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Gorkhaland Total Bandh Enters Fourth Month As Leaders Duck

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Gorkhaland Total Bandh Enters Fourth Month As Leaders Duck

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By:  Saeed Naqvi

Darjeeling, Thimpu, Gangtok, Siliguri are a tight cluster on any map even in a large Atlas. Because of the recent standoff with China over Doklam, the strategic importance of the area, the saliency of the Siliguri corridor, cannot be overlooked. Is New Delhi taking an interest in the demand for a Gorkha homeland from this perspective?

My taxi has to wait outside Kurseong Toy Train station, on the way from Siliguri to Darjeeling, because a march by agitating Gorkha women will not let us pass. Violence in this sensitive area could be very unsettling. Angry women bang on the bonnet of my car and jeer at the Gorkha driver: “Have you joined the Bengalis?” It is a threatening query.

Similar bandhs and marches have brought life to a grinding halt for the past three months – and continuing. There are, of course, cunning leakages – a few chicken being sold here, some vegetables there. But this private enterprise disappears at the sight of approaching marchers.

Contrary to what one might imagine, this sporadic enterprise does not demonstrate a weakening of the popular will. In fact it helps people a bit and enables them to bear the suffering a little longer. It supplements the agitation.

Clearly Gorkhaland is not likely to be conceded in a hurry. What then have the leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha promised the people? What spell have they cast on them because of which the people have diligently pursued these marches, street-corner meetings, picketing outside offices in an atmosphere of total bandh (bar the contrived leakages). Schools, hotels, restaurants, shops, are shut and labourers on all the 88 tea plantations have struck work and are, therefore, beginning to depend on packets of food some well meaning people are arranging.

No one quite knows the preferred game plans of the plantation owners. The gossip is that they would now like the strike to continue till December so they are not obliged to pay the workers three months wages (for the period when the plantations have been closed) plus bonus for puja holidays.

The inordinate extension of the bandh is causing all the leaders of the Gorkha Movement Coordination Committee to miss heart beats with alarming frequency.

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee who is always inclined to see agitations, however legitimate, as an affront to her, has slapped countless cases against leaders, including Bimal Gurung, President of GJM, the main political party.

This has given him a respectable reason to run away from Darjeeling and hide in Sikkim. The cases, in other words, are a godsend. Had there been no cases, how would the leaders escape the wrath of the people who are on this occasion truly mobilized? They must be shown some movement towards Gorkhaland. This “movement” is proving elusive even by inches, leave alone feet and yards.

Since all leaders in the coordination committee were pushed from the precipice into a total bandh by the GJM leader Bimal Gurung, they are privately cursing him, but are unable to publicly say anything that would make their resolve for Gorkhaland look weaker. But some of them are keeping a sly eye on any escape route which they can sell to the agitating populace as an advance towards their cause. The situation is custom made for Mamata Banerjee who is desperate to fill whatever political spaces she can with her TMC before the BJP does. If she can divide the leadership with promises of development plus a dialogue with the centre on “the people’s demand”, perhaps a “dissident” faction can then be mobilized as a vehicle for the TMC.

There is a very big “perhaps”. Why would West Bengal politicians and bureaucrats ever loosen their grip on the hill station, the toy train which their children enjoy so much during the summer vacation? There is nothing more popular internationally and which Bengal claims as its own –Tagore and Darjeeling tea.

New Delhi habitually goes into a freeze when confronted with something new, particularly where strategic concerns are involved. Gorkha/Nepali speaking people from Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan are already keeping New Delhi busy. Gorkhaland would be a new distraction.

A strong card the Gorkhas can play concerns the military. There are thousands of Gorkhas in the army. It is not uncommon to run into a soldier with heroic stories of the Kargil war. These soldiers would be perfectly justified in seeking home leave to see the families who have suffered a bandh for three months. Thousands seeking leave at once? It is a sensitive pressure point.

The straightforward political game the BJP can play to endear themselves to the Gorkhas is by opening up debate on something less than Gorkhaland – say, a Union Territory. Gorkhas would accept it. Darjeeling would come directly under New Delhi. Mamata would of course throw a ginger fit.

After a meeting of Gorkha leaders with Mamata on August 29 Vinay Tamang, joint Secretary of the Morcha and Anit Thapa, member of the Executive Committee, took the leaders and the agitators by surprise by asking them to end the bandh because positive but unidentifiable developments were expected by September 12. By that time the next round of meetings with Rajnath Singh and Mamata would have been held, they said. Well September 12 too has come and gone and there is no sight of the bandh coming to an end.

Little wonder most of the Gorkha leaders, Bimal Gurung, Vinay Tamang, Anit Thapa are on a rapidly declining popularity graph.

Bimal Gurung’s political career was launched by his opening numerous fan clubs for a Gorkha singing sensation, Prashant Tamang, who won the 2007 Indian Idol, a reality show. Prashant won in the third week of September. On October 7, Bimal Gurung had launched the GJM.

Impulsively, he leapt into the bandh when Mamata wanted Bengali to be inserted in the three language formula. Later she withdrew her word. But by that time the GJM and the coordination committee of other Hill parties were fairly advanced on a high-wire act. An endless bandh was on.

The leader whose graph is up is R.B. Rai, twice Member of Parliament, President Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist, Central Committee. He is universally accepted as politically savvy and an incorruptible and respected leader. He believes “tripartite talks” are a promising enough outcome to end the bandh. Apparently, Rajnath Singh has dropped hints that New Delhi, Kolkata, Darjeeling tripartite talks on Gorkhaland are possible. But will Mamata agree?

Rai is cross with the amateurishness of Bimal Gurung for playing “the ultimate card of a total bandh without having a backup plan. We should have started with Mohalla marches, struck work for a few hours, tested the political reaction in Kolkata and New Delhi, planned jail bharo andolans, gauged the plantation workers capacity to survive long strikes without wages. And so on.” There was no plan, he laments. It is a fruitless bandh but it can only be called off when people see some real promise, he says.

So, until God comes riding a thunderbolt by way of a solution, Gorkha leaders are condemned to remain suspended on the last rung of a very high staircase leading to nowhere.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Bihar news

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav shoulder fractured, admitted to Patna hospital

The Former Chief Minister of Bihar, and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav fell down the stairs and his shoulder has been fractured. Lalu Yadav was already worried about his illness. Now, his health has been deteriorating, due to the fall on Sunday evening.

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RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav

The Former Chief Minister of Bihar, and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav fell down the stairs and his shoulder has been fractured. Lalu Yadav was already worried about his illness. Now, his health has been deteriorating, due to the fall on Sunday evening.

Lalu Prasad Yadav has broken his shoulder due to the fall, which was treated by doctors. Later, he was sent home and advised to rest, but in the meantime, around 3 o’clock on Monday morning, Lalu Prasad Yadav was suddenly admitted to the ICU of Paras Hospital in Patna. This happened because his health was deteriorating.

After coming to the hospital, the doctors checked him, then it was found that the sugar level has increased due to which the problem has increased.

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Taking a decision to reduce the sugar level and keep it under the supervision of the doctor, the family admitted Lalu Prasad Yadav to the ICU where he is being treated continuously under the supervision of doctors.

During this time, the entire family including Lalu Prasad’s two sons Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav, and wife Rabri Devi were present. According to the reports, Lalu’s health is fine now. Lalu Prasad is also a bit unwell due to a shoulder injury but for the time being, he has been advised to take two months of bed rest.

Giving a health update on Lalu Prasad on Monday, Asif Praman, Medical Superintendent of Paras Hospital, Patna, said “he was admitted due to shoulder injury. The team of doctors is continuously monitoring. He has some diseases from the past as well, about which caution is being taken. At present, he is undergoing treatment under the supervision of doctors and his condition is stable.”

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India News

Who is Mehreen Qazi? Everything you need to know about IAS officer Athar Amir Khan’s fiance

Reports said Mehreen pursued an MD in medicine from the United Kingdom and Germany.

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Athar Amir Khan and Mehreen Qazi

Months after Tina Dabi got married to IAS Pradeep Gawande, her ex-husband IAS Athar Amir Khan got engaged to Dr Mehreen Qazi.

Sharing the picture on Instagram, Athar Amir announced the engagement with Qazi. In the viral picture, Athar could be seen pulling off the casual look and his ladylove looked absolutely exquisite in a white dress.

Check out Athar Amir Khan’s post here:

Who is Mehreen Qazi?

Mehreen Qazi is a doctor who is currently working as Scientific Officer at Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center in New Delhi. Reports said Mehreen pursued an MD in medicine from the United Kingdom and Germany.

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She is an avid social media user and enjoys a fan following of 268K followers on Instagram. She promotes brands and regularly shares videos and pictures on social media.

Athar Amir Khan and Tina Dabi

Athar and Tina became the inspiration to several after they emerged as the IAS toppers. Their love story began in 2015 at the IAS Felicitation Ceremony in Delhi. They attended their IAS training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration in Mussorie and fell in love with each other in the process.

The couple got married in 2018 in a court marriage in Jaipur. After 2 years of marriage, Athar and Tina filed a divorce application in November 2020 with mutual consent.

Cut to 2022, Tina Dabi tied the knot with a 2013 batch IAS officer, Pradeep Gawande. The wedding took place in both Rajasthani and Marathi traditions. Currently, Tina is appointed as a Joint Secretary in the Director of Archeology and Museums.

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Delhi news

Delhi Paschim Vihar: Man hits dog for barking, attacks neighbours with iron rod

The bullying of a person has come to the fore in the Paschim Vihar area, Delhi where an annoyed man attacked a dog, its owners, and also neighbours with a rod.

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man hits dog and neighbours with iron rod

A heart-wrenching video has come to light which is very disturbing. The bullying of a person has come to the fore in the Paschim Vihar area, Delhi where an annoyed man attacked a dog, its owners, and also neighbours with a rod.

When a family pet dog barked, a man living in the neighbourhood attacked three family members with an iron rod and injured them.

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According to the reports, the young man named Rakshit lives with his family in the Paschim Vihar area. Dharamvir Dahiya, a man living in his neighbourhood street, was going in front of his house on Sunday morning. During this time, his pet dog was sitting at the gate of the house. The dog barked at Dharamvir and some street dogs going after him, which made Dharamvir very angry. He grabbed the tail of Rakshit’s pet dog, started beating him and threw the dog away.

After watching this, Rakshit came out and started refusing Dharamvir. Rakshit alleges that Dharamvir got angry and hit his dog with a brick which hit Rakshit, after which Dharamvir went home and came back with an iron rod. During that time, Rakshit’s maternal uncle and aunt also came out of the house. Dharamvir first hit an iron rod in the dog’s head as soon as he came back, and then attacked Rakshit’s maternal uncle, due to which he fell on the spot.

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