Stepping up the movement for separate Gorkhaland State, at least three personalities from the Darjeeling hills on Thursday returned awards conferred on them by the West Bengal government at a public gathering.
Writer and translator Krishna Singh Moktan, musician Karma Younzon and Kurseong College Principal Prakash Pradhan returned their awards at an event to mark the birth anniversary of Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya, being observed as Gorkha Ekta Dibas. This returning of the award by the above mentioned personalities was in response to the July 8 call by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
Meanwhile, incidents of arson were reported from different places in the hills as the indefinite shutdown entered its 29th day on Thursday including a forest office and residence of foreign guards were set on fire in the Teesta area in the hills.
What is the demand of the Darjeeling Hill people?
Gorkhas are demanding separate state, viz. Gorkhaland for their community. This demand is not a new one but is being asked by the Gorkhas since the British time period.
This demand from Gorkhas was dormant for some time but a recent announcement of the Bengal government making Bengali compulsory in the Hills from Class I to X acted like a fuel in the fire and provoked Gorkhas. Gorkhas saw this announcement as an imposition on their community and started demanding for separate states.
The Hindu [the pdf of this newspaper is uploaded for free on UPSC Aspirants Forum (Facebook group) everyday]