People and place under


EDUCATION FOR ECONOMY FORMED NATIONALITY



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EDUCATION FOR ECONOMY FORMED NATIONALITY
For a people to develop, they must have constant recourse to their own history.To deny them the existence of this therefore has a purpose, for it makes them neutered objects on whose tabula rasa, that clean slate of mind, the text of the master race- cultural, economic, religious, and so on- can be inscribed.
Wole Soyinka
The economy of Darjeeling hills and its surrounding areas, except for Siliguri is dependent on Tea, Timber, Trade, indigenous type of agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and engagement in army, para-military, government departments as well as government and semi government schools. There was no dearth of opportunities in those sectors for the local people, but the share of the indigenous educated people in the administrative sphere is negligible after the departure of the British. From the later part of the seventies few local people, most of them belonging to scheduled tribe and scheduled caste would qualify in the examination conducted by West Bengal Public Service Commission as reflected in the administrative posts under the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police. The officials being duly qualified in state public service commission examination and having been thus appointed have no involvement in policy framing and decision making for the place and also for the people. It has been so arranged that they are entitled to work only as subordinates, but a person from Darjeeling has the opportunity to occupy the chair of the Chief Secretary in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Nepali speaking son of the soil is holding the post of Home Secretary of state government in North East, but in the place where they are born and brought up they are only entitled to work as subordinates. There is grim prospect of governmental service in Darjeeling hills in different departments, even in group D and other clerical posts. Hence, many educated youths had to go to Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal in search of services, but with the passage of time such opportunities are fading due to various factors in those lands. The youths of Darjeeling have no other option but to be counted as unemployeds. The situation has further worsened on account of the absence of technical and vocational institutions in Darjeeling hills. Today, the information technology has dominated every field of education, but in absence of initiative from the government, there is mushrooming of private centres to impart computer education in Darjeeling hills. The absence of government mechanism for verifying the credentials and credibility of the centre as well as fee structures makes computer education unaffordable for those students coming from lower income group. As the vocational and technical education is the need of the day the students belonging to below the poverty level {BPL} group constituting of majority in the overall population ratio have no choice but to pursue with the traditional education, which was left by the British and followed by the Government with certain alteration and modification. The present educated generation, however is the product of traditional education carried out and followed in the region by the Government and Private Institutions.

As "during the first three decades following the opening of the hill station, at least a few preliminary works in the field of education had thus been done by a private Moravian Mission and government officials. These pioneers found this region to be unexplored and virgin thrown open for them to begin the educational institutions of their own design and purpose; and to introduce curriculum of their own discretion" (Dewan). The purpose of the missionaries in Darjeeling was to spread Christianity by starting educational institution and educating the people. Thus, the establishment of educational institutions by the British government officials in Darjeeling for imparting education was aimed at producing numbers of indigenous people, who could help them in day to day administration being well versed in Reading, Writing and Arithmetic only. As the British had wanted to educate the local people so as to make them clerks, Munsis, Daffadars, Bearers etc. for carrying the administration with ease, but a good number of students surpassed the impression and expectation of the British by quality performances, in the field of education after acquiring higher degree that resulted the formation of a layer of literate society within a short span of time. A strong surge of socio-politico consciousness arose in the minds of those formed the literate groups that led to the perception of forming a developing Nepali Nationality in India. The perception of formation of nation state in Europe was discernible on the annihilation of feudalism. The annihilation of feudalism was followed by renaissance and modernism. In the same manner the destruction of natural resources for developmental activities and the spread of education are found to have caused expeditious formation of nationality consciousness among the inhabitants of Darjeeling. The consciousness thus sprang up to represent the sentiment, emotion, urges and aspiration of the developing Gorkha Community in India from Darjeeling in a conspicuous way. And gradually the preservation and development of Nepali Language in India as a national identity and formation of separate administrative arrangement for the Darjeeling District and its periphery where the Nepali speaking people were in dominance became twin political aspiration of the people of the region. It is the dynamism of human civilization that the start of education has gradually led to the development of nationality consciousness which in turn is found to have taken a concrete shape of seeking national and political identity. Similarly falling in the line of the dynamism of human's civilization, the education started in Darjeeling, with an allurement of economic benefit it moved ahead and formed nationality consciousness which ultimately has laid a solid foundation of nationality consciousness of Indian Gorkhas for seeking to fulfill their political aspiration in India from Darjeeling. Thus, the recognition of Nepali language and a homeland in India had been moving in the same motion as described in "the scientific law of conservation of mass of energy". The twin aspiration of the Nepali speaking Gorkhas in India is found to have been moving along tartan tracts in the manner described here under.


THE NEPALI LANGUAGE

AND THE COURSE CHARTED BY IT
Language, is more than simply a means of communication; it constitutes our world-view by cutting up and ordering reality into meaningful units. The meanings we attach to things tell us which values we consider are important and how we learn or choose to differentiate between superior or inferior qualities.
Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind.
In the history of British India, during the closure of the First World War Darjeeling was accorded approval and sanction for teaching of Nepali Language upto the graduation level of the then Calcutta University on 24th July, 1918. The permission for teaching of Nepali Language from Calcutta University was the recognition of Nepali Language as a developed language of the Gorkhas in India. Thus it is evident that the Nepali speaking people had grown into a compact nationality in India living in the region comprising Darjeeling Terai and Dooars. Language and literature is regarded as a standard yardstick for measuring the advancement, progress and prosperity of a nation hence, in the scale of the standard yardstick Nepali Language is seemed to have attained the calibrated mark employed by the then Calcutta University. It was a positive event for the people of the region as it led to the growth of educated and conscious layers for playing assertive role in the years to come. In carrying further the assignment thrust upon the literate people by destiny the establishment of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan had taken place on 25th May, 1924 in Darjeeling. It being the premier literary organisation of the Gorkhas in India, it has been carrying the task of publications of books on various discipline since inception till date along with literary activities of varied nature. The Nepali Sahitya Sammelan after passing many odds, dales and valleys, today stands as the oldest literary organisation of Gorkhas in India with its own building situated at Sonam Wangdi Road. But the progress and achievement carried forward by the organisation during the period of nearing a century in no case can be regarded as satisfactory. The pace with which the organisation had stridden in the beginning seems to have lost with the passing of time. The passing of time led to the change of generation that inevitably changed the body of the Nepali Sahitya Sammelan. The successive governing bodies for more than two decades seemed to have become static with interchange of portfolios for office bearers among themselves. Hence, the dynamism, with which the Nepali Sahitya Sammelan was required to move, is seen to have been stagnated. The stagnation to some extent could also be regarded as an impact of the political scenario prevailing in Darjeeling. On the contrary in Darjeeling the whims of political party instead of its ideology and philosophy swept a chunk of people associated with art and literature. The other remaining chunk sat on the fence as they were neither opposing nor supporting the whim that was thrust on them. In such situation the lone institution of the literary intellectuals of India operating in Darjeeling was mute and at times they adopted compromising posture with both the sides. As during the period, there was mounting political pressure on the institution for changing the name from Nepali Sahitya Sammelan to Gorkha Sahitya Sammelan from Gorkha National Liberation Front [GNLF], a political party of Darjeeling. At that time the body heading the institution was not unanimous for effecting a change of nomenclature at the behest of political party, but it was written in "DIYALO" by Ramlall Adhikari in favour of Gorkha Bhasa. The DIYALO is a journal published from time to time by Nepali Sahitya Sammelan as its mouthpiece. The controversy regarding the name of language had reached the highest pitch when the bust of poet BHANUBHAKTA ACHARYA, installed at Chowrastra Darjeeling by the founders of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan in 1949, was decapitated as a means adopted by the proponent of Gorkha Bhasa to subdue the lovers of Nepali Bhasa. But the act of decapitation of the statue boomeranged for the GNLF as it provided an opportunity of alignment towards the no- changer of language name. Thus, the pressure for change of nomenclature of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan was averted, but being relieved of unnecessary and unwanted pressure, the institution has not been able to rise from its normal routine work. In place of widening its perimeter of literary activities so as to accommodate the whole community, rather it shrunk and got confined to a group only, but the group also exhibited no cohesion as the allegation and counter allegation surfaced from 2004 onwards. Finally the internal push and pull became open to public. Thus, the premier literary organisation of today's twenty million Indian Gorkhas was seen passing through a critical hour and possibly a transitional phase. At the time of the founding of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan, there were limited numbers of persons acquiring higher academic degree and intellectuals associated with different disciplines of socio-cultural and educational field. Today after more than eight decades of establishment and functioning of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan, there is no dearth of learned intellectuals in the field of language, literature, arts, culture and academicians among the Gorkhas in India. Many of them have earned reputation, recognition and distinction through their contribution and dedication in the sphere of civil, military, games and sports, medical, science and technological advancement of the country.

The controversy of using Gorkha in place of Nepali for the name of language as raised by GNLF has been mentioned in the preceding paragraph. They wanted to impose their diktat with force, but the controversy of the Gorkha and Nepali had its origin from the developing stages of the language. In those days the language had different names such as Parbatiya Bhasa, Khash Bhasa, Gorkha Bhasa, Nepali Bhasa etc. but with a view to using one particular name of the language, the Nepali Sahitya Sammelan on 30th April, 1932 and 15th May, 1932 had sent letters to the then Calcutta University with the information of appropriateness and pertinence of calling the name of language as Nepali Language. The Calcutta University had promptly responded vide its letter dated 20th May, 1932 with consent to use Nepali against other names. Thus, the language of Gorkha living in India is found to have been officially christened as Nepali in the year 1932, but in spite of the controversy of nomenclature being put at rest in 1932, some writers and academicians from time to time had preferred and used Gorkha as the name of their language. However, numerically they were a minority as the overwhelming majority had become used and adapted to the official line. Hence, the nomenclature Nepali moved forward overriding other names and producing series of literatures covering the entire literary spectrum. The prosperity and development of Nepali Language takes stride uninterruptedly from Darjeeling. Thus in the early phase of the fourth decade of the nineteen century, Darjeeling is found to have become the capital of social, cultural, educational, literary and political activities of Gorkhas in India. The dawn of freedom of India and adoption of new constitution in 1950 was followed by the submission of a memorandum for the inclusion of Nepali language in the Eight Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The demand for inclusion of Nepali Language in the constitution was not made from Darjeeling. It was represented to the President of India on 14th January, 1956 by Anandsingh Thapa of Deharadun. At that time Anandsingh Thapa was the editor of a magazine named as JAGRAT GORKHA and the demand made by him was regarded as an effort of raising the level of awakening and inculcation of consciousness among the Nepali Community in India, but the demand on behalf of Nepali citizens of India put forward by Anandsingh Thapa, "the President referred the matter to the Chairman of the Official Languages Commission. Mr. B. G. Kher, the Chairman of the Commission wrote back to Mr. Thapa, et al, that since Nepal was a sovereign country, its language could not be included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. Kher's response, by its irrationality, caused much consternation, amazement and indignation among Nepali-speaking people to whom Mr. Thapa had sent copies of his letter to the President. They included government ministers, heads of political parties, MPs and MLAs. Kher's argument had to be shown up for what it was. In a rejoinder in February 1956, Thapa and friends wrote back that the language panel chief's case for not including Nepali language in the Constitution was myopic. They argued that if Mr. Kher's rationale was to be accepted then Urdu language should not have been given recognition either. It was after all the official language of a foreign country {i.e. Pakistan}. Mr. Thapa's letter and the reply he got from the government, which again spoke of an intransigent mind, led to the germination of a seed that would one day become the struggle for according national recognition to the Nepali language" ( L. B. RAI IN A MAGAZINE TITLED AS AUDAHA PUBLISHED BY THE DELHI NEPALI SAHITYA SANSKRITI MANCH IN MARCH, 2002). On 24th August 1956 in the Parliament of India the need for according recognition of Nepali language for the first time was raised by Satyendra Narayan Majumdar who was a member of Rajya Sabha from West Bengal working as a whole timer of Communist Party of India [CPI] in Darjeeling. Thus in the early phase of independent India the role and attitude of Communist for the people of Darjeeling looked considerate, but keeping a pace with bygone time it becomes easy to understand for the elite intelligentsia that the considerate attitude was nothing more than crocodile tears. The Congress Government of West Bengal under the Chief Minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy on 19th March, 1958 moved a resolution stating that---" This Assembly is of opinion that in pursuance of Article 245 of the Constitution of India, Legislation should immediately be undertaken for adopting BENGALI as the language to be used with immediate effect for all official and administrative purposes in the state of West Bengal." The placement of the resolution in the Assembly of West Bengal follows the attempt for removal of Nepali from the degree level by the Calcutta University ignoring its earlier permission and recognition of Nepali Language for study up to the graduation level. The placement of the resolution and the stand of Calcutta University explicitly unfolded the attitude and approach of the advanced and developed community towards the developing minority community of the state dominantly inhabitating sizable areas. Undermining all aspect of the people of the region, a bill known as West Bengal Language Act 1961 was placed in the West Bengal Assembly for discussion and approval of the house. While moving the Bill on 23rd February, 1961 the Chief Minister Dr. B.C. Roy had appraised the impracticality of making Nepali as official Language. In support of his argument a distorted figure of 1951 census report pertaining to Darjeeling was used as his gambit. As per the distorted report the percentage of Nepali Speaking population was stated to be 19.96 numbering the total population 88,958 only. But in the preceding census the Nepali speaking people was shown as ninety-eight percent. The distortion was that the Chhettri, Brahmin, Kami, Damai, and Sarki only were counted as Nepali Speaking people in Darjeeling. The bulk of the Nepali Speaking population such as Tamang, Limbu, Gurung, Rai, Sherpa, Lepcha and others whose ligua franca was Nepali were not counted as Nepali Speaking Community on the ground of having their own dialects. The distortion of the census figure was a subtle endeavour by the government of West Bengal for denying the permissible right of Nepali Community for obtaining status of official language that had developed used and was spoken by an overwhelming majority of population of the region. It was the first easily discernible political, administrative and diplomatic design in independent India against the minority community of Darjeeling by the majority and ruling community who linguistically, culturally, ethnically were a different community within West Bengal. Thus, it was a grand design of splitting a compact Nepali Community on the line of sectarian/casteism on the basis of their language and dialects solely for the narrow political interest of the ruling community of the state. During the period, the Chief Minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was regarded as a formidable chief minister of the country and also had the recognition as ROYAL BENGAL TIGER. Hence the Royal Bengal Tiger seemed to be confident of sailing the move unchallenged, but the people of Darjeeling having perceived the subtle move of depriving and splitting the unity of Nepali community came forward against the move. The social bodies of the different communities of Indian Gorkhas represented to the government in writing that mentioned Nepali as their Mother Tongue. Thus the resentment and dissatisfaction born in the minds of the people against the subtle design of the government of Dr. B.C. Roy was built up into a movement and the movement was competently led by Messrs. Ratanlall Brahmin, Indra Bahadur Rai and Ganeshlall Subba. Of the three, Ratanlall Brahmin was the founder member of the Communist Party of India in Darjeeling, Indra Bahadur Rai was writer and intellectual of wide repute and Ganeshlall Subba was known as the first learned and intellectual to have joined the Communist Party from the Nepali Community of India. The movement under the sagacious leadership of the Trio ultimately yielded result without any loss of life and property. On 25th September, 1961 sanction and approval of Nepali as second official language was accorded in the state of West Bengal under the provision of West Bengal Language Act, 1961 passed by the State Assembly for its applicability in administrative purposes in the subdivisions of Darjeeling hills. It was the first time that the people of Darjeeling had been able to foil the design of the government through united protest and movement. But the act of distortion of the census figure and attempt to mislead the people by the Chief Minister in person, in the highest forum of the state did not become an issue of debate and discussion in West Bengal Assembly, where three Nepali Speaking Members were like a tiny drop in the ocean of overwhelming Bengali speaking members. Had the distortion of the census figure been related to the big and advanced community, then the political fate of the Chief Minister would have been decided through a PRIVILEGED MOTION IN THE HOUSE, but the issue in question was not the subject related to the fate and emotion of Bengali community. Hence, it is felt by ruling community that the granting of official status to Nepali language in the state of West Bengal as an act of their magnanimity, not the granting of legitimate right of national minority for getting official status for their language. But the snatching of the official status by Nepali Language in the three subdivisions of Darjeeling provided a fillip for taking further the demand of constitutional recognition of the language. The political parties, social organisations, literate circle and the public representatives were seen to have been making a persistent demand to the Government of India for the constitutional recognition of Nepali Language till 1971 not unitedly but in their own way. In the same year, Ratanlall Brahmin of the Communist Party of India {Marxists} was elected to the Lok Sabha from Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency. On being an honourable member of parliament from Darjeeling, Ratanlall Brahmin made an attempt of taking the oath of his membership of Parliament in Nepali Language on 22nd March, 1971, but the then Speaker of Lok Sabha Dr. G.S. Dhillon did not permit him for taking the oath of office of his membership of Parliament in his own mother tongue. After a lapse of three months of the denial of taking the oath in Nepali, the same Ratanlall Brahmin was allowed on 29th June, 1971 to speak in Nepali on the Budget Debate of the Information Ministry as per the provision of the article 120 of Indian Constitution. On entry to the Parliament of India he was debarred from taking oath in Nepali in the house but three months later he was allowed to speak in Nepali. Thus, being able to speak in Nepali for the first time in the history of Indian Parliament he had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India on 22nd December, 1971 with SIGNATURES OF SEVENTY FOUR MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT demanding constitutional recognition of Nepali language. On the expiry of the fateful year 1971 THE ALL INDIA NEPALI BHASA SAMITY {AINBS} is found to have been organised by the literate, enlightened and intellectual circle of Darjeeling on 31st January, 1972 with the sole purpose of taking the cause of the recognition of Nepali Language in the Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution. The following years in the history of the Indian Gorkhas, an organisation of ALL INDIA LEVEL NAMED, All India Nepali Bhasa Samity with active involvement and participation of broad section of people took a formidable shape. Prior to All India Nepali Bhasa Samity {AINBS} a political organisation called All India Gorkhas League had an all India character but the same was on the waning tract when AINBS was formed. Thus, the All India Nepali Bhasa Samity became an umbrella organisation for the Nepali Speaking Citizens of India irrespective of social, cultural and political affiliations. The All India Nepali Bhasa Samity as its maiden endeavour prepared a BOOKLET containing a report of the origin of Nepali Language, its history, and a short list of publications of dictionary, grammar, periodicals and books in Nepali Language. The copies of the very booklet were sent to the President, Vice-president, Prime-minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Governors and Chief Ministers of states, the Chairman of National Sahitya Academy, its members and leading citizens of India urging them for the recognition of Nepali Language under the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The preparation of the BOOKLET in support of recognition of Nepali language was the first document of its kind for the purpose. This submission of representation to the highest authorities of Land for the recognition of Nepali Language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India could be regarded a historic event as prior to the event the demand was not raised with supporting documents that contained facts and figures. In spite of containing the requisite fact and figure for the recognition of Nepali language as per the provision of the Indian Constitution, the case being political in nature, there was a normal practice of the authorities to evade from taking note of the demand. Hence, the PADAYARTA, SEMINAR, DEPUTATION and submission of MEMORANDA to the concerned authorities from the time of formation of AINBS till the beginning of the ninth decades of twentieth century gave no fruit EXCEPT RECEIVING ASSURANCES FROM THE AUTHORITIES INCLUDING THE PRIME-MINISTER OF INDIA. On 11th and 12th JUNE, 1990 a conference on the issue of the recognition of Nepali Language under the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution was organised at the initiative and arrangement of the then Chief Minister of Sikkim, Narbahadur Bhandari. A galaxy of writers, artists, intellectuals, leaders of political parties and lovers of Nepali Language from across the country numbering more than thousand heads gathered in GANGTOK, the capital city of Sikkim. The jamboree and the two day conclave was the first of its kind in the socio-political history of the Gorkhas in India. After two days of deliberation a fifty-one member committee under the presidentship of the Chief Minister Narbahadur Bhandari was constituted and the body thus formed was christened as BHARATIYA NEPALI RASTRIYA PARISHAD {BNRP}. The body so formed in its endeavour to apprise the political, administrative and diplomatic class of Delhi, the necessity and justification for the recognition of Nepali Language produced a document titled AN INTRODUCTION TO NEPALI LANGUAGE AND A CASE FOR ITS CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION. The body being fully equipped with intellectual faculty, facts and figures required for recognition of Nepali language, left no stone unturned in making persistent foray in the power lobby of the capital. In the effort of penetrating into the barrier of Delhi for acquainting them the need and timely recognition of Nepali Language, the contribution of the renowned historian Dr. Kumar Pradhan was topmost along with host of lovers of Nepali Language. Further the political and diplomatic exercises of BNRP were propelled with intensity by the dynamic activities of the erstwhile members of the Parliament namely DILKUMARI BHANDARI, the member of Lok Sabha from Sikkim and R. B. RAI, the member of Rajya Sabha from Darjeeling, West Bengal as they carried hectic business in the respective house of the parliament for enlisting the support of the members of the house belonging to different national, regional political parties and also independent members. As a result of the joint ventures of the Duo Parliamentarians inside the house and persistent persuasion by the BNRP from outside, the recognition of Nepali Language became a possibility in the beginning of the year 1992. But in an informal discussion among R.B. RAI, A MEMBER OF RAJYA SABHA belonging to CPM, and two of his party colleagues R.P. PAKHRIN and D.S. BOMJAN it was perceived that mere complacency on the possibility would not yield a positive result unless a momentum is kept alive for exerting requisite pressure from Darjeeling for the recognition of Nepali Language at the time of the Monsoon Session, 1992 of the Parliament. Hence, as a means of mounting pressure, an urgent need to hold a Seminar for the recognition of Nepali Language by intellectuals, writers, political parties and the lovers of Nepali Language in Darjeeling was felt as a booster to the diplomatic foray of BNRP and the lobbying exercise in Parliament by DILKUMARI BHANDARI and R.B. RAI. Thus, in order to organise the seminar the two members of the erstwhile Communist Party of India {Marxists} Darjeeling District committee, carried out the task of consultation and interaction within and outside party. The interaction finally resulted in convening a meeting for the purpose, by the Information and Cultural Department of Darjeeling District on 14th June, 1992 at HAYDEN HALL. The meeting was attended by writers, artists, intellectuals, members and leaders of political parties and social organisations. The meeting was presided over by the topmost intellectual of the Nepali Literary World, Indra Bahadur Rai. After a long deliberation, the meeting decided on favour of holding a Seminar so as to urge the Government of India for the Recognition of Nepali Language during the current session of the Parliament. While taking into account the prevailing socio-political scenario of Darjeeling and the financial and technical aspects related to the proposed seminar, the meeting unanimously favoured and resolved to urge the Information and Cultural Department Government of West Bengal for holding the seminar. Further the meeting felt that the seminar for the recognition of Nepali language organised by the Government of West Bengal could carry much more weight and message in comparison to the seminar organised by lovers of Nepali language. Hence, a committee with Indra Bahadur Rai as President, the Deputy Director, Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal, as Secretary and the rest who had attended the meeting of the day, as members for holding the seminar in Darjeeling was formed. The committee thus formed put itself in motion and decided to hold the seminar on 5th July, 1992 by inviting the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Sikkim along with the writers, artists, leaders of political parties, intellectuals and lovers of Nepali Language residing across the length and breath of India. While the monsoon session of Parliament was on and things seemed to be moving on a fast tract as the Home Ministry Government of India convened an All Party Meeting on 17th June, 1992 on the issue of the recognition of Language. The All Party Meeting decided for the inclusion of MANIPURI, KONKANI and NEPALI Languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. In Darjeeling the committee, constituted for holding Seminar, named as SANGOSTY COMMITTEE for recognition of Nepali Language, held its meeting on 19th June, 1992 in the Conference Hall of Darjeeling Municipality. The meeting at the outset unanimously adopted a resolution so as to thank the Government of India for holding the All Party Meeting on 17th June, 1992 by the Home Ministry and its decision to accord recognition to Nepali language along with other two languages. And after having a thorough discussion on the different aspects of the proposed seminar and also having learnt the inability of the two Chief Ministers for attending the seminar on 5th July, 1992 it was resolved to hold the same on 11th July, 1992 as the date seemed to be convenient and suitable to both the Chief Ministers. The next meeting of the SANGOSTY COMMITTEE took place on 21 June, 1992 in the office of the Information and Cultural Department, Darjeeling. The Deputy Director of the Department, on the basis of the communication received from the government of West Bengal, informed the meeting, the willingness of the government for providing necessary fund for holding the seminar. He further communicated the desire of the government for holding the seminar in the Durbar Hall, Rajbhawn Darjeeling by sending the invitation cards bearing the signature of the Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal instead of the Sangosty Committee. The members present opined and felt that the holding of Seminar and its success could be far more important than printing the name of Sangosty Committee in the Invitation Card. Hence, all the members present in that meeting expressed their individual and joint commitment for the participation and involvement for the making the seminar a success.

The enthusiastic message of solidarity and commitment of the lovers of Nepali Language for making the seminar a success spread like wild fire in Darjeeling, but with an intention of dousing the fire from burning the heart of the people and party who were against the recognition of Nepali Language, A POSTER APPEARED IN DARJEELING TOWN ON 29TH AND 30TH JUNE, 1992 CONTINUOUSLY FOR TWO DAYS CONTAINING A THREAT THAT WAS WRITTEN AS "NO GORKHA WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE IF A DECAPITATED HEAD OF PEOPLE IS HANGED AT CHOWK BAZAR FOR MAKING THE DEMAND OF RECOGNITION OF NEPALI LANGUAGE "…JANTA.



It was a brazen threat and designs to bully the lovers of Nepali Language so as to dissuade them from organising the seminar for providing support to the recognition of the Nepali Language under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. In the beginning, it was given to understand to the proposed Sangosty Committee, that the Government of West Bengal was keenly prepared and determined to hold the Seminar. But there was no reaction from the government and its district administration, when the posters that contained threat of severe nature to the people for involving in the seminar, were pasted in the heart of town. The dual standard of the government became a riddle to the lovers who were aspiring for the recognition of Nepali Language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. It seemed that the government and its district administration were muted by the posters. Hence, there was a strong distaste against the Government of West Bengal for its pretence of the unawareness of the posterings. Gradually the Government of West Bengal and its Darjeeling administration having sensed the mood of the mass; the police removed the posters on 1st July, 1992. The members of the Sangosty Committee gathered in the office of the District Information and Cultural Department, Government of West Bengal on 2nd June, 1992 for a meeting. In the meeting under the presidentship of Indra Bahadur Rai, the members present made a scathing attack against the incompetence and lethargic role of the Darjeeling District Administration towards the individual, groups and organisation that had pasted posters for creating panic. But the meeting reiterated its earlier decision and stuck to its gun for holding seminar on 11th July 92. The issue of recognition of Nepali Language under the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution gradually took shape into a political cauldron in Darjeeling, as Gorkha National Liberation Front {GNLF} the erstwhile ruling party of an autonomous body that is Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council [DGHC] under West Bengal came forward by calling general strike from 10 to 12 July, 1992 against the recognition of Nepali language and also making a demand for inclusion of Gorkha Language in the Constitution instead of Nepali. The political import of the calling for three days strike by the GNLF was to sabotage the seminar of the Sangosty Committee scheduled to be started on 11th July, 1992. The Postering with dire threat and the calling of three days strike clearly drew a line to separate the pro-recognition and anti-recognition group or camp of Nepali Language in Darjeeling from the same community and speaking the same language. Thus, in the history of THIRTY SIX YEARS OF STRUGGLE for the recognition of Nepali Language, a battle field was created in Darjeeling in a subtle design. The situation thus thrust upon the lovers of Nepali language for constitutional recognition of their mother tongue in Darjeeling pushed them between the devil and deep sea. The holding of seminar as a means to exert pressure for the recognition of Nepali Language would tantamount to a confrontation of fratricidal nature, the caller of the three days strike being armed with the administrative power and strength of an Autonomous Body under West Bengal seemed determined and bent upon for carrying on their proposed programme for the observance of three days general strike, the Sangosty Committee held a meeting on 6th July, 1992 in the office of Darjeeling District Information and Cultural Department for taking stock of the situation. The meeting under the presidentship of Indra Bahadur Rai after threadbare discussion on the situation arising out of three days bandh called by GNLF against the recognition of Nepali Language, upheld the earlier decision of holding the seminar and decided to carry on the same but without being provoked by the activities of the anti recognition group of Nepali language. After the meeting a separate and exclusive consultation was held among R.B. RAI, R.P. PAKHRIN and D.S. BOMJAN in the CPM Office for making and ensuring active involvement of political parties, social organisations and literary bodies for joint and united move for the recognition of Nepali language. And accordingly a meeting of NEPALI BHASA SAMITY, NEPALI SAHITYA SAMMELAN, GORKHA DUKKHA NIVARAK SAMMELAN, UTTAR BENGAL PARISAD that was headed by Surja Narayan Pradhan, a disillusioned GNLF Leader, Bharatiya Yuva Parisad headed by Dhurba Subba a youth leader of Gorkha League, and CPM was convened and held on 6th July 92 in the Library Room of Gorkha Dukha Nivarak Sammelan, Darjeeling at 3.30 P.M. under the presidentship of Dr. Jagat Chhetree. The newly formed Gorkha Democratic Front {GDF}, a political party, was absent in that meeting in spite of being informed to attend the meeting. But the GDF President Madan Tamang had informed D.S. BOMJAN of his support for holding the seminar for the recognition of Nepali Language and the same was communicated in the meeting. The meeting unanimously resolved for observance of twelve hours strike on 8th July, 1992 in Darjeeling District for pressing the demand for the recognition of Nepali Language and also for providing an outlet to the lovers of Nepali Language as an expression of solidarity for the cause of Nepali Language. In the meeting, being fully aware of the inability of causing bandh in Siliguri, the responsibility of making the bandh a success in Siliguri was entrusted to CPM. On behalf of the CPM Ramasankar Prasad and Tulsi Bhattarai, the two responsible District Committee members of CPM, heartily accepted the responsibility of making the bandh a success in Siliguri for the recognition of Nepali Language in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

After the meeting, the CPM office at Darjeeling received a telephonic advice and suggestion from the then Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee for deferring the seminar scheduled to be held on 11th July, 1992. On receipt of the telephonic directive from the Minister an informal meeting took place in presence of Ananda Pathak, Sangdopal Lepcha, Ramashankar Prasad, Tulsi Bhattarai, R.B. Rai, R.P. Pakhrin and D.S. Bomjan in CPM office Darjeeling. The informal meeting felt that it was impossible to defer the seminar without getting some positive signal for the recognition of Nepali Language. The feelings as well as the decision of observing a twelve hours Darjeeling District Bandh were communicated to the Minister over phone from CPM Office, Darjeeling.



There is always a vast distance between Darjeeling and Kolkata. And normally the distance is regarded as a cause of gap of understanding the extreme north by the rulers from the Writers' of Kolkata. But on 6th July, 1992 the distance was shortened, because on that day non acceptance of advice of the Information Minister was followed by telephonic conversation with the CPM office Darjeeling by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu informing the details of talk held by him with the Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao over phone for the recognition of Nepali Language and also consultation held with the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Narbahadur Bhandari for deferring the scheduled seminar. Thus the CPM office being informed and advised by the Chief Minister and the highest leader of the party had no other option but to take steps as suggested. Hence, the next day the President of Sangosty Committee reached the CPM office as requested and on being informed of the development, told Ananda Pathak, R. B. Rai, R. P. Pakhrin and D.S. Bomjan, the information which he had already received from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, for deferring the seminar. After sharing the information among the five present in CPM office, they immediately decided to hold a formal meeting of Sangosty Committee in the office of Information and Cultural Department at 4 P.M. The meeting was attended by Indra Bahadur Rai, Prem Allay, J.D.S. Rai, Ganesh Pradhan, Sudarshan Sharma, Amar Lama, Suryanarayan Pradhan, Dhurba Subba, Ratan Mothay, Professor Rajnarayan Pradhan, Prem Pradhan, and officials of Information and Cultural Department and D.S. Bomjan. The president of the Sangosty Committee Indra Bahadur Rai apprised the meeting about the positive development in Delhi for the recognition of Nepali Language and the persistent efforts made by Kolkata and Gangtok in the direction for achieving the recognition as posted to him. The president was very cautious and tactful in dealing with the agenda and also apprising the members present in the meeting of the redundancy of organising the seminar at that juncture. But the members present were unanimous for not being complacent on assurances only and struck to observing the BANDH of 8th July, 1992 as an exercise of drawing the attention of the government on the issue for immediate redressal of the demand for constitutional recognition of Nepali language.

The members set themselves in motion after the dispersal of the meeting for making the Darjeeling District Bandh a success. However that very evening, the news bulletin on radio and the Doordarshan through its TV channel made a broadcast of the possibility of constitutional recognition for MANIPURI, KONKANI and NEPALI in that very monsoon session of Parliament. The news bulletin was an invigorating soup and elixir and also a moral boosting for the lovers of Nepali language. The next day, Sangosty Committee, being morally stimulated and highly optimistic, assembled in the library room of GDNS at 9.30 A.M. for review of the situation and the effect of the Darjeeling District Bandh. The bandh in Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Kurseong was total but there was no bandh in Siliguri. The responsibility accepted by Ramasankar Prasad and Tulsi Bhattarai, the two responsible leaders of CPM, for making the bandh in Siliguri a success turned out to be a political bluff for the Sangosty Committee. The assembled members of the Sangosty Committee taking into account the whole scenario and in anticipation to the news bulletin of the previous evening preferred to withdraw the Darjeeling District Bandh from 11 AM of the very day, but the success of the Bandh in the entire hill areas of Darjeeling District and the broadcasting of the news for the recognition of Nepali language during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament proved to be a Toxin in the mindset of GNLF. They had been publicly demanding the constitutional recognition of GORKHA BHASA as against Nepali. In order to highlight the demand, the GNLF was supposed to hold a rally and public meeting on 8th July 92 at Chowk Bazar Darjeeling but on that day NECESSARY PERMISSION FROM THE DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION for holding public meeting at Chowk Bazar had already been obtained by BHARATIYA YUVA PARISAD. Thus after the withdrawal of Darjeeling District Bandh at 11 A.M, it became clear that the administration had granted permission for holding public meeting to BHARATIYA YUVA PARISAD and GNLF also on the same day at the same time and at the same venue for making and opposing the demand of the constitutional recognition of Nepali language. The leaders of different political parties assembled in the GDNS Library apprehending the possibility of imminent clash informed the authorities for ensuring peace and upholding the right of the first recipient of the permission for holding public meeting on that day. The administration advised them for maintaining peace with calm so as to allow the authorityto ensure and protect the democratic right of the people and the concerned party. The administration with the help of police force made an effort for blockading the entry of the GNLF supporters and leaders into the town and the venue of the meeting for an hour. But after an hour, the administrative blockade withdrew, the GNLF supporters entered the town as victor and held the public meeting forcefully occupying the venue and debarring the Bharatiya Yuva Parisad from holding the public meeting. The unpleasant incident of that day and the callousness on the part of the Darjeeling District Administration was a Defeat and Betrayal of the Democratic Force in the small town of Darjeeling which prided to be a part of the largest Democracy of the world. On that very night of the betrayal of Democracy, one of the active and conscious workers for the recognition of Nepali Language camp from Kalimpong, Santosh Karki was murdered. The demand and movement of the constitutional recognition of Nepali language was started in the year 1956 by Anand Singh Thapa of Dehradun after submitting a memorandum to the then President of India for the purpose. Since then the demand had been passing ups and downs and arriving at the juncture of the possibility of recognition and Santosh Karki was made the FIRST MARTYR for the cause of the recognition of Nepali language. As per the information gathered from reliable sources is very kith and kin were involved in the murder for reason best known to them. Kalimpong observed total strike on 9th July, 1992 against the murder of Santosh Karki but Darjeeling and Kurseong were only startled by the murder. On the same day the GNLF held a public meeting in Darjeeling town without obtaining requisite permission from the administration for publicity of the scheduled three day bandh which was to begin from 10th July, 1992 on the demand of the recognition of Gorkha Bhasa and in opposition to the recognition of Nepali language. The passivity and indifferent attitude of the law enforcing agencies against the high-handedness of GNLF and allowing them to violate the established rules and norms was brought to the notice of the District Administration by the Sangosty Committee. The deteriorating law and order situation on account of sheer negligence of the concerned authority was also communicated to Ashok Bhattacharjee who was the Minister from Darjeeling District at Kolkata over phone from CPM Office, Darjeeling. The Minister gave surety to the Sangosty Committee through D.S. Bomjan for taking stern steps and measures in maintaining the law and order. The first day of the Bandh passed without any incident but in the early morning of 11th July, 1992 the report of the DECAPITATION OF THE BUST OF NATIONAL POET OF NEPALI WORLD BHANU BHAKTA ACHARYA SPREAD LIKE WILD FIRE. THE BUST WAS INSTALLED AT CHOWRASTA DARJEELING IN 1949, BY THE NEPALI SAHITYA SAMMELAN. AND THE STATUE WAS FIRST OF ITS KIND IN THE NEPALI WORLD HAVING AN AESTHETIC VALUE OF MORE THAN RUPEES ONE CRORE. A little later it was also learnt and confirmed the carrying out of the same type of vandalism to the statue of Bhanubhakta Acharya at Kurseong. On being informed of the heinous act of decapitation of the busts of the national poet at Darjeeling and Kurseong, the writers, artists, poets, representatives of political parties and the members of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan, except GNLF, held a meeting in "SUDHAPA HALL" on 11th July, 1992 at 12 P.M. and condemned the act of vandalism in strongest possible words. There after, a small team made a verbal representation to the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police at DIB Office, Darjeeling. Both of them assured the team of taking strong action and apprehending the culprit by that night, but in contradiction to the assurance given by the law enforcing agencies no action whatsoever was taken, even after a lapse of one and a half decades. The culprits however roam the streets as innocent as ever.

In Darjeeling, a situation was created in which the lovers of Nepali Language and the people aspiring for its constitutional recognition had to take a defensive position against the political, organisation, diplomatic and also physical assault on them from GNLF. Besides GNLF, THERE WAS ANOTHER GROUP THAT WAS ALSO ACTIVE FROM JUNE 1992 FOR MAKING DEMAND OF GORKHA/NEPALI LANGUAGE RECOGNITION IN THE EIGHTH SCHEDULE OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION. The protagonists of the demand were Swarup Upadhyaya, Padambahadur Chavan from Assam, Ashok Kumar Subba and Ram Moktan from Sikkim and Darjeeling respectively. This group of four people was not lagging behind in pulling the leg of the Sangosty Committee by raising a demand of recognition of Nepali/Gorkha Bhasa and they were known as OBLIQUE PARTY. They even ventured to organise a Seminar in Delhi in support of their demand but it was their ill luck that the attempt turned into a fiasco in spite of spending material and physical resources and strength.



Darjeeling witnessed the month of July, 1992 as a season of language wrangling of a very serious nature between the people and a group of people speaking the same language following the same culture and tradition, but the rank and file, who were pushed into the grave squabble in the name of language, were not aware of the systematic political remote organism that was set in motion. At the end of July 1992, a report indicating possibility of constitutional recognition of Manipuri and Konkani only by dropping the case of Nepali appeared in the Statesman daily on 29th July, 1992 as a press statement of Dhurba Subba and Suryanarayan Pradhan was communicated to them by the Information and Cultural Department Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya, Government of West Bengal. The lovers of Nepali Language in Darjeeling were surprised when they read the press report coming from two local boys instead of the Minister himself. The option exercised by the Minister for flashing the news of the possibility of the dropping the case of the constitutional recognition of Nepali Language in that very session of Parliament through the two local boys belonging to the pro-Nepali group was a creation of a conundrum, but it was not very difficult to understand its implication for people involved in the movement for the recognition of Nepali Language. The information was believed to have got divulged out of the heart of the Minister while holding talk inadvertently and the same took a shape of hot news when it went to the press from the two boys. A thin layer of suspicion was in pervasion in the heart of hearts of the lovers of Nepali Language regarding the seriousness and sincerity of the ruling party CPM of West Bengal, for the cause of the recognition of Nepali Language at that opportune moment. The reason for building the suspicion was that there was a wide spread talk in the circle of GNLF of the concrete assurance received by Subash Ghisingh, the President of GNLF, and also the Chairman of the DGHC, from the Chief Minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu for not pushing the case of Nepali Language. In support of the wide spread talk copies of a D.O. letter dated 3rd July, 1991 to Subash Ghising from the Chief Minister Jyoti Basu was distributed throughout the DGHC areas. The letter in between the lines contained as "WE HAD MUTUALLY AGREED THAT THE LANGUAGE ISSUE COULD NOT BE AND SHOULD NOT BE RAISED, EVER." Thus the circulation of the copies of the D.O. Letter revealed that there was an understanding and agreement between the Chief Minister Jyoti Basu and the DGHC Chairman Subash Ghisingh for not pushing the case of the recognition of Nepali Language, but in spite of having that sort of understanding, the Government under Jyoti Basu tactfully pretended of taking the cause for Nepali Language by camouflaging their insincerity with utmost care. As it is said that the time is the greatest healer and the very healer time gradually led the circumstances and event to unfold itself of the insincerity.

In spite of unfolding the role of the higher leadership of CPM at Kolkota, the leaders of the party from Darjeeling were very serious in their endeavour and persuasion for the recognition of Nepali language. They left no stone unturned in exercising the political and organisational pressures on the different level of the CPM. On the strength of party organisation and also in the capacity as a member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, R.B. Rai moved from pillar to post in Delhi and finally succeeded in taking a delegation of the members of Parliament comprising Somnath Chatterjee, Saifudin Choudhury from CPM, Indrajit Gupta, Geeta Mukherjee from CPI, Rambilash Paswan from Janta Dal, Chitta Basu from Forward Block and also joined by Dilkumari Bhandari, Sikkim to the Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and the Home Minister S.B. CHAUHAN on 30th July, 1992. The delegation, as usual obtained assurance for the recognition of Nepali alongwith Manipuri and Konkani from both the Prime-Minister and Home Minister, but in spite of assurance from the highest authority there was every possibility of change or conversion of the decision as in the House the Member of Parliament from Darjeeling was Indrajit Khullar, a journalist from Delhi elected on the backing and support of GNLF on Congress Ticket. He was very actively blockading the recognition of Nepali Language, and making every possible effort for the recognition of GORKHA BHASA without knowing the history, background, evolution, progress, status and existence of Nepali Language. Even though he did not have the slightest clue to either utter or pronounce a single word of Nepali Language, he was entrusted with the task of obstructing the recognition of Nepali Language and to make effort for advocating the recognition of Gorkha Bhasa as a pay back of his gratitude for the support he had received from GNLF. R.B. RAI being aware of the fact and also realising the scant and half hearted support from CPM came to Darjeeling and met with D.S. BOMJAN the President of the cancelled Sangosty Committee Indra Bahadur Rai, the members of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan and erstwhile Gorkha Democratic Front President with its members for making a constant pressure from Darjeeling till the recognition of Nepali Language was obtained in the very session of Parliament. As expressed and desired by R.B. RAI for building pressure, the representatives of political parties, writers, artists, poets and the members of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan held a meeting in the hall of Nepali Sahitya Sammelan on 4th August, 1992. The meeting decided to observe twelve hours BANDH in West Bengal and Sikkim on 13th August, 1992 as a litmus test of the support for the recognition of Nepali Language from the ruling parties of those two states. In order to proceed ahead, it was agreed to send a delegation to Alimuddin Street, Kolkota being led by Ananda Pathak, a CPM Leader of Darjeeling, with a request for observing one Day Bandh in Bengal for the cause of Nepali Language. Further the meeting decided to send Ratan Mothay and Sudarshan Sharma to Gangtok with a benign request of that very meeting for the observance of one Day Bandh on 13th August, 1992 on the demand of the constitutional recognition of Nepali Language during the ongoing session of Parliament. As decided Ratan Mothay and Sudarshan Sharma, while intending to leave for Gangtok on 5th August, 1992, encountered a problem of non-plying of vehicles from Darjeeling to Gangtok via Teesta on account of 108 hours strike called by GNLF in Kalimpong from that very day. Keeping in view the urgency of the matter, the CPM Office, Darjeeling made a verbal request to the District Administration for providing a vehicle from the Pool under Administrative disposal, but the civil and police authorities in spite of enjoying a tradition of making arrangement of vehicles for the officials and their own relatives coming from Kolkota and other places to Darjeeling for holidaying, refused to provide a vehicle as requested for reasons known to them only. However, a lover of Nepali Language and aspirant for its recognition provided his personal vehicle for visiting Gangtok for the purpose.

In Delhi, Dil Kumari Bhandari and R.B. Rai were in full swing in pursuing the matter of the constitutional recognition of Nepali Language with the resources at their command. As an endeavour Dil Kumari Bhandari had placed A PRIVATE MEMBER’s BILL FOR THE RECOGNITION OF NEPALI LANGUAGE IN LOK SABHA. The Bill was supposed to come for discussion on 7th August, 1992. But on that day the Minister of State for Home Affairs, M.M. JACOB announced of moving a Government Bill for the recognition of languages in that very Session of Parliament for which he asked Dil Kumari Bhandari for withdrawing her Private Member Bill. Accordingly she withdrew her Bill expressing thanks to the Minister and the members of the House for the assurance of recognition of Nepali Language. The assurance from the Minister and the withdrawal of the Private Member Bill by Dil Kumari Bhandari naturally led to the cancellation of the proposed Bandh of Bengal and Sikkim on 13th August, 1992. The following day of the assurance for the recognition of Nepali Language, became a week of merriment for the lovers of Nepali Language and the aspirants for its constitutional recognition not only in Darjeeling but throughout India. The week passed smoothly with complacency and the Parliament declared holiday from 13th to 16th of August, 1992 for Independence Day Celebration. After the opening of Parliament, while making enquiry Dil Kumari Bhandari learnt from the Home Minister, the possibility of the recognition of Manipuri and Konkani only during the ongoing session of Parliament which was scheduled to end on 20th August, 1992 and she passed the information to R.B. Rai over phone in the evening of 18th August, 1992. The message of the possibility of dropping the case of the recognition of Nepali Language immediately pushed R.B. Rai to meet the Deputy Chief whip of his party in Parliament Sukomal Sen for expressing his anguish and resentment against the reported possibility of keeping aside the case of Nepali Language for its recognition. Further he made a hurricane move from place to place for expressing his anger and resentment on one hand for not taking the matter seriously by the stalwart members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and on the other making benign request to them namely Saifuddin Choudhury, CPM M.P, Indrajit Gupta and Geeta Mukherjee both CPI M.P, Chitta Basu Forward Block M.P and finally Somnath Chatterjee, the Parliamentary Leader of CPM, for taking immediate and serious steps so that the case of Nepali Language for its recognition could be ensured. The stalwart members of the both houses of the Parliament assured him of raising the issue of Nepali Language for its recognition in the morning of 19th August, 1992 in both Houses of Parliament. The next day, as assured, after the opening of Lok Sabha Session, Somnath Chatterjee raised the matter of delay dallying posture of the Government for the recognition of Languages and non-fulfillment of the assurances given by the Prime Minister and Home Minister for introduction of bill for the recognition of languages as agreed in All Party Meeting. He was supported by former Prime Minister V.P. Singh, L.K. Advani and Indrajit Gupta. Thus uproar took place in the house on the question of recognition of languages and at the very moment Indrajit Khullar, the M.P. from Darjeeling while opposing the recognition of Nepali Language called it a FOREIGN LANGUAGE. On hearing the statement of Indrajit Khullar, Dil Kumari Bhandari went to the well in front of the speaker and threatened to observe an indefinite hunger strike. The Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Malini Bhattacharjee rushed to assuage Dil Kumari Bhandari. The situation was tackled and calmed down by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister of State R. Kumaramangalam who assured the Lok Sabha for placing a Bill for the recognition of Languages by tomorrow. Correspondingly, similar situation had developed in the Rajya Sabha also when Johan F. Fernandez, Mohammed Salim, Souren Bhattacherjee and Kamal Singh rose and made demand for the recognition of Languages as agreed in the All Party Meeting.

In the CPM District Secretariat Meeting held on 15th August, 1992 in Siliguri, the Minister and the party secretariat member Ashok Bhattacharjee had told the impossibility of the recognition of languages in that very Session of Parliament. He also placed the advice and suggestion tendered by West Bengal CPM State Committee for Darjeeling to participate in the strike of 20th August, 1992 called by Left Front against the industrial policy pursued by Government of India as a PROTEST FOR NOT GETTING THE RECOGNITION OF NEPALI LANGUAGE. Further, it was also discussed in the meeting about the recognition of Nepali Language being impossible as learnt by CPM leader of Sikkim State, Anjan Upadhyaya from Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechuri both Polit Bureau Members of CPM Central Committee. Thus, in Darjeeling, there was smoke of doubt and suspicion regarding the recognition of Nepali Language, but, the people and the protagonists of Nepali language were not inclined to observe the strike thrust upon them. Hence, the lovers of Nepali Language and the political parties in place of strike decided to hold a public meeting on 20th August, 1992 at Gitangay Dara Chowk Bazar, Darjeeling.



Thus, a dense fog of uncertainty and improbability had covered the circle of protagonists of Nepali Language in Darjeeling. On the other hand the GNLF, being fattened with administrative power and organisational strength, was making hue and cry for recognition of Gorkha Bhasa, along with threat and intimidation to the people and individuals who were associated with the camp for demanding the recognition of Nepali Language. It had become clear that the struggle for inclusion of Nepali Language in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution at the decisive hour was set to encounter political and diplomatic exercise in Delhi and physical fight in Darjeeling among people who spoke the same language. It was a result of unseen subtle and meticulous move played from elsewhere. Knowing fully well the pros and cons involved in making the demand for recognition of Nepali Language, the protagonist of Nepali Bhasa, while preparing for holding the public meeting on 20th August, 1992 at Chowk Bazar Gitangay Dara, received the message of recognition of Nepali Language along with Manipuri and Konkani over phone from Delhi. The news of the recognition of Nepali Language spread like a wild conflagration in and around Darjeeling town. The news caused a flutter and euphoria that brought waves of victory and merriment in the hearts of the protagonists and lovers of Nepali Language. Fence-sitters too jumped into the wagon of victory that carried the whole of Darjeeling town. The bursting of crackers, distribution of sweets and exchange of greetings between each other was the scene at CHOWK BAZAR. The proposed protest meeting, intended to be held on 20th August 1992 at Chowk Bazar Gitangay Dara by the lovers of Nepali Language and its supporters against the non-inclusion of their language in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution, turned into a Victory Public Meeting for the recognition of Nepali Language after thirty six years of struggle. The leaders of political parties namely All India Gorkha League, Indian National Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxists), erstwhile Pranta Parisad, Gorkha Democratic Front and Uttar Bangal Parishad were seated at Gitangay Dara and they were delivering speeches in turn. It was an unexpectedly big and jubilant gathering but the mass and the speakers were not agitated and excited. There was total normalcy as the people were enjoying the sunny weather of that Thursday and listening to the history of the struggle pursued by Nepali Language for getting a place in the Constitution of India. When the meeting was nearing its end, all of a sudden, a convoy of six vehicles with GNLF flags and with microphones fitted on one of the vehicles, boarded by erstwhile councillors of DGHC, arrived in front of the venue of the public meeting at Chowk Bazar and started shouting from the mike "NEPALI LANGUAGE IS FOREIGN LANGUAGE, THE PROTAGONISTS OF NEPALI LANGUAGE GO TO NEPAL, NO BODY WILL USE NEPALI LANGUAGE". The halting of six vehicles and shouting from the mike at the venue of the public meeting was like a bolt from the blue that instantaneously created a tense situation. But "Nepali Bhasa Jindabad, Nepali Bhasa Amar Rahosh, Nepali Bhasa Birodhi Go Back" a counter slogan from the mike of the public meeting was also made and the public too carried the same slogan in unison repeatedly. Thus, the public stood undaunted extending their unflinching loyalty and support to the Nepali Language and seeing the mood of the people A. K. Gupta, the then Additional Superintendent of Police, present at the venue of public meeting, took out his service revolver and pointing towards the sky asked the intruder GNLF Councillors to leave the place immediately and they went back via Victoria Hospital Road. The humiliating retreat of the councillors of GNLF facilitated the smooth and peaceful conclusion of the historic public meeting in the annals of three decades struggle for the recognition of Nepali Language in Independent India. During the thirty six years of struggle for a place in the Constitution of India, Nepali Language was made to encounter diplomatic and administrative impediments one after another for which several people from different walks of lives are found to have made physical, material and intellectual contribution as according to their mite. The impediments were even from the highest political-administrative authority also. The Prime Minister Morarji Desai, during his visit to Darjeeling in 1979, had stated the impossibility of the recognition of Nepali Language on account of it being a foreign language. Further he had written on 8th June, 1979 to Smt. Maya Devi Chhettri former member of Rajya Sabha, on the demand of the recognition of Nepali Language as "I cannot agree with you regarding the inclusion of Nepali Language in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution as one of the Indian languages. The origin of Nepali language is Nepal which is an independent country. It is not an Indian language. It is true that there are people who speak Nepali Language in some of the Northern regions contiguous to Nepal but that does not mean that Nepali should be accorded the same status as any of the Indian Language. There are several Indian Languages which are spoken in defined areas by a number of people but these have not been included in the 8th Schedule. All over the world, in border areas, people do migrate to settle down in neighbouring countries but nowhere has such a demand been made for recognition of their language in another country. Those Gorkhas who have settled down in India should come out of their shell, mix with the people and learn the local Language and the national Language in addition to their own Language if they wish to work out their destiny alongwith the people of India as Indian citizens. A large number of people in Nepal do in fact speak Hindi but will the Nepal Government consider according the same status to Hindi Language in Nepal!" Smt. Maya Devi Chhettri was the member of the Upper House of Indian Parliament when Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister of India and she had a direct access with him, but her inability of taking the advantage of the accessibility in that opportune hour with the Prime Minister for the larger interest of her community could be termed a sordid event of her life as she got the curtly worded letter from Morarji Desai, the Prime-Minister of India. The letter is seen as a note of suspicion on the genuineness of the citizenship of Indian Gorkhas even also of the addressee who was the Ex-Member of Parliament. But several stalwart members of Parliament not belonging to Indian Gorkhas community were kind and sympathetic to the issue for a place in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution for Nepali language. A comprehensive account of the struggle encompassing thirty six years fight for the recognition of Nepali Language still has not been written in any of the Indian Languages. The narration made as above is nothing but some flashes of the events at the decisive hours of the inclusion of Nepali Language in the holiest book of the greatest democratic institution of the world. Thus the achievement of the recognition of Nepali Language in no case should be construed as a history of successful movement fought and carried only by political parties, social organisation, writers, artists and intellectuals from Darjeeling only. The language movement, started from the middle of the fifth decade of the twentieth century, had gained its momentum from the beginning of seventh decade and since then several known and unknown souls are found to have made immense physical, material and intellectual sacrifice and contribution for the cause of recognition of Nepali Language. The acknowledgment and appreciation of those sacrifices and contributions in writing in the form of historical account seemed to have been ignored by writers, intellectuals, literary personalities and laureates belonging to Nepali nationals of Indian origin. It is seen that either a sort of inertness or an indolent mindset infested with indifference to the glorious achievement seemed to have weighed down the creamy intelligentsia of the community for writing a comprehensive history of the thirty six years of struggle that accorded linguistic identity to the Gorkhas numbering approximately twenty million in India. The national identity of Gorkhas as Indian accorded and granted by recognition of their language is the fruit of struggle of three and half decades. And in achieving it a fratricidal war was thrust upon but it is only the patience and forbearance of one side, a war of far reaching consequences was avoided. Still arrangement and provision for speaking in Nepali and simultaneous translation in other languages in Parliament and state Legislatures is in dire need.



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