Wednesday, 15 July 2009
The unruly Gorkhaland fiasco is again rearing its ugly head. And that head is ably represented by Mr. Bimal Gurung. The markets are closed, the roads are blocked, the schools and colleges deserted. Yippee! It's a strike. Sikkim is suffocating, the prices of commodities are increasing, tourism is taking a bad hit and all the people (whether a Bengali or a Gorkha) are getting equally inconvenienced. The police are to be seen nowhere, and for all reasons its a one party rule out there.
But on second thoughts this whole thing seems to be a little funny. The Gorkhaland issue first got prominence under the leadership of Subhas Ghising of the GNLF. The man lead a rather bloody struggle to achieve Gorkhaland, but then abandoned the struggle after the formation of the Darjeeling Hill Council. He got the power he so terribly wanted (evidently) and then ruled like a tyrant for 20 years. He had the power and the money, now why should he go on bothering on issues like development? And then steps into the scene the young and ambitious Bimal Gurung. He takes the cue from Guru Ghising and starts his morning walk following his footsteps. He forms his own party, proclaims his aim to achieve Gorkhaland and helps BJP win the Darjeeling LS seat (just like GNLF had helped Congress win the seat in the late 80s).
And if Gurung achieves Gorkhaland then after a period of time there will be yet another guy who will revolt against Gurung and form yet another party and then demand independence. The cycle will continue as history repeats itself.
My argument is that if Bimal Gurung really cares about development (as he professes in his huge rallies) then he can very easily do so in the present framework. Formation of a whole new state will do little in such a situation, unless of course, Gurung wants a personal fiefdom. Ghising had his DGHC, Gurung wants his own state. Rest of the story will be similar I guess - a single party state, a single leader, concentration of all the resources and power in one hand leading to - corruption and tyranny.
Thinking rationally, Gurung doesn't even have an premise for his demands. The West Bengal Government doesn't suppresses the people, nor their culture or traditions. For development DGHC is there. There is complete freedom and all the Gorkhas enjoy exactly the same rights as everybody else. And remember the more the number of governments, the more will be the common man taxed to elect and support the huge entourage of ministers (and deputy ministers, and bureaucrats, and cars, and buildings, and of course more corruption).
And if they think that Gorkhaland is required to save their identity, its all fine and good. According to them,
"The main reason for the demand for a separate state is the assertion of an Indian identity for the Gorkhas. Such an identity cannot be bestowed by any locally envisaged administrative systems. These are meant only for economic upliftment and social development."
But then that rule must be applied to all minority communities throughout India. For example lets take a look at West Bengal after applying this rule --
West Bengal can be broken up into 6 parts - Darjeeling, Cooch Bihar, Kamtapur, Santhal dominated areas, Murshidabad (for Muslims) and proper West Bengal.
Applying this rule we get some 90-100 states in India, and I wonder how possibly India could survive then. God bless India. Amen.