The three stakeholders the central government, the state government and Darjeeling protestors have not reached any consensus how to solve the issue. Already the protest has completed one month and still continues with seven dead, hundreds injured and public property worth crores set on fire. District Magistrate of Darjeeling Joyoshi Dasgupta said that in the district alone, public property worth over Rs. 7 crore had been destroyed. This included offices, buses, hydel power stations, health centres and panchayat offices and two heritage railway stations of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways. This movement gradually drifted to violence, despite symbolically conveying that it is not a separatist movement as the in a unique gesture the protesters carry the Indian flag while agitating and allowing women and children to participate in the agitation. The indefinite strike has been called in Darjeeling and Kalimpong on the demand for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Political observers say in the past three decades — since the setting up of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in 1988 when the Left Front government was in power — the hills have not witnessed such a high pitched movement for a separate State. Rallies and protest marches in the hills, which are witnessing a near total shutdown, have on several occasions turned violent resulting in pitched battles between the Gorkhaland supporters and the police. Even though the Mamata Banerjee government has expressed willingness to hold talks with the political parties in the hills, it has ruled out any division of the State.

The political parties in the hills, including the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), have ruled out talks with the State government and are keenly awaiting a call from the Centre. With no solution in sight, even the Calcutta High Court has questioned the silence of the Centre on the issue. In an order issued by Acting Chief Justice Nisitha Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty (July 14), the Calcutta High Court raised questions on the role of the Centre. The order states, “The Central Government, it appears from its affidavit, has not bothered to ensure supply of essential goods to the districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong. This is indeed strange.” The judgment further adds s, “When there is widespread turmoil and defiance in these two districts, which has been given wide publicity in the media, one wonders why the Central government has not bothered to ensure the supply of essential goods to the people of the two affected districts.” The Court asked the Centre to take a proactive stance and directed the deployment of four more CRPF companies. Among the stakeholders in Darjeeling hills, the discontent against the Centre is brewing.

Munish Tamang, the national working president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisang also expressed surprise, “We are dismayed by the silence of the Centre. There are rumblings among the members of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee ( GMCC) that this cannot go on for long.” Mr. Tamang said more than the Mamata Banerjee government, which had never spoken in favour of Gorkhaland, protests should be directed at the ruling party at the Centre which won two elections in the hills by encouraging the idea of Gorkhaland. According to Mr. Tamang, the people of the hills were willing to endure hardship as long as the movement did not stray from its course.

At this moment, there were no voices in the hills asking for an end to the strike. GMCC is a 30-member body comprising representatives of all political parties in the hills and social organisations to take forward the demand for Gorkhaland.


Already five all party meetings have taken place under the banner of GMCC. But the agitation continues with 93 tea gardens closing down and internet snapped for the last 28 days. To ensure peace 11 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the region. Besides, three columns of army have been deputed in Darjeeling, Sonada and Kalimpong.

Darjeeling movement for Gorkhaland has gained momentum in the line of an ethno-linguistic-cultural sentiment of the Nepali language speaking Indian people who desire to identify themselves as Indian Gorkhas. The demand for Gorkhaland is is made by the people of the Darjeeling Hills and the people of Indian Gorkhas ethnic origin on the Northern part of West Bengal on the basis of linguistic and cultural difference with  Bengali culture. Two mass movements for Gorkhaland have taken place under the Gorkha National Liberation Front (1986–1988) and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) (2007–present).

A century ago, the people of Darjeeling areas felt that on the basis of their ethnic history and distinct identity, a separate administrative unit for the Gorkhas would be an initiative for the greater good of the community. This separate administrative unit, with time, took the shape of a demand for a separate state within India. It was also raised in the Constituent Assembly, by Ari Bahadur Gurung, a barrister from Kalimpong and a member of the Constituent Assembly. In 1986, Subhash Ghising, a former army soldier and a poet, revived the demand for the separate state. He also coined the term Gorkhaland. Following his call for a separate state under the banner of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) a party which he set up, the Gorkhas of Darjeeling, Siliguri Terai and Dooars began the agitation. A violent agitation followed in which over 1200 people were killed as per official records. The West Bengal government headed by then chief minister Jyoti Basu relented and agreed to set up the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), an autonomous body under the concept of a state within a state. In 2007, the demand for a rate state once again was raised by Bimal Gurung, who broke off from the GNLF and floated a new party, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. After an agitation of about two years, the GJM also agreed to the setting up of another autonomous body, called Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. Gurung is currently the chief executive of the GTA. However, over the last few months, the GJM has expressed severe dissatisfaction over the functioning of the GTA and have revived the call for the separate state of Gorkhaland. The genesis of the demand stems from the fact the region and its Nepali or Gorkhali speaking population do not identify themselves with the rest of West Bengal. The approximately 15 lakh people who are inhabitants of the region speak Nepali language, have distinct cuisine, customs and culture which is different from that of Bengal.

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The crowd is driven by the external elements eg. fashion, popular beliefs and convenience. The wise are driven by character and virtues, no matter how difficult their path is.  The crowd is always propelled by narrow self interest and greed.  The wise people are driven by purpose, passion and conscience. The crowd is short-sighted (only see the present), the wise men have a vision they see present in the context of future outcomes). No doubt the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. But, we must try to visualise the future of our choice before acting.  The thought process of the crowd and the wise differ. It is rightly said- What we think, we become. (Budhha). Crowd is insecure, fearful and suspicious. The wise people are confident, they think positively, optimistically, creatively and fearlessly. The crowd has a closed mind, the wise have an open mind. The crowd behaves with impulse without control, the wise follow their impulses with control. The crowd takes things on the face value and gives judgment; the wise examine the facts and events before making a judgment. The crowd quits in the slightest of difficulties, the brave and wise endure the difficulties. Crowd is confused; wise people have clarity of purpose. The crowd can be driven like cattle, the wise can be driven only by meaning and purpose of an act. The crowd wants both- to eat the cake and have it too. The wise make a choice between alternatives, compare the opportunity cost of alternatives available, and make up their mind to sacrifice all opportunities but the best and they exercise the best; thus, wise are ready to make sacrifices to achieve their goals. The crowd takes life as a choice-less journey, the wise wake up every morning to choose joy and happiness over negativity and pain.

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The debate about nationalism and patriotism has been hitting up in India and elsewhere due to a rising trend of right wing politics. The US presidential election, the French presidential election, Brexit by UK and even the increasing vigilantism and minority bashing in India has been some of the recent byproducts of rising right wing super nationalist arguments facilitated by increasing use of social media in an era of post truth, i.e., fabricated facts or denouncement of existing rational thinking. Man is a social animal and every society has its own identity based on culture, language, religion and values. Nationalism is a consciousness and awareness that binds people together around culture and values of a society, patriotism also does the same. But nationalism is the by- product of feeling of “rivalry” and  a sense of “superiority” of one society against the other, while patriotism is based on the feeling of affection towards one’s own society and culture without any having any feeling or sense of rivalry and superiority against the other. In modern societies, fast movement of men and material and process of settlement and resettlement has led to cultural transition and assimilation (and this process is not only contemporary, it has taken place throughout history), turning societies a cultural cauldron which gives birth to multi-coloured or rainbow societies. At the same time democracy and recognition of human rights have become the defining benchmarks of modern societies where the principle of non-discrimination is taken as a desired goal of all democratic welfare states. The idea of narrow nationalism (born of rivalry between countries in the process of evolution of modern state, especially during colonial period and inter-war years) has come under threat- a nationalism based on majoritarianism, minority-bashing, sub-feudalism and status quo in social and governance structures- is finding multiculturalism and progressive liberal democratic idea of “live and let live” as a  threat very difficult to digest. They are trying to over blow the issues of threat to security and integrity of the country to promote a type of narrow nationalism to realize their political goals at the cost of peace, prosperity and democracy of the countries. India has also seen such tendencies in recent times. It is in this context this beautiful exposition on nationalism and patriotism is reproduced from the website here for the clarity of understanding of students in general and for the essay paper in the civil services (mains) exam in particular.    

Nationalism and patriotism both show the relationship of an individual towards his or her nation. The two are often confused and frequently believed to mean the same thing. However, there is a vast difference between nationalism and patriotism.

Nationalism means to give more importance to unity by way of a cultural background, including language and heritage. Patriotism pertains to the love for a nation, with more emphasis on values and beliefs.

When talking about nationalism and patriotism, one cannot avoid the famous quotation by George Orwell, who said that nationalism is ‘the worst enemy of peace’. According to him, nationalism is a feeling that one’s country is superior to another in all respects, while patriotism is merely a feeling of admiration for a way of life. These concepts show that patriotism is passive by nature and nationalism can be a little aggressive.

Patriotism is based on affection and nationalism is rooted in rivalry and resentment. One can say that nationalism is militant by nature and patriotism is based on peace.

Most nationalists assume that their country is better than any other, whereas patriots believe that their country is one of the best and can be improved in many ways. Patriots tend to believe in friendly relations with other countries while some nationalists don’t.

In patriotism, people all over the world are considered equal but nationalism implies that only the people belonging to one’s own country should be considered one’s equal.

A patriotic person tends to tolerate criticism and tries to learn something new from it, but a nationalist cannot tolerate any criticism and considers it an insult.

Nationalism makes one to think only of one’s country’s virtues and not its deficiencies. Nationalism can also make one contemptuous of the virtues of other nations. Patriotism, on the other hand, pertains to value responsibilities rather than just valuing loyalty towards one’s own country.

Nationalism makes one try to find justification for mistakes made in the past, while patriotism enables people to understand both the shortcomings and improvements made.

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