Demand for a state by socio-ethnic groups inside a particular state in India is not new. We have seen the division of Bihar into Bihar and Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh into Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh into Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and more recently Andhra Pradesh into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. India is a melting pot of a large number of cultures and ethnic groups. Each is so different and diverse from each other that they could form a country of their own. Gorkhaland is a proposed state that wants to move out of West Bengal, and here is a list of the reasons:
6. A different identity of the people
Gorkhaland is a state, which is demanded in the northern part of West Bengal which constitutes the beautiful Darjeeling Hills. These people claim themselves to be of Gorkha origin, which is actually from Nepal. They want everyone to recognize or identify them as the Indian Gorkhas. This ethnic group is socially, culturally and even linguistically very different from the rest of Bengal and its culture. They also look very different since they have Mongolian facial features.
5. A demand as old as 1907
The demand for Gorkhaland is not something that has popped up recently. It started much before the Indian independence from the year 1907. History has it the Hillmen’s Association of Darjeeling had started with the enterprise demanding a different administrative unit in Darjeeling. They submitted a message to the Minto-Morley Reforms and later to the Secretary of State of India, the Viceroy and the Chief Secretary of the Government of West Bengal. The demand continued to the Simon Commission and other places of importance.
4. A political party of their own
The Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) was the first political party which started from the nation making the demand stronger. A freedom for a separate nation was their demand. The party was under the presidential leadership of N.B. Gurung. Later during the 80s the agitation became stronger with more political parties gaining momentum. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is till date the strongest party in the region which from a long time has served its ideal of a different state. The party is led by Subhash Ghising who started partially administrating the region until recently when the agitation started again.
3. Linguistically very different
The people belonging to this state talk in a different language which has been their tradition since the 1780s when the region was a part of Sikkim and Nepal. With so many differences the region wants to desperately move out of west Bengal to form a different state. The Gorkha language is not like Bengal and cultural and linguistic differences make them way apart. Therefore they want a state which would have the dominance of their own culture.
2. Unrecognized due to Bengal
The claim of the Gorkha people is that their culture remains unrecognized due to the dominant culture of west Bengal and the people of Bengal. The Gorkhas have a culture and ethnic identity which is unique and one which should be recognized in India among its various cultures. Since this region remains under the dominant control of Bengal, that there is a different socio-ethnic group residing inside the state which is very different form Bengal remains unthought-of. They require an identity and a status of their own.
1. The beautiful hills of Darjeeling
The beautiful hills of Darjeeling are the greatest mountain attractions in the state of West Bengal. It is a great holiday spot for most Bengalis and the Tourism Department of Bengal flourishes due to the number of people visiting this place. But if Gorkhaland becomes a different state then Darjeeling becomes its capital and the tourism department of the state will get the benefits of the place. Darjeeling is a place which Bengal is not very keen on giving up. But the demands of Gorkhaland have made it difficult to maintain peace and calm.