West Bengal Legislative Assembly Member from Darjeeling Mr. Pranai Rai’s speech to the Floor


Its totally confusion hearing our fellow members speak in favour of the motion against the formation of the statehood of Gorkhaland purely based on party – rather limited political principles, guidd by emotions and baseless arguments which cannot at all be in conformity to the legalities and statistics of the questionable legal status of the Hill areas, no wonder the leftist could not win the hearts of the millions oppressed labour class Gorkha because of many instances of theory rather practical measures. Do you remember we GORKHAS were the first martyrs of labour class struggle in the Tea Industry at Margarets Hope in the year 1955. We believe in Leninism “Right of Self Determination” in practiciality and Gorkhaland is the basis of these theory.

Let me take you back as to what the opinion of your party was way back before independence. They were of the opinion that the District of Darjeeling belongs to the Gorkhas and it was their homeland. The CPI vehemently opposed the sinister British imperialists plan of excluding the District Darjeeling from the rest of India and its constitution into a separate Chief Commissioners province as had been put forward by the Darjeeling Hill Men’s Association and its memorandum to Ld Patrick Lawrence, secretary state for the state of India in December, 1941. The CPI also demanded that an immediate end must be made of the present status of the district of Darjeeling described in the Government of India Act 1935, as a “partially excluded area” and with it all the special powers of the Bureacracy, as a preliminary step to further the political economic and cultural conditions of the Gorkhas and the Hill tribes living in the District. Was given by Darjeeling District Committee C. P. I. Ratanlal Brahmin, Late Ganeshlal Subba to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vice President of the Interim Government and Liaquat Ali Khan, Finance member, Interim Government Leader of Muslim League Assembly Party, presented on the 6th Day of April 1947 to the Constituent Assembly. The Communist Party of India was of the opinion that the only way to further the national development of the Gorkha people was by granting them their right of determination on the basis of complete democracy which means that the British imperialism and its satellites. The medieval feudal regimes of the native state of Sikkim and the so called independent state of Nepal must be ended. The Communist Party of India therefore demanded that after making necessary revisions of the existing boundaries, the three contiguous areas of Darjeeling District, southern Sikkim and Nepal be formed into one single zone to be called GORKHASTHAN. To again remind you my friends the opinion of the CPIM after nearly three decades:

On principle the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had accepted to grant SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO HILL AREAS OF DISTRICT OF DARJEELING, vide the Constitution (Amendment) Bill No. 59 of 1982 headed by Shri Ananda Pathak Samar Mukherjee and Shri Somnath Chatterjee, MP’s and subsequently on the 9th Day of August 1985 Bill Number 122 of 1985 by Shri Ananda Pathak, M. P. the bill was never passed BUT it is surprising that at the signing of the tripartite accord the volume of autonomy that was reflected in the said Bill 6 years ago and accepted on principle by the CPIM was not at all reflected in the said DGHC accord rather limited to just vesting of Executive powers in the newly formed DGHC, which proves the malfide and bad intention of the CPIM towards the Hill people, having no, whatsoever interest in the socio-economic, educational development of the Hills. When on principle the CPIM had advocated about the special provision to the hills since before Independence till 1985 then why was such proposal not laid at the very inception of the Gorkhaland agitation which began in the year 1986, resulting into death of more than 1200 martyrs, even your cadres have died embracing your principles against Gorkhaland but all in vain with the DGHC accord.

Some of my learned friends need to be historically corrected. Please remember, the state of Sikkim vide the 35th amendment in the year 1974, Article 2A was made an associate state. And the 36th Amendment 1975 amended the First Schedule of the Constitution to include Sikkim as the 22nd State of the Indian Union 371F granted special provision to Sikkim. Vide the 53rd Amendment Act 1986 statehood was granted to the Union Territory of Mizoram inserting Article 371G granting special status to this new state. Similarly vide 55th Amendment Act 1986 Arunachal Pradesh Article 371H, 56th; Goa etc. But the legal status of Darjeeling remains challenged, questioned and a debatable issue till date. To corroborate my statement I would like to refer to the Historical background of Darjeeling vis-à-vis with British East India Company, India and Nepal on the backdrop.

Darjeeling historically ipso facto was by exigency of political annexations by the Britishers whose tacit and irresponsible steps incorporated Darjeeling to the Union of India. Nepal was never annexed to the British despite of the Anglo Nepalese War which took place somewhere in the month of November 1814-1816. The Britishers led by General Ochterlony was more successful and the Gorkhas were driven eastward beyond the Kali River, and began to negotiate for peace. Arms however, were soon taken up again and Ochterlony who was put in command, in January 1816, advanced directly on the capital in the line of the route that is now in use. The Nepalese sued for peace. A treaty was concluded in March by which the Nepalese relinquished much of the newly acquired territory, and allowed a British residency to be established at Kathmandu. The British were victorious and by The Sugauli Treaty signed on the December 2nd 1815 and ratified by March 4th 1816 between the British and Nepal, vide the 3rd Article the Rajah of Nepal ceded to the East India Company in perpetuity all the under mentioned territories:

First: The whole of the low lands between the River Kali and Rapti.

Secondly: The whole of the lowlands (with the exception of Bootwul Khass) lying between the Rapti and the Gunduk.

Thirdly: The whole of the low lands between the Gunduk and Coosah in which authority of the British Government has been introduced or is in actual course of introduction.

Fourthly: All the low lands between the River Mitchee and the Teestah.

Fifthly: All the territories within the hills eastward of the River Mitchee including the Fort and lands of Nagree and the Pass of Nagarcote leading from Morung into the hills together with the territory lying between that pass and Nagree. The British wer given possession of the West of Nepal in Kumaon and Garhwal, it conceded about one third of its territory to the British. Sikkim, Kumaon and Garhwal which are now part of the Indian State of Uttarkhanad, much of the Terai plains in the South and some area that is now Himalchal Pradesh were wrested from Nepal and became a part of India as per the Treaty. Territory west of Kali River like Kumaon present Indian state of Uttarkhand, Garhwal (Uttarkhand), some territories to the West of the Sutlej River like Kangra (present day Himachal Pradesh), and much of the Terai region. Vide the Treaty of Titalia dated 10th of February 1817 vide Article 1 all the areas of Darjeeling was given to Sikkim under the then Raja of Sikkimputtee. Vide Deed of Grant 1.2.1835 again the Hills of Darjeeling was returned back to the East India company all the land South of the great Rungneet River east of the Balasun, Kahail and little Rungneet Rivers and west of the Rungno and the Mahanadi Rivers. The Governor General in Council reluctantly resolved to occupy permanently somewhere on the 12th Day of November 1864 to the British territory the Bengal Doars of Bhutan and so much of the Hill territory the Bengal Dooars of Bhutan and so much of the Hill territory, including the fort of Dalingkot, Panakha and Dewangiri and vide Treaty of Sinchula dated 11.11.1865 the whole tract known as the eighteen Doars, bordering the Districts of Rungnoor, Coochbehar and Assam together the Talook of Ambaree Fallahcottah and the Hill territory on the left bank of River Teesta was concluded between the East India Co, represented by Colonel Herbert Bruce, and by virtue of full powers to that effect vested in him by the Viceroy and Governor General, Sir John Lawrence and Shri Samdojey Deb Jimpey and Temseyrensey Donai, full powers conferred on them by the Dhum and Deb Rajahs.

Subsequently, our independent and sovereign state of India after independence decided to further strengthen and develop friendly ties to perpetuate peace in between the two countries and came onto an INDO NEPAL TREATY dated 31st Day of July 1950 between the Government of India and Nepal, which abrogated earlier treaties, CLAUSE VIII states, “so far matters dealt with herein are concerned, the Treaty cancels all previous Treaties, agreements and engagements entered into on behalf of India between the British Government and the Government of Nepal. From this THREE conclusions irresistibly follow the foregoing bipartite agreement. First on the lapse of paramountcy, all rights and powers of sovereign exercised by the British Government in and over Darjeeling would automatically de jure revert back to either Nepal or Sikkim. Secondly the Deed of Grant will on the termination of British Authority in India cease to be operative and the rights of Property in respect of Darjeeling area would re-vest either in Sikkim or Nepal.

Thus it was therefore imperatively necessary the territories in question should have been retroceded either to Sikkim or Nepal, which nevertheless concludes the areas that was annexed by virtue of Sugaolee still stands and remains undisputed. We Gorkhas are proud Indians who sacrifice our lives at the borders in the protection and greater interest of the nation and feel the need of the hour is to give back our land with Constitutional Recognition within the sovereign state of India.

GORKHALAND, sine qua non is not simply a desire but a necessity felt a Century ago. It is economically viable then any other states in India, we have the capacity to provide enough intellectual resources. The stigma of communal character within it is all fabricated and manufactured by anti social statements of the state who never believe in giving back the RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE OF DOOARS AND DARJEELING. We are strong believers of Secular State and the cry of the people not only denotes of the Gorkhas but even other communities like the Bhutias, Bengali, Muslim, Bihari, Marwari, Punjabi etc who live united as a large family with inter community marriages. The nomenclature GORKHALAND cannot connote communalism when it did not in the year 1947 when the CPI coined GORKHASTHAN then why today. Other states can have according to their community why not GORKHALAND.

All the important political parties functioning in the region are unanimous that the Nepali speaking region in question should be administratively separated from West Bengal.

I am of the opinion that nothing sort of full fledged statehood for Darjeeling and Dooars region will meet the aspirations of the Hill people and no other administrative schemes such as the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council will ultimately be found to be workable.

Thus under the stated factum and legalities I hope my fellow members will be of the opinion that this land of ours still remain unattached and legally disputed and needs constitutional recognition by paving a way for creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.




This address is dated: 31st July 2008

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