Very aptly titled “Is the winter setting in on the Gorkhaland movement?”
Emotionally fired movements are prone to such “highs” & “lows”. And I concede that any such movements have to begin with emotions. But the emotions of general public must be tempered with the rational and logical approach of the leaders of such movement. And that can only happen when leaders begin to think dispassionately. And how one thinks dispassionately? Well this happens when leaders start thinking and interacting with intelligentsia for the success of such movements. So there are two power centres for any movement. One which is guided by emotions and is a supported by masses, to provide the momentum. (Hitler is case in point) And another centre which is guided by the intelligentsia to steer it to success. (Again Hitler as an example). I at the moment do not see this happen in GL movement. Emotions exist but there seems to be no clear directions to steer the movement to the success. And that is for the lack of intelligentsia inputs.
Then what is required? Well, before I give my views let me say this, that I belong to Uttarakhand and have seen and participated in limited way, as I was i the army then. Let me just say briefly how Uttarakhand was achieved if that be any kind of guidelines. There were mass movements/ Bandhs/ Chakka Jam at different parts of hills, mainly spear headed by “WOMEN”. The direction was provided by the leaders as to what is required and coordinated by them. This is, what I have mentioned above, as led and participated by an “Emotional Group”. The other group MLAs held parleys with the MLAs of UP and MPs with other MPs. All people at all level were engaged in explaining their point of view as to why a separate hill state is required.
The Congress was opposed to the idea of bifurcating states. (Naryan Dutt Tiwari, though from the hills of Kumaon and later Chief Minister Of newly formed govt in Uttaranchal/ Uttarakhand, had said in the UP State Assembly that the Uttarakhand will be formed over his dead body.) And therefore the Uttaranchal alongwith other two states namely Jharkhand, Chhatishgarh were formed when the govt in the Centre was that of NDA (BJP main component), UP had BJP govt. That is one part.
The other part to be kept in mind is that Uttarakhand organised a rally at Delhi (Lal Kila Maidan) in Oct 1993 which was attended by all the MLAs & MPs of Uttarakhand immaterial of political party affiliation. But more than that approximately 1500 buses were used to bring people from hills to Delhi. The UP police tried to stop them about 150 Kms from Delhi in a place called Mazzafarpur. There was police firing people got killed, women got raped and brutal ways of police was in naked dance there. That one incidence got in all the limelight for the movement. It got attention of the Human rights Commission and so forth. The rally in Delhi was chased away by the police and the complete curfew was imposed in the entry point of hills so that those who came for the rally can not go back to their home. I, though in the army, had kept a large number of such protesters in my house for about a week. They went when the curfew was lifted. For information – after Uttarakhand came in to being a Memorial has been built in Muzzafarpur by the Govt of Uttarakhand in the memory of those who lost their lives in the police firing there.
So what happened? The state govt got a negative publicity for all that happened and therefore in order to over come such negative image, they pass the separate state (Uttarakhand) bill and sent the same to the Parliament.
So what I am trying to say is that to achieve separate state, leaders of the movement have to apply multi-pronged approach and not only count on emotional rhetoric. Even emotional rhetoric have to be logical ones. The one like saying that “only the Gorkhas can save the Siliguri Chicken Neck” is being naive and shows bankruptcy of the inputs provided by their leaders to the speakers.
So my suggestion would to please sort things out in-house first, identify your strength, invoke intelligentsia for inputs, assimilate other non-Gorkhas of Terai areas in the movement and provide direction.
God be with you.