Another round of deferment of indefinite Bandh, this time for a month (from 7th July to 7th August), has put a question mark on the future of the Statehood movement of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (Morcha). Although I am not inclined immediately to say that the movement is fizzling out, the movement seems to have lost directions after an ill timed launching. However to keep some momentum of the movement going, Government offices would be forced to close down.
What B.B.Gurung could not fathom is that, the hill is dependent on the plains and not the vice-versa. Hill requires all sorts of supplies from food grains to groceries to clothing and what not. Further, all the passages to hills are through Siliguri and in the event of a backlash would choke Darjeeling hills. By going a whole hog for indefinite bandh, they are only to harm themselves. Bengal government may sit back till the time the hill people are fed up with their own doing.
Morcha’s demand for adding dooars in Jalpaiguri district to their proposed homeland has hit the Bengalis sentiments that resulted an ethnic conflict at the very beginning of the movement. For a while, Gorkha students had to move out of Siliguri during the conflict.
Even demand for Siliguri, Naxalbari, Fansidewa of Darjeeling district in the proposed homeland has no logic whatsoever.
The recent Supreme Court order asking Bengal Government to ensure that National Highway 31A, linking Sikkim with rest of India, remains open has given a big jolt to the movement which was using this Highway as a ransom.
People of Sikkim, a large number of whom are Nepali, have shown no interest in the movement. Rather they have been infuriated at the blocking of their lifeline Highway 31A. People of Sikkim has voted whole heartedly for Prasant Tamang of Darjeeling in the ‘Indian Idol’ contest to win him the contest and in return they got their highway blocked!
In the face of all these odds and no positive response for even talks (there seems to be not even remote possibility before next government at Delhi is installed) from New Delhi, the movement for all practical purpose has reached a dead end for the present.
That is why Gurung is now playing safe by taking shelter behind religious ceremony to be performed for success of Statehood movement and suspended movement in that pretext.