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ECONOMIC POTENTIALITIES OF DARJEELING
Darjeeling is endowed with tropical to sub-tropical, to Alpine climate and temperature that gives scope for wide-ranging agricultural and non-agricultural as well as industrial productions. But the exploitation of the prevalent situation in the interest of the people and the region has not been carried with technical support, administrative backing and political determination. In the modern parlance of development among the three ingredients mentioned above the political determination is a dominant factor that alone decides the course to be followed for development activities. Thus for the development of any region or a country, the political vision accompanied by administrative backing and translating them into reality has to be done with technical support ensuring the participation and involvement of people. And it is the task generally expected to be taken and performed by the Leader. Hence the role of the leader seems indispensable for the development of a place and its inhabitants. As leadership, “is not about making emotional speeches and leading demonstrations. Leadership involves trust. And only those inspire trust, who has the ability to subordinate their ego to the greater good." (Khera). Further the "leadership is not only demonstrated in the battle field or in times of crisis but in every deed" {Ibid}. But in respect of Darjeeling it is only the assurances that were being provided in abundance by the leadership for years together. The assurance they had been giving never got exhausted, as it flowed continuously from their honeyed tongues. As they do not stop of offering assurances despite their inability of enlisting political support, administrative backing and arranging technical know-how in the right direction for the development of the region.

Keeping in view the aspiration of the people for the socio-economic development and the unmindful neglect of the same for years together, the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists have published in 2000 a Booklet captioned as Economic Viability of the proposed State of Gorkhaland. The booklet in a layman's point of view contains several suggestions and proposals for the socio-economic development of the region. The areas and avenues referred to in the booklet do not seem impossible for planning and execution of the same, for the upliftment of the region.



It is an accepted fact that Darjeeling is known in the world for its TEA, with matchless flavour and taste. It is not only Tea but almost all the products from the soil of Darjeeling which have some peculiar, exceptional tang, flavour and extreme compatibility to the sense of taste and smell. The oranges of Darjeeling are regarded as the sweetest in comparison to production from other regions of India. Similarly, Maize, Potatoes and several other vegetable products contain taste and scent as true products of nature. And, it is on account of the region being nurtured and cared by the bracing climate and atmosphere which is continuously released and regulated from the majestic KANCHANJUNGA. But the yield rate of the different crops in hilly region of Darjeeling is decidedly lower than the plains. In spite of low rate of yield the products containing ingredients of superior quality could not reach the market and become a mere product for domestic consumption only on account of various reasons and factors. "India is the largest producer of fruits in the world. However, more than 30 per cent of the fruits is wasted as it cannot reach the market and there is limited scope for processing it. In the US, 70 per cent of the fruit produced is processed, in Malaysia 83 per cent. In India this is a mere 2 percent {Kalam}. But in that very two per cent Darjeeling has no place. "South Africa has half the world's gold mine and substantial portions of the earth's diamonds. However, despite this, Africa remains poor today because the resources are not developed to create higher value products within the country" {Ibid}. And "Israel, a country with practically no rain, which is today a leader in many agricultural products and milk production {Ibid}". Thus the use and exploitation of the available resources in the optimum level alone will decide and ensure the prosperity of the people. But Darjeeling enjoying wide possibility for creation of higher valued products in the field of agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, pisciculture, apiculture etc. has remained virgin for their production and marketing as ever due to absence of technical and professional guidance to the people of the region.

There is immense potentiality for the development of the region in almost all fields. If it is carried with sincerity backed by political determination, it could turn into a self-sufficient and richest region in the country. Darjeeling supports approximately 400 flowering plant species, including 28 rhododendrons and 322 orchids. Fifty-three of the orchid species are listed as rare or endangered. At least 144 of the plant species are endemic to the eastern Himalayas of which 29 are endemic to Darjeeling. One hundred and thirty one species of mammals are recorded in Darjeeling, including the red panda, Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard, tiger, Himalayan thar, ghoral, gaur, and pangolin. Early records list 550 bird species. At least 125 freshwater fish and 51 reptile and 25 amphibian species are also recorded from this area" (Fareedi/Lepcha). It is mentioned in the Ramayana that Laxman was brought to sense with the treatment of an herb called 'Sanjeevani' that was procured from the Himalayan region by Hanuman. And Darjeeling being at the lap of the Himalaya, the Kanchanjunga is certainly the house of the several 'Sanjeevani' which is needed to be explored, extracted and marketed. On the emergence of JHARKHAND as a new state, the Science and Technology Council of the newly born State made Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the President of India as its Patron for the exploration and development of herbal drugs industry. In the capacity of the Patron Dr. Kalam writes as "this was a new experiment for the state and also for the mission, but one that, given our experience in mission management, offers tremendous scope for Jharkhand to enter three areas in a big way- floriculture, herbs and herbal products." {Ignited Minds page 161 Para two}. But in comparison of Jharkhand with Darjeeling, it is far richer in flora and fauna which are yet to be identified and exploited for the economic support of the people of the region and also for the welfare of the humanity at large. Darjeeling hill region's water resources, if harnessed and exploited, could generate from 3000 to 4000 megawatt electricity as estimated by experts. As it is learnt that the CHUKA HYDEL PROJECT of Bhutan generating 300 megawatts only sells 1500 million units to India has been earning 30 per cent of its revenue from the sale. The water resources is the only avenue where the investors have a guarantee of return with profit and in the context of globalization, the perennial river, streams and rivulet of Darjeeling surely could be a gold mine. But it requires an ambitious action plan from the administration with political determination for the implementation of the same so as to get positive result. As the renowned scientist and the President of the largest democracy of the world, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is of the opinion that "thinking is the capital, enterprise is the way, hard work is the solution" and further he is seen to have stated as "why cannot water from the Brahmaputra, which is in flood much of the time, be diverted to Rajasthan or Tamil Nadu which are starved of water?" And in the same manner the thinking for the socio-economic development of Darjeeling could turn into an enterprise and the same could get administrative approval and support for execution with sincerity then certainly the region would become a small part of heaven in India inhabitated by self reliant people. But the experiences gained through years being a part of Bengal, Darjeeling and its people have learnt to live in wintry political climate with deprivation, exploitation and suppression. However, the present and following generations of Darjeeling have urges, will and the aspiration for becoming the smallest member in the VISION 2020 as contemplated by His Excellency Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM.




SUPPRESSION OF ASPIRATIONS
Thequestion which the colonized peoples have asked themselves has been ‘What must be done to bring about another Dien Bien Phu? How can we manage it?’ It modifies the attitude of the colonialists who become aware of manifold Dien bien Phus. This is why a veritable panic takes hold of the colonialist government in turn. Their purpose is to capture the vanguard, to turn the movement of liberation towards the right and to disarm the people.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth.
The people having different language, culture, tradition and mindset from the rest of West Bengal, have been persistently carrying a struggle for separation of the region, so as to decide the political fate by themselves. The political parties, social organisation, intellectuals and people from all walks of life, belonging to Nepali Speaking Gorkha Community are aspiring for having their own Homeland in India. It is also a naked truth that there are more than ninety per cent people in Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars region who are found to be in favour of separation from Bengal for the formation of a Separate State of their own in India. But in spite of having such an overwhelming support for separation of the region from West Bengal, it has not been successful. But in opposition, West Bengal has been successful for clinging to the region through political jugglery backed by administrative might. Thus the issue of homeland for Indian Gorkhas has been made an odd fight between the advanced, developed and majority Bengali community ruling the state and a suppressed and ruled national minority that is Nepali Gorkhali Community. And in the fight, the provision of the Indian Constitution for the formation of a separate State for the Gorkhas seemed to have been locked by a key of 'extra constitutional' PRECEDENCE OF CLEARANCE FROM THE STATE GOVERNMENT, FOR INITIATING THE PROCESS FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE DEMAND. As for the formation of new state there is provision in the Indian constitution under article 3 which states that :- "Formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states- Parliament may by law –(A) form a new state by separation of territory from any state or by uniting two or more states or parts of states of by uniting any territory to a part of any state; (B) increase the area of any state; (C) diminish the area of any state; (D) alter the boundaries of any state; (E) alter the name of any state"(Constitution of India). Thus as per the provision of the Indian Constitution the formation of a separate state for the Indian Gorkhas comprising Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars region could easily be formed by the Parliament. As for the formation of a Homeland for the Indian Gorkhas dominantly inhabiting the region, it seems that there is no constitutional difficulty and legal hurdles as it is explicitly clear in the Constitution of India under article 3 as quoted above. But the successive union governments of India have FOLLOWED THE PRECEDENCE FOR THE FORMATION OF A NEW STATE ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF CONCERNED STATE GOVERNMENT ONLY. Thus, it has been made an administrative precedent for obtaining a clearance or consent or recommendation from the concerned state before the introduction of a bill for creation of a new state, which is not required and obligatory also as per the provision of the Article 3 of the Constitution. Hence the precedent, as long as it remains in force the aspiration of having a separate state for the Indian Gorkhas comprising Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars, stands as an obstacle and hurdle, because expecting a magnanimity of recommendation from West Bengal for their compatriot belonging to another ethnic group would be like praying for mercy to the butcher by an innocent lamb.

But the history of different communities is replete with the struggles for setting free from the political and administrative bondages. As no ruler, whatsoever be his might, has become successful in keeping under subjugation, the people who had aspired to have a system of self rule as guaranteed by democratic forms and norms. Similarly, West Bengal could carry its rule in the region on some generation for some time. But there is gradual growth of disenchantment against the rule of Bengal over the region after the birth of every generation. And the manifestation of disillusionment and dissatisfaction against the rule of West Bengal has been on the rise. But, as of now, the same has not taken any ugly shape except some occurrences during the agitation of 1986-88. And it seemed that no lesson has been taken from the happenings of the period except intensifying the manipulative device and mechanism. The device and manipulative technique employed by West Bengal for sustaining their rule against the wishes of the people has been pushing the aspiration of Darjeeling towards the WALL and on reaching the WALL an explosion of frustration might take place. Thus, the socio-political and economical activities carried by the successive ruling parties and the neglect, deprivation, exploitation as well as the unattended political aspiration of the region is building into a large cauldron that is likely to head for a chaos.



The political parties, social organisation, saner and democratic minded people are seriously concerned to avert the explosion of the political cauldron that is warming with speed. They are very apprehensive of the possibility of the fluid political situation to be hijacked by some ultra and subversive elements. If in case they do so, the cauldron in all likely manners would burst. Therefore, the entry of such forces could be detrimental for the people and the country as a whole. Hence several political, social organisations and individuals are taking every possible initiative of making foray into the political Durbar of Delhi. And, as of late, BHARATIYA GORKHA PARISANGH, a conglomerate apex body of political, social organisations, trade unions and prominent individuals belonging to various walks of life, has been making every effort to apprise and convince THE GOVERNMENT OF THE NATION on the urgency and necessity of HOMELAND for INDIAN NEPALESE. And, besides taking up the case of Homeland for Indian Gorkhas, the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh as an apex body of Nepali Speaking Indian Gorkhas is making every endeavour for working in the interest related to socio-political and economic cause of Indian Gorkhas residing from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Gujarat to Assam. In the earlier days, All India Gorkha League was the ray of hope for the Indian Gorkhas across the country but its decimation and confinement to Darjeeling Hills, the Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Bhasa Samity had filled up the vacuum. But the disappearance of Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Bhasa Samity along with the scheduling of Nepali Language in the Eight Schedule of Indian constitution in 1992, a dire need of an All India Organisation for the Indian Gorkhas, was felt across the length and breath of India by the Nepali Speaking Gorkha. And there was really a vacuum in all India level especially for the Indian Gorkhas for intervening into the day to day socio-political activities of Indian Gorkhas. Thus there is a high hope and expectation in the minds of Nepali Speaking Indian Gorkha across the country for taking a workable and effective shape by the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh. Hence a great and challenging responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of Smt. Dilkumari Bhandari, the President, Sri C.K. Shrestha, the working President and Sri Sukman Moktan, the General Secretary of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh. In the joint mission of the trio the role and contribution of Rev. Enosdas Pradhan of the Church of Northern India, Delhi needs to be recorded in the history of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh. During a short span of time it is stated that Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh has succeeded in organising state Committee in Twenty Two States of India. But it is certain that the inability for carrying the Herculean task ahead by the entrusted leadership would be counted as a failure and inability of the Indian Gorkhas as a whole. Hence, it seems that on realising the enormousness of the burden to be carried, they are seen engaged in the task leaving family attachments for the time-being. But the result still has to be achieved. And the endeavor made by them is being closely observed by the saner and committed individuals and organisations from across the length and breath of India. This is because in the past the Indian Gorkhas were being deceived and cheated for the cause of Homeland. Having learnt their lesson in a bitter way, they are reminded of the adge 'once beaten twice shy'. In reality they are in no frame of mind, to either compromise or be cheated and betrayed for the second time.

There is a strong feeling in the minds of Indian Gorkhas that in each and every decisive hour of their socio-political safeguard, they had been laid down by the unscrupulous leadership. The unflinching support and loyalty rendered to the Gorkha National Liberation Front from across the country for the cause of a Homeland of Indian Gorkhas and the betrayal of the same by its leadership has become a malignant sore in the hearts of people. Thus, the sting of betrayal inflicted in the hearts of the people by the Gorkhaland Agitation led by Gorkha National Liberation Front in 1986-88 has had a nightmarish effect. As an outcome of the effect, the sincere and saner leadership, political parties and individuals have not been able to take the people out of the grip of that nightmare for reposing confidence in their hearts. Hence, a habit of watch and see and the major chunk of people prefering to be fence sitter has been the socio-political scenario of Darjeeling hills and Dooars.



There are several people who leave no stone unturned in blaming the general mass for their inertness and apathy towards the socio- political scenario prevalent in Darjeeling hills. As the people are facing hardships, they do not react even if they do not get water supply for several days, there is no reaction from them for not having regular supply of ration; the absence of civic amenities has also been tolerated with meekness. There are several thousand people engaged by Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council on contract basis as contract employees, without any sort of security for services rendered by them, but there is no resentment. The corruptions and spending of several thousands crore of Rupees by DGHC in partisan manner has been dissolved in the thick of household gossip without a protest. The existence and functioning of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council has caused little benefit but immense damage in the socio-cultural arena of the Darjeeling hills, and very few are worried over it, and the rest are indifferent. The unmindful and illegal constructions and unplanned development has caused unspeakable damages to the beauty of the queen of the hills. It has become a matter of nobody's concern. A perceptible change to the magnitude of heaven and earth in the beauty, glamour and vivacity of Darjeeling town has taken place. Darjeeling, the summer capital of British India, once renowned as the Queen of Hills in the world is gradually becoming the most congested and vulnerable hill town in the world. But in the midst of such negative attributions, Darjeeling hill is believed to be the largest consumer of electronic goods, mobile phones and household decorative and luxurious items. Keeping aside the worries of deplorable and wretched condition of rural roads, the latest vehicles released by the different automobile companies have reached the remotest villages of Darjeeling hills. In comparison to the rural West Bengal the lives, living condition, socio-educational standard of Darjeeling as whole is seen well ahead because of the inherent quality of industriousness and entrepreneurship of the people of Darjeeling in various fields. Very recently people in the Khashmal areas are found to have taken interest in the cultivation and sale of green tea leaves and also manually prepared teas. And it is seen that entrepreneur tea producers of Khashmal areas have produced much more green tea leaves than the experienced tea planters of established tea gardens. The professionals were out-witted by the novice in the cultivation and production of tea leaves. Thus, the senior planters and experienced tea producers are perplexed and perturbed by the ingenuity of the people of the rural areas. The cultivation of tea and production of green leaves by the very few people of Khashmal areas is of recent endeavour. Similarly the people in the different areas of Darjeeling hills are found to have surpassed and excelled in the culture, growth, breeding, development and production of quality ORCHID and SQUASH without any assistance, help, and guidance from the governments in any forms. The Nepali speaking people are fond of having a taste of living in a decent, furnished house with blooming flowers irrespective of financial condition and social status. Thus the blooming of flowers, of different seasons around the house of Nepali speaking people has become their inherent aesthetic trait irrespective of the size of the land and the house they occupy and financial condition under which they are living. In acknowledgment of the exceptional dedication and solemnity of the people many writers and poets are found to have described the Nepali speaking people as ORCHID BLOSSOMED IN CREVICE OF BIG ROCK BEING BLESSED BY NATURE.


PRASHANT PHENOMENON
Overturning colonialism, then…is also a process of overturning the dominant ways of seeing the world, and representing reality in ways which do not replicate colonialist values.

Edward W. Said, Orientalism.


The SONY Entertainment Television Channel had been holding a programme named Indian Idol since 2005, for finding the best singer. There were nearly twenty-eight thousand entrants from across the country in its consecutively held third programme in 2007. The process of selection from such a staggeringly large number of contestants was really strenuous and cumbersome. But a team of four Judges did their job with meticulous care exhibiting their efficiency of highest order. Finally thirteen contestants were filtered through the ear, eye, mouth, mind, sense and consciousness of the Judges they were focussed in the Gala Round. From this Gala Round the viewers were given the right to send votes through mobile and other telephone devices in the form of SMS to a number specified by SONY, to his/her favourite contestant. The voting system was the process of elimination of contestant who got the least number of votes. The process of elimination took several weeks and finally Amit Paul from Meghalaya and Prashant Tamang of West Bengal working in Kolkata Police from Darjeeling remained in the fray. And before the final showdown for the crown of Indian Idol the two contestants were made to visit their respective home town by SONY. Amit Paul on his visit to Shillong was greeted by the State Chief Minister D.T. Lapang in a ceremony by conferring the title of Grand Ambassador for Peace from Meghalaya and declared the support of state Government for winning the Crown of Indian Idol by arranging Free Telephone Booth for voting their Grand Ambassador Amit Paul. But Prashant Tamang despite of not having Government programme was greeted by a massive number of his fans and supporters throughout the journey from NJP to Darjeeling a distance of ninety kilometres. The people had thought and expected that Government of West Bengal too would do something for Prashant because he was from Kolkata Police and the State Chief Minister himself being the Minister-in-charge of the Police Department. But the Government remained silent and the print and electronic media were directly and indirectly raising support in favour of Amit Paul. The Times of India wrote "voting for their Indian Idol, Amit enjoys a clear edge over Prashant". The Statesman also wrote "while Prashant is from Darjeeling, the other finalist Amit Paul has close bonds with Siliguri. This foot hill town is where Amit's ancestral house is". It was also reported in the local dailies published from Siliguri the desire and wish expressed in favour of Amit Paul for his victory by the Sabhadihipati of Siliguri Mahakuma Parisad and the responsible Minister Ashok Bhattacharjee who was also from Siliguri. There was display of life size Photo, Banner, Festoon of Amit Paul in some of the places of Siliguri as a part of campaign for his victory. But the campaign had taken a low profile when Amit Paul was shown wearing Khasi National Dress in a state sponsored programme for his campaign as a contestant for Indian Idol from Meghalaya. However the whispering campaign was carried in favour of Amit Paul, till the voting line was kept open. In this manner the people of Siliguri metropolitan city were insinuated to favour Amit Paul, while voting for their Indian Idol. Further, to discourage Prashant fans, the Statesman Daily publishing from Siliguri had reported "however some locals alleged that Prashant's fans in Shillong the hometown of Amit, are not being allowed to use public booths and recharge their vouchers to vote for him." The reportage in the contest for the Crown of Indian Idol, Prashant Tamang seemed to have been placed in the corner. However, crushing those sorts of rumours under foot on the day of the final contest on 14th September, 2007 Prashant did fare better than Amit Paul, who even forgot some lines of the song while singing. The attempt of the Judge Alisha Chenoy to cover up the mistake of Amit Paul was vehemently opposed by another Judge- Anu Mallik who highly commended Prashant for his performance. The Voting Lines for choosing the Indian Idol were kept open till 23rd September, 2007 evening 6 P.M.

When Prashant Tamang was selected along with Amit Paul of Shillong and Emon Chatterjee of Kolkata as the Top Three of Indian Idol, the formation of Prashant Fans' Club in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Siliguri and other parts of India had taken place. The placement of Prashant Tamang in the final stage of Indian Idol contest by defeating Emon Chatterjee prompted the Fans' club and supporters of Prashant Tamang to collect donation for sending votes by organising free booths at a war footing. The mother and sister of Prashant Tamang realising the futility of expecting support and help from the Government of West Bengal and the Caretaker Chairman, Subash Ghising of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, reached the house of the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling of Sikkim to plead for his help and obtained positive assurance for taking steps for the victory of Prashant Tamang. Thus within a very short period the people of Darjeeling Hills, Siliguri, Dooars, Sikkim, the different states of Indian Union and also the Nepali Speaking Gorkha Community staying in different countries lent moral and financial support and help for ensuring victory of Prashant Tamang in the Indian Idol contest. The gradual improvement from the entry in the Gala Round culminated into excellent singing and performance on the day of the finals brought victory for Prashant Tamang with overwhelming votes which was declared by organising a Grand Finale in Delhi on 23rd September, 2007.



The Indian Gorkhas for years had been suffering a severe dearth of recognition and appreciation at the National Level and the emergence of Prashant Tamang on the stage of Indian Idol acted as a catalyst for the formation and establishment of unprecedented national unity amongst the Nepali speaking Gorkhas of the country. The exceptional and historical surge for emotional bonding to unite together, the spirits of the Indian Gorkhas, had sent the message of enthusiasm and elation to the Nepali speaking Gorkhas living across the length and breadth of the Globe. All these different factors led to the landslide victory of Prashant Tamang and its resultant impact was not simply like a wave, but a Tsunami of merriment. The epicentre of Tsunami like merriments was Sikkim and Darjeeling, where very peaceful, orderly and disciplined rallies and public meetings were on. While there was a flow of gaiety and laughter of merriment a comment as "Nepaliko Indian Idol bana diya ab hamara Ghar, Mahalla ka Chowkidari Kaun Karega" (A Nepali has been made an Indian Idol now who will guard our house and establishment) from Nitin a Radio Jockey of Superhits 93.5 RED FM came as an unexpected shot on the head and heart of Indian Gorkhas. The statement was the expression of feeling towards Indian Gorkhas by a section of people of the country and they were unsportsmanly against accepting the verdict of the people and judges for conferment of Indian Idol title on Prashant Tamang. As Sarmi Das Gupta, Ankita Chakrovarty, Kalyan Ghosh and Kisholoy Roy had written letters to the Editors, the letters were published on 27th September, 2007 in The Telegraph published from Siliguri and Kolkata. In the letters, they had expressed the wrong choice of Indian Idol by a flawed process. But in the choice of preceding two Indian Idols the same process was followed and that was not flawed whereas in the choice of Prashant Tamang who defeated a boy belonging to their community the process became faulty. Furthermore it was seen that in the corresponding period, similar type of Reality Show Programme was organised by Zee TV popularly known as SA-RE-GA-MA-PA. The programme was concluded on 13th October, 2007 several days after the declaration of the result of Indian Idol Contest. In SA-RE-GA-MA-PA Programme Anik Dhar of Kolkata became champion by defeating Amanat Ali of Pakistan and Raj Hussain of Rajasthan by securing 3,65,85,134 (Three Crore Sixty five Lakh Eighty five Thousand One Hundred and thirty four) votes through SMS. The victory of Anik Dhar was not considered a wrong choice through a flawed process and all were seen happy. But it was only during the victory of Prashant Tamang, the yardstick was termed as flawed. Hence, it is nothing, but a bad carpenter complaining about his tools, because they had expected the victory of their man, otherwise they would have written the letters when the competition was on. Even during the Gala Round in one of the episodes Prashant Tamang was shown as a Chowkidar and the same was vehemently protested by the fans of Prasant Tamang and the protest forced the SONY for an apology through Prashant Tamang. But in case of the comment from Nitin, a Radio Jockey of Superhits 93.5 RED FM, the burning of an effigy of Nitin was followed by a general strike on 26th September, 2007 in Darjeeling. In Siliguri Prashant Fans' Club and several social bodies and organisations had held a mammoth but SILENT PROCESSION in protest against the statement of Nitin and the RED FM on 28th September, 2007. But an unfortunate event bearing a nature of communal clash took place on that day. The daily Telegraph publishing from Siliguri had mentioned the RUMOURS namely {a} "a pregnant woman kicked near hospital, {b} Man prevented from buying medicine, beaten up and {c} Bleeding patient beaten up" as the causes of sordid clashes that engulfed Siliguri Town for nine hours. But the three rumours were not the causes, as some of the processionists are found to have claimed that there was provocations for several times and ultimately some female members of the procession were heckled by the provocateurs and the intervention by the male members resulted in assault on them in an organised way. The English daily, The Statesman while reporting the cause of the event had also carried a report that "they are also expressing an acute dislike for reality shows on TV and SMS votings to elect a champion, which to many is inciting regional sentiment at a time when the world has shrunk into a global village". If the argument of inciting regional sentiment as stated by the daily is to be accepted then Siliguri is a subdivision of Darjeeling District and the Indian Idol Champion Prashant Tamang was from Darjeeling working in Police Department in the State of West Bengal, In the context the question of 'acute dislike' and SMS voting appears to be a hollow. Hence, the reportings of the Dailies published from Siliguri, seemed to have been lacking the essential ingredient of the actual happenings on the day but were tilting the balance to justify their logic. However, the happening could be a planned handy work of communal and anti-social elements as the pelting of stones, bricks and bottles were not only from the mob but even from the top of the houses and buildings that was seen by some of the processionists. Hence, many were of the opinion that the happening was a fit case for investigation by an independent agency, so as to ascertain the fact for avoidance of the repetition in future. The happening ought to have been condemned from all quarters, as no sane people can tolerate the ruining of communal harmony by a few anti-social elements. Many people were of the belief that the ugly event would not have taken place, had there been congratulatory statement from the Chief Minister or any of the agency of the Government of West Bengal immediately after the declaration of result of Indian Idol. But the ugly event took place and an ineffective police arrangement turned into an opportunity for the communalist and anti-social elements to fan the passion of communalism, which enabled them for gathering an excited mob that kept several processionists in confinement with repeated attempts of mass thrashing them within the premises of Siliguri court for several hours. And, much later in order to rescue them for their safety the S.S.B. was pressed into service. Many saner and sober people were of the opinion that the ugly event would not have grown to the size of that alarming proportion, had the police taken prompt, decisive and effective action, at the very moment of the happenings. But the sordid incident took place within the premises of the administrative headquarters of Siliguri and very near the Intelligence Office. A section of the processionists were kept in captivity within the compound of Siliguri Court for nine hours by the agitated mob. The same mob from time- to- time was engaged in the exercise of passing derogatory statements on their Indian Idol Victor, with an aim to taunt and demean the victory.

But in the midst of such blooming orchids like Prashant Tamang and many others, the people of Darjeeling have been conditioned, while receiving the dead bodies of their kith and kin who had been martyred in the battlefield after every skirmish. Yet, they have gone on to defend the country's international border with utmost diligence, valour and courage. Similarly, they are no less while dealing with the insurgents and are ever prepared to shed their blood for the cuase of mother INDIA. There are several memorials erected in and around the length and breath of Darjeeling hills and the country to perpetuate the memory of martyrs from the days of undeclared KARGIL WAR. The names of the martyrs belonging to Sino-India and Indo- Pak wars are also found engraved on the Martyrs Column erected at Batasay near Ghoom Pahar in memory of those brave sons of mother India from Darjeeling. But the generations of the martyrs as of today, have not been able to hold the Post of Governors, Diplomats and Ministers in the Union Cabinet of India. And in the field of Games and Sports, there are players of national level but their number stands negligible. In the same way very few artists and singers have become able in carving a niche in the respective sphere. Even in today's most lucrative and a guaranteed earnings related game is CRICKET. But the Nepali speaking young sportsmen have not adopted and adapted to the mode of popular and flourishing game of cricket. But the sons and daughters of nature being blessed by the majestic Kanchanjunga are forced to lead a life under constant negligence, humiliation and time and again haunted by the strong sense of provocation, and contempt.






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