Gorkhaland stir will fizzle out

THE ISSUE : The state government should deal with the Gorkhaland agitation with a heavy hand.The Gorkhaland agitation is not new. It had been there in the past when Mr Subhas Ghisingh was in control. Subsequently, with devolution of power to the autonomous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) the demand for a separate Gorkhaland subsided. But, the problem was not banished forever, corruption and lack of development has caused a lot of discontent. Mr Bimal Gurung, has now assumed leadership of the agitation and revived the dream of a separate Gorkhaland comprising Darjeeling, Siliguri and the adjoining Dooars. Earlier, the DGHC’s demand for inclusion in the Sixth Schedule had also been dashed. As a result, the confidence of the Gorkha people in the government of West Bengal has been shaken.In the circumstances, the state government will have a tough time dealing with the current agitation launched by the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) under Mr Gurung with a heavy hand, given the present political situation in the state in the aftermath of the panchayat election. With the tide now in the reverse course, any tangible solution appears to lie in forging an all-party consensus, particularly when the Centre has already made it clear that no further division of the state of West Bengal is acceptable.The call of the GJMM for continuous bandhs in the hills will prove counter-productive and fizzle out when the suffering of the people will multiply.PARAMANANDA PAL,17 June, Kolkata.(The statesman)

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