Gorkhas of Assam extends support to Gorkhaland demand
Chief spokesperson of Gorkha Autonomous Council Demand Committee (GACDC) the political wing of All Assam Gorkha Students' Union (AAGSU) in Assam Mr. Purna Chetri speaking as a Special Guest of Honour at the 194th Bhanu Jayanti and 1st Bi-nennial Conference of Bokajan Regional Committee of AAGSU at Talbalijan Birsa Munda Mini Stadium, Sariahajan (Bokajan) in Karbianglong extended full co-operation to the Gorkhaland statehood demand in West Bengal. He added that the culture, tradition and language of Gorkhas no where resemble the counterpart Bengalis so there is no means of staying within the same geographical entity. For the larger interest of Gorkhas the Govt. of West Bengal and Govt. of India should create Gorkhaland within the territory of West Bengal at the earliest possible without further involving in blood shedding politics. He informed the media and the general people that AAGSU and GACDC two apex bodies of Gorkhas of Assam in a resolution have supported the statehood demand of Gorkhaland. He even called upon the state government to fulfill its promise of providing Gorkha Development Council for the all-round development of Gorkhas of Assam. It needs to mention here that over the past few years after the silver jubilee of 1976 born All Assam Gorkha Students' Union (AAGSU), the student body has been demanding Gorkha Autonomous Council (GAC) within the territory of Assam on satellite basis meanwhile the Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi declared January 21st in the open session of Assam Gorkha Sammelan at Digboi to provide Gorkha Development Council along with six other agitating communities.
Addressing as Chief Guest Dil Bahadur Limboo, President All Assam Gorkha Students' Union (AAGSU) recalled the contributions of veteran Freedom fighter Babu Chabilal Upadhyay whose contribution went unrecorded in the History of Assam. He said that it was Chabilal Upadhyay under whose presidentship the then Assam Association was converted into now Assam Pradesh Congress Committee(APCC) whose product is our CM Tarun Gogoi. But then the ruling Congress has forgotten the contribution of this particular person who is equivalent to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi. He lamented that the Govt. of Assam refused to even stand a bronze statue of the veteran leader at his birth place in Tezpur meanwhile airport, roads and several statues of his colleague Gopinath Bordoloi has been raised. It is a conspiracy hatched to uproot the identity of Gorkhas in Assam he added
He even reiterated that the Gorkhas of Assam have always been very loyal to their motherland so they even called Assamese as their mother tongue at the call Ambikagiri Rai Choudhury as there was threat from Bengali language to the existence of Assamese as official language. Socially, economically, politically, culturally and even historically the Gorkhas have contributed for the cause of Assam and at large India. On the august occasion of birth anniversary of a great poet he paid his heartfelt homage and called up[on youth to follow good ideologies of great personalities.
Earlier delivering his keynote address Harkha Bahadur Chetri, President, Gorkha Autonomous Council Demand Committee (GACDC) said that demand of Gorkha Autnomous Council is result of Government failure of resolving our other small demands to identify Gorkhas as 1st class citizen in Assam. He called upon the youth to prepare for democratic protest to achieve their identity of being the 1st class historically contributing Gorkha community in Assam. He said that Gorkhas of Assam are the siblings of those who became a part of sovereign India after the historic 1816 Sagooly treaty between East India Company and Nepal monarch where in a large part of then Nepal upto Goalpara of now Assam was inducted into India for administrative reforms. Technically to divide and rule and always question the citizenship the Gorkhas the Indo Nepal friendship Treaty was signed in 1950 by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru the 1st prime minister of independent India with then Nepal monarch. AAGSU had earlier demanded withdrawal of clauses vi and vii of Indo Nepal Friendship Treaty (1950) and issue passport visa system for reciprocal visit by the citizen of either countries so that genuine Indian Gorkhas citizenship is not questioned and smelt over frequent visit by the foreigners from the neighborhood. GACDC is commited to create Gorkha Autnomous Council to solve all problems and issues, he added. 28 members organization of Peoples Committee for Peace Initiative in Assam(PCPIA) have extrended moral and a few have given written assurance in support of Gorkha Autonomous Council.
The open session thronged by more than 5500 people was attended by Biren Singh Engti the only MP from the Autonous Hills District K/A and NC Hills, Mangal Singh Engti Chief Executive Member (CEM) Karbianglong Autonomous Council(KAAC) who answered the queries of student leaders , Pitambar Gurung President, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha, Assam State Committee and several other dignitaries including representatives of students' union of all communities of Assam. All the leaders echoed in same voice and extended full support to creation of Gorkha Autonomous council in Assam.
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Academics, journalists and social activists urged the north east people to stand united to address the various issues confronting the region. The appeal came from an interaction held in New Delhi on Sunday.
Speakers in the interaction stressed a mechanism to work together for various organizations which are active in the field of civil society, environment and human right issues in the region.
Veteran journalist and eminent professor and director of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research in New Delhi’s central university Jamia Millia Islamia, Sanjoy Hazarika said that the people of the north east have never worked together.
“The people in Assam do not think the things beyond their state. Same it is in the case of the Nagas. They don’t think about each other,” said Hazarika.
“You need to tell your stories to the media. Then the world will get to know what is going on in the region,” Hazarika.
Veteran author Joydeep Gupta said, “the people outside the North East are always eager to know the region. Need for information is paramount. Many people from the north east hardly have any knowledge of their own region,” said Gupta.
Participating in the discussion on the issue of development and destruction of natural resources allegedly by corporate houses, journalist and author Kishalay Bhatarjee said that apart from the corporate houses, a section of local power groups are no less responsible for the destruction of natural resources.
Bhattacharya dwelt at length how the Bodo militants have denuded the dense forest areas in Nameri. “They did all these to claim the Bodo land,” he rued.
Earlier, Mary Beth Sanate in her address highlighted the common issues confronting the north eastern region. Shengnaider Tontang discussed recent incidents of flood and landslide in the region.
The program was organized by the Coalition on Environment and Natural Resources Television for Environment, and Assam Times Foundation.