Gandhism t Gandhism t Gandhism t Gandhism t
VOL 9 No 105 RNI No: SIKENG/2006/18384
Gandhism to Spirituality – Will
Bimal move gain Gorkhaland
HM Bureau
Siliguri, Dec 25: The
change of guard in Delhi has
also effected an immediate
change in the functionality
of leaders spearheading the
Gorkhaland movement. The
pointer being the GJM supremo Bimal Gurung's sudden
decision to press in priests
from Varanasi to Darjeeling,
aimed at invoking the almighty for 'creation of
Gorkhaland and world peace'
as put by Gurung himself.
The move might be the resultant ripple effect of the
Modi factor pan India. Since
Varanasi was also Modi's
parliamentary constituency,
it is being deduced that Bimal was perhaps suggested
by a certain hermit from Varanasi-India's religious capitalto perform a series of puja to
shoo-off the evils posing
impediment in the way of creation of Gorkhaland. It appears that Varanasi being the
VVIP number 1 constituency automatically qualifies its
priests as the numero uno
among all others.
Observers also opine that
this might also mark the end
to the earlier practice of 'sarva dharma' puja in the hills,
with the specialist priests
from a particular place and
religion performing the rituals henceforth. Now, the
question making the political
rounds in the hills these days
is why Bimal reposed such a
staunch faith in these Varanasi priests? Bimal has already declared in the past
about 'tactical fight' hence
what led to this 'tactical' manoeuvre of taking the 'spiritual path' and whether it practically fits in any way to pursue an issue as complex as a
separate state of Gorkhaland
? The Leftist intelligentsia
has started questioning Bimal if the Varanasi priests are
finally going to give a positive conclusion to the decade
old demand and fulfill the
aspirations of the hills people? Will these priests now
convince the BJP and PM
Modi to carve out a separate
Gorkhaland state and that
too when the Bengal election
is knocking at its doors?
Such umpteen number of
questions cropping up has
made it evident that Bimal has
actually stirred a hornets
nest with his new move.
A section of people opine
that Bimal might also be trying to strengthen his network in Delhi's ruling political circle through the Vara-
nasi priests and thus secure
a direct link with the PMO.
He perhaps clearly sees
that not a single leaf in the
BJP will flutter sans Modi's
will and consent. Now it is to
be seen to what even a miniscule extent will Bimal be able
to reap dividends with his
new gamble, if it ever does
provide him access to the
As Kishore Kumar's famous rendition goes "khaike
paan Banaraswala, khul jaye
band akalka tala" which literally means-"blocked heads
open up when one relishes
the betel leaf of Banaras"-it
is also to be seen whether the
Varanasi priests will be able
to open up the mind and
heart of the state and central leadership prompting
them to positively carve out
a separate state of
Gorkhaland. If this happens, Gurung will certainly
turn a revered legendary
hero and if not, the very
strategical manoeuvre
might also turn out to be the
GJM and Bimal's swan
song in the hills chapter of
politics, believes a section of
political observers. Surprisingly, so far no political party other than the CPRM has
reacted over Bimal's new
strategy of giving a spiritual
twist to the agitation.
At this juncture, where
the GJM is allegedly embroiled in the Assam arms
haul case, Bimal's spiritual
potion will instill new vigor
in his party cadre and give
a notion that at least the
party is not sitting idle in
the Gorkhaland issue. The
sudden tactical shift from
Gandhism to spiritual path,
in the agitation after a 45
month long head on confrontation with the state has
raised many eyebrows. A
certain section of people
also attribute Bimal's sudden change of "no confrontation with Mamata" stance
to be the outcome of a tacit
understanding reached between the duo during Bimal's so called 'courtesy
call' to didi during his purported Kalighat visit to of-
fer prayers. Hence the new
found quiet spiritual path to
Gorkhaland agitation, thus
keeping the fight for a separate state seemingly alive
vis-à-vis not irritating the
state government in any
whatsoever aggressive vocal way, believes the opposition parties.
The 'no confrontation'
statement was made by Bimal immediately after the
meeting with Mamata at Nabanno where the CM had
reportedly informed Gurung
of the state's plans to audit
all works under the GTA.
Such fight for separate
statehood is fought politically and practically with a
strong will and grit on the
part of the leaders spearheading the movement with
master craftsmanship and
ability to make see reasons
to all the stakeholders and
national leaders on the feasibility of the demands.
They must be able to
convince the larger section
that the benefits to carve
out a separate state outweighs the negatives,
though a degree of nudge
to their endeavor from the
almighty's blessings will do
no harm. But experts believe
the danger lies if the spiritual path turns the parties
to the agitation too lukewarm in the coming days
and the present party eventually turning to a yet another non-entity.
MP assures currency exchange Christmas bells jingle across
facility at Indo-Bhutan border Kalimpong in reverence
Siliguri, Dec 25: After failing to have their cry listened for decades, people
at Indo-Bhutan international border areas have started building new hope to
have official currency conversion facility. In absence
of that and due to unique
relationship between currencies of the two neighboring countries, conversion
between them remained as
a major illegal business in
entire region.
"The matter deserves adequate attention. I shall talk
on this at appropriate level," assured S S Ahluwalia,
MP from Darjeeling and top
BJP leader. "The matter has
already been discussed at
the highest level of the party and we are expecting
some important developments to take place soon,"
said R. Bose, BJP Darjeeling district President. The
district committee has recently prepared a situation
analysis report on important financial issues having
strong relevance to north
Bengal and its adjoining
international border areas
under instruction of the
highest policy making level of the party.
As per Indo-Bhutan treaty, the border in between
them is open for passage.
But, though Indian currency is an official tender inside Bhutan, using Bhutanease
Ngultrum(Nu) in India is illegal. Despite having apparently different floating value, Nu is officially pegged
at par with Indian Rupee.
On the other side, India
is the largest trade partner
of Bhutan. Eventually, maintaining as high as possible
reserve of INR is always a
priority for Bhutan finance
department. In order to ensure that, "Bhutan authorities prefer paying all in Nu
that cannot be spent in India as Indian Banks don't
accept them," said Badal
Ghosh of Jaigaon(India),
working in Bumthang, Bhutan. Ghosh is just one of
thousands of Indians working in Bhutan or over 5 lakh
Indian citizens from border
adjoining areas with trade
relationship across the border.
Beginning from Indian
border adjoining rural markets, local buses to township shops, everywhere,
large portion of buyers are
from Bhutan paying in Nu.
"We need to accept that to
maintain business. But, we
must get them converted to
INR for banking," said Mr.
J P Agarwal, a trader from
Jaigaon, largest Indo Bhutan boarder area trade center in India.
"As an obvious outcome of the situation, we
are dependent on unofficial
exchange facilities those
charge as high as 15% illegal fee," Ghosh complained. "Often this high
profit financial trade initiates serious crimes too,"
accepted senior police officials at border districts.
In October 2004, after
Indo-Bhutan border districts coordination meet,
Indian administration and
Ministry of Home of Royal
Government of Bhutan,
jointly proposed Indian Finance Ministry and RBI to
set up official exchange facilities. But, it did not come
to reality allowing the situation to remain unchanged
despite many deputations,
appeals, meetings, seminars
To bring Bhutan out of
the medieval barter system
of trading (Direct exchange
of commodities) during
1961, India helped it out by
providing currency notes
those started circulating in
Bhutan economy. But even
after development of Nu in
1974, circulation of Rupee
continued there.
Nisha Chettri
Kalimpong, Dec 25: The Ktown was all abustle with
Christians along with people
from across religions celebrating Christmas-the festival of love, tolerance and
brotherhood in their own
way. The programme on
Christmas eve organized by
Kalimpong Carol Fest Committee saw local church members offer musical ode attired
in ethnic outfits. Other organizations like Y.O.U- Yours
and Ours Organization, Sri
Sai Dwarikamai Dham of
Thakur Bari, Gorkha Jan Jagrati Yuwa Manch etc., also
observed the festival in their
own way. A unique recyclethemed Christmas tree made
up of bottles in Industrial
park by the members of
Y.O.U- a recently formed NGO
drew many praises from curious visitors at the site.
Meanwhile the Gorkha Jan
Jagrati Yuwa Manch
(GJJYM)- an apolitical organization also took part in the
carol fest and played up few
self composed Christian
songs in ‘sanskritik lok dhun’
genre, informed Binay Ghising, President, GJJYM. Nima
Tamang, the organization's
advisor said "religion might
be different but the culture is
same, colors and looks might
differ but the blood which
runs within us is the same".
The Shri Sai Dwarikamai
Dham in Thakur bari also celebrated Christmas by lighting 108 candles and singing
religious hymns.
Rare coins of Bengal to be exhibited
Kolkata, Dec 25 (IANS):
Rare coins from West
Bengal, including some
which are over 1,500 years
old, will be displayed at an
exhibition here beginning
The three-day "Mudra
Utsav" organised by the
Numismatic Society of
Calcutta (NSC) will
showcase a treasure-trove
of coins spanning the era
from third century B.C. to
modern Bengal.
This includes coins
from the period of "Banga
Janapada" (the seafaring
kingdom that came up in
550 B.C. in what is now
eastern India and Bangladesh), of the sultans of
Bengal, Mughal era,
British rule and independent India.
"The highlights are the
gold coins from Gupta
period. These coins are
usually not displayed by
museums but we are
exhibiting them so the
public can glimpse these
rare coins," NSC president
Anup Mitra, president
told IANS.
There will be around 12
coin cabinets, said Mitra.
The exhibition will run at
the Haldiram banquets till
Dec 28.
Won't talk to
terrorists, Rajnath
says in Assam
Guwahati, Dec 25 (IANS):
Union home minister Rajnath
Singh on Thursday announced that the National
Investigation Agency (NIA)
would probe the brutal National Democratic Front of
Bodoland (Songbijit), or
NDFB(S), attacks on adivasis and its violent aftermath
in Assam, which left 78
“poor and innocent” people
Ruled out talks with Bodo
"terrorists" after visiting
some of the affected areas in
Kokrajhar and Sonitpur districts, Singh said: "The violence is not merely a case of
insurgency but one of terrorism. We are going to deal with
this sternly."
He said the central government "will adopt a zero
tolerance policy" towards
terrorism and declared that
"there would be no talks at
any cost" with such militant
The comments from Rajnath Singh, who flew into
Assam Wednesday evening,
came as the death toll in the
Tuesday horror in Kokrajhar,
Sonitpur and Chirang districts rose to 73 Thursday,
officials said.
Those slaughtered include 21 women and 18 children. Scores of others have
been injured in the mayhem.
On Wednesday, three more
tribals died when police fired
at thousands who took to the
The minister asked the
Assam government to take
time-bound action and promised all help from the central
Rajnath Singh said 50
Saddened by Assam
attacks: Mamata
Kolkata, Dec 25 (IANS):
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday condemned the "heinous" militant attacks in
Assam and said her government will continue to
support the tribal people
who have sought shelter in
her state.
"The brutal mass killings of adivasis in Assam
by armed extremists have
deeply saddened me. I
strongly condemn the heinous mass killing," she said
in a Facebook post.
The toll in the violence
unleashed by Bodo militants rose to 73 Thursday.
Home Minister Rajnath
Singh and two other union
ministers are in Assam to
review the law and order
"Many adivasi families
have started coming to our
state for shelter. We have
made necessary arrangements to help them and we
will continue to do so," Banerjee said.
"Today, on the day of
Christmas symbolising
peace and love, I appeal
that ghastly acts of violence must be stopped
everywhere," the Trinamool Congress supremo added.
companies of paramilitary
forces had been rushed to
the state, and the army and
Assam Rifles had been
asked to cooperate with the
police to control the situation.
He said the central government had taken up with
Bhutan and Bangladesh the
issue of militants from India's
northeast hiding there.
"One country has assured cooperation, and we
are sure the other will also
Rajnath Singh Thursday
morning visited Sonitpur and
Kokrajhar, where he went to
a few relief camps where hundreds have taken shelter after fleeing their villages. The
Bodo militants had torched
many homes.
The minister also met with
security personnel.
Minister of State for Home
Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who is
from Arunachal Pradesh, and
Tribal Affairs Minister Jual
Oram accompanied Rajnath
Singh to Assam.
Rajnath Singh has already
met Chief Minister Tarun
Gogoi, Director General of
Police Khagen Sarma, Chief
Secretary Jitesh Khosla and
other heads of security forces in the state.
The Tuesday violence
has been blamed on a hardline faction of the National
Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
Chinese tr
oops holds milit
aryy drills in TTibe
Beijing, Dec 25: Chinese
troops have conducted military exercises at the foot of a
high altitude mountain in Tibet to test the endurance of
the soldiers and the efficacy
of equipments.
The military exercise was
held on December 20.
Photos posted on the
state-run People's Daily
showed the soldiers exercising with battle tanks and armoured vehicles at Tanggula located in the Nagqu prefecture which has a very
Xmas Football
Tourney ends
Jorethang, Dec 25: A football tournament organized to
mark the Christmas celebtation concluded at Maghi
Gaon play ground today. The
tournament was organized by
Sports Youth of Milan Sangh
Samaj (MSS), Jorethang,
South Sikkim. The tournament
began from December 13, the
finals of which was held to-
day. The final was played between Karfactar Boyz Club
and Zoomi ‘FC’ Jorethang.
KBC beat ZFC by (5-4) goals
in a tiebreaker.
Police Inspector, Santosh
Baniya was the special guest
during the programme accompanied by ASI, Harka
Singh Subba and Food Inspector, Robin Mukhia.
high elevation of 5,000meters high in the Tibetan
It's a great challenge for
soldiers to complete missions in the severe cold of a
5,000-metre-high plateau, the
Daily said in a brief write-up.
Fox bite
old lady
Namchi, Dec 23: A 85yr
elderly woman was attacked severely by a mad
fox at Dwareygaon,
Sumbuk Kartikey, South
Sikkim. Panchayat Suchitra Pradhan along with
some local residents
rushed to the spot and
sent the victim to Namchi Hospital.