separate statehood among the Nepalis in India. It’s a fact that Nepali Indians aren’t represented rightly and justifiably in the central government of India. They have been marginalized and grossly underrepresented.
Nepali Indians fought for separate statehood in the 80s which ended up as Darjeeling Hill Council (DHC) after the movement’s leader Subhash Ghising postponed the movement on the request of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi two years later. The news is that the Indian government is preparing to table a new bill in the parliament that grants full autonomy to the Darjeeling Hill Council.

We think that is not enough. Full autonomy is not what the Nepali people in India are demanding. They are demanding a separate state within India. The latest government move appears to have come to pacify the recent editions of agitation by the Nepali Indians, we think the government motion will not fully address the genuine issue raised by the people. These latest rounds of agitation are part of the larger struggle of identity of Nepalipan. Even in Nepal, several indigenous groups are agitating for their identity and the Nepal government has reached an agreement with some groups. We are at least talking about going to CA elections which will play role in solving these identity problems among others.

The situation in India is different. We see no reason for the Indian government not go give the right to have a separate state of Nepali people in that country.

Related News Link:
Indian govt plans bill to grant Darjeeling autonomy; ‘Bill aimed at foiling Gorkhaland movement’ (eKantipur)

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