Gorkhaland Issue

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 22, 2023, 12:32

The crisis in Gorkhaland has been festering for a couple of years now. This movement was started between Nepali-speaking people and Bengali-speaking people. The movement deals with the complicated issue of language mandates in schools, and the need to establish clear, fair linguistic rules in areas that have a different official language than the one being mandated.

Gorkhaland Issue

The major reason why this movement started was-

  • The government of West Bengal arranged to execute a three-language procedure in schools throughout the state.
  • They made Bengali compulsory language till class 10, but students need to give any exam for this subject.
  • Now, the protest started as Nepali is the official language in Gorkhaland, and the imposition of Bengali as a compulsory language started the conflict.
  • It was Bimal Gurung who commenced the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM)
  • They felt that this decision was a risk to the Gorkha ethnocultural identity and socio-economic stakes by the Government of West Bengal.
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Gorkhaland- Heritage, Geography and Demography

  • West Bengal's northernmost district is Darjeeling, and it is situated 441 km from the Sino-Indian border.
  • Gorkhaland comprises majorly Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, and other hilly areas of West Bengal. Consequently, individuals from these places have a significant disparity in ethical, cultural, and language as compared with the Bengali residents of West Bengal.

When did the Gorkhaland conflict start?

It began around 1907, but the term Gorkhaland was created recently in the 1980s by Subhash Ghising, the inventor of Gorkha National Liberation Front. It is mainly focused on the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal as they ask for creating Gorkhaland as a completely separate state.

  • West Bengal government has taken back those controversial orders, but now the Gorkhaland movement has changed its demand and asked for statehood for the Gorkha people.
  • All the people who are a part of this movement have resigned from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
  • The official language has been declared Nepali of Darjeeling and Sikkim by the 8th schedule of the constitution.
  • The good part is that Gorkha inhabitants are learning Bengali to begin transactions at the state level and with people in general as well.
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FAQs on Gorkhaland

Q1. Who started Gorkhaland?

Subhash Ghisingh, leader of Gorkha National Liberation Front, led a violent agitation for Gorkhaland's formation.

Q2. What is the history of the Gorkhaland Movement?

Gorkhaland started in 1907, and their first demand was submitted to the Morley-Minto Reforms panel, and it has not been resolved to date.

Q3. What were the changes in the Gorkhaland Movement post-independence?

In 1952, all India Gorkha league submitted a memorandum to Jawahar Lal Nehru, who was the President at that time; they requested separation from the state of Bengal.

Q4. Are politicians responsible for the Gorkhaland movement?

Not wholly; the Gorkhaland Movement is more than a century old and has not been resolved. It is a linguistic and a civilizational issue more than a political one.