Gorkhaland : Identity or unity or both?

A movement for separation of ‘Gorkhaland’ from the State of West Bengal has re-emerged after the state imposed Bengali in all schools of the West Bengal. Now the territory that falls under the proposed Gorkhaland consists of Darjeeling and Dooars and Siliguri terai region. It is a sensitive territory sharing borders with China, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.


The people from this region, state that their culture and language is completely different from the Bengali culture. And the demand of a separate state is an identity call. I The need for your distinct identity, where culture, practices and language play a key role is justified. And being imposed a language and culture is not fair and a violation of the right of freedom. But many would say something like demanding a separate state is an extreme measure. Lets look at this situation objectively.


The people of the proposed Gorkhaland have a culture and environment completely different from that of Bengalis and rest of West Bengal. And they do not want to belong to a state which has the word Bengal in it. But the word is for nomenclature purposes and does not mean the state of Bengalis.  And the Bengalis trying to impose their language and culture is not correct and should not be tolerated. So the protest should be against the imposition and not for a demand of a separate state.


But there is more to it. The need for sense of belonging and attachment to where you come from is a very important part of human civilization.  Phenomenon like our attachment to out parents, village, home, school, college, country ,etc. is a result of these. The demand for a separate state stems from this human need of belonging and the sense of attachment. And adding to the matter is the fact that all the other states were created on the basis of language and religion. The demand doesn’t seem so unreasonable, right?


When I was in my tenth standard, I had read a small paragraph about unity in diversity in India in my geography textbook. Somehow the phrase stuck with me. India has more than its fair share of diversity ranging from diversity of language, dialect, geography, religion, caste, origin and what not. And sometimes when so many sections of people co-exist, friction is bound to be created. And adding fuel to the fire is the fact that we have limited natural and financial resources. And we fight among ourselves, sometimes like cats and dogs. But at the end of the day we call ourselves Indians with pride. And that is unity in diversity for me.


So my point here is, when twenty-nine states can co-exist, with their fair share of bickering, why can’t thirty states. And the Gorkhas have time and again proven their patriotism and loyalty by being a very active part of the army in all the important Indian wars.


But will the movement be able to break the shackles of politics and emerge out victorious? Only time will tell.


Thanks for reading and have a nice day!


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