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Archive for category India Secessionist Movements

Broadening split in India’s Federation By Sajjad Shaukat


Since Narendara Modi, the leader of the ruling party BJP became the Indian Prime Minister in 2014, he started implementing ideology of Hindutva ((Hindu Nationalism). Under his regime, persecution of religious minorities such as Dalits, Sikhs, Christians and particularly Muslims, including even of lower cast-Hindus might be cited as instance.


In this regard, the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA), passed by the Indian Parliament further exposed the discriminatory policies of the Modi government. The CAA coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is mainly against the Muslim immigrants especially from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.


Since December 15, 2019, daily mass protests, even by the moderate Hindus have been taking place across every state in India against the CAA and the NRC, which resulted into killing of more than 100 persons and injuring 800-mostly Muslims by the police and fanatic Hindus. But, Modi-led regime has not withdrawn the CAA/NRC.


It is mentionable that more than seven months have been passed. But, Indian extremist government led by the extremist Prime Minister Modi continued lockdown in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). While, Indian fanatic rulers are also escalating tensions with Pakistan to divert attention from the drastic situation of the (IOK), and have continued shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire agreement in relation to the Line of Control (LoC).


Indian forces have broken all previous records of gross human rights abuses since August 5, 2019 when Indian Prime Minister Modi’s government ended special status of the Jammu and Kashmir by abolishing articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution to turn Muslim majority into minority in the Indian Held Kashmir. Implementing the August 5 announcement, Indian central government issued a notorious map on October 31, 2019. In accordance with it, Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.


Besides Pakistan, China also rejected the Indian map. In this regard, China objected to the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories as “unlawful and void”, saying that India’s decision to “include” some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction “challenged” Beijing’s sovereignty. Border dispute between New Delhi and China, which remains unsettled, has increased tension between the two countries.




It is noteworthy that former Soviet Union which had subjugated the minorities and ethnic groups in various provinces and regions through its military, disintegrated in 1991. Learning no lesson from its previous close friend, New Delhi has been acting upon the similar policies in some way or the other.


However, India, dominated by politicians from the Hindi heartland—Hindutva have been using brutal force ruthlessly against any move to free Assam, Kashmir, Khalistan, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu and Tripura where wars of liberation continue in one form or the other.

Due to the discrimination against the Sikh community, Sikhs have been fighting for Kahalistan as an independent state.


In the recent years, Maoist intensified their struggle by attacking official installments. In this context, Indian media admitted that Maoists have entered the cities, expanding their activities against the Indian union. On 22-23 April 2018, at least 39 Maoists were killed in an alleged encounter with Indian security forces in district Gadchiroli. Maoist uprising is second major freedom movement after that of the Occupied Kashmir. Indian former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called Maoist insurrection, “the single biggest internal-security challenge”, whereas, Home Secretary G.K Pillai had reiterated the magnitude of this threat by saying that the Maoists want to completely overthrow the Indian state by 2050. The Naxalite-Maoists, as they call themselves, are the liberators, representing landless farmers and the downtrodden masses who have been entangled into vicious circle of poverty, misery and deprivation.


Tamil Nadu is another area where separatist movements are haunting federation of India.


And, the seven states of Northeastern India, which are called the ‘Seven Sisters’ are ethnically and linguistically different from rest of the country. These states are rocked by a large number of armed and violent rebellions, some seeking separate states, some fighting for autonomy and others demanding complete independence. These states which include Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, accuse New Delhi of apathy towards their issues. Illiteracy, poverty and lack of economic opportunities have fueled the natives’ demand for autonomy and independence.


As regards the state of Assam, the BJP-led alliance has been targeting the 4 million Assamese Muslims who are being denied Indian citizenship under the NRC. On August 31, 2019, nearly two million people have been excluded from a list of citizens in India’s Assam, raising fears they could be rendered stateless.


Undoubtedly, these states have witnessed various sorts of India’s state terrorism, but, did not stop their struggle. Instead of redressing the grievances of the people by eliminating injustices against them, Modi-led Indian regime is depending upon ruthless force to crush these extremist and secessionist movements. Therefore, India’s unrealistic counterinsurgency strategy has badly failed.


It is of particular attention that Indian Minister of External affairs Jaswant Singh who served the BJP for 30 years was expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah [Founder of Pakistan] and echoing the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence.”


Pointing out the BJP’s attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote: “Every Muslim that lives in India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his book, if such a policy continued, “India could have third partition.”


We can conclude that Modi’s “New India”, which is “Meta Nationalism”, is transforming the country into a “fascist and extremist India”, as Modi is intolerant and inflexible to any kind of opposition. So, Prime Minister Narendar Modi’s extremist policies have broadened the split of India’s federation which will disintegrate like the former Soviet Union.


Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations


Email: [email protected]

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False Flag Operations; Paving the Way for a Nuclear War by Ishaal Zehra

False Flag Operations; Paving the Way for a Nuclear War


Ishaal Zehra



The attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 – designated as 26/11 – left 162 people
dead in a traumatic event that some people described as India's 9/11. Extensive
media coverage has created the impression that all the relevant facts on this
audacious operation have been reported. Unfortunately, this impression is false, says
Elias Davidsson in his book on the 2008 attacks that occurred in Mumbai, India. The
book is entitled, The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence. “The book is
about the betrayal of the Indian nation by a corrupt, greedy and ruthless elite for
whom the lives of ordinary Indians are expendable when power and profit are at
stake,” enunciates the author.
Elias Davidsson was born in Palestine in 1941 to German-Jewish parents so there is a
slightest chance of him having any love lost for Pakistan. He has gained quite a fame
in the area of investigative journalism primarily after the publication of his books on
9/11 and the follow-up terrorist attacks that set the world on fire. “Hijacking
America’s Mind on 9/11″, followed by “Psychological Warfare and Social Denial: The
Legend of 9/11 and the Fiction of Terrorism” presented a narrative fairly different
from the official one.
The author very intriguingly uncovers the whole Mumbai attacks proceeds. He
critically evaluates the official narrative of 26/11, as reflected in court documents and
the news media, also the testimonies of those dozens of important witnesses whom
Indian courts ignored because they shed a radically different light on the events.
Besides, it also presents a detailed analysis of the benefits accrued by the powerful
constituencies of India and US from this mass murder. The conclusion of this detailed
assessment is devastating as they expose the unspoken truce between the leading
news media, the political class, the police and the judicial system to cover up the real
facts on 26/11 on the pretext of shielding the real offenders.
The Indian version of these attacks – the official story as narrated by the Indian
government – can be found at Wikipedia (which seldom strays from government
intelligence narratives) as: “The 2008 Mumbai attacks were a series of attacks that
took place in November 2008, when 10 members of Lashkar-e- Taiba, an Islamic
militant organization based in Pakistan carried out a series of 12 coordinated
shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai.” For the record, both
Pakistan and Lashkar-e- Taiba denied responsibility for the attacks and, Davidsson
argues, they did so for good reasons.



Source: Bestanimations.com






The author also made clear how easy it was to get an abundance of funds and
equipment for the Mumbai police on the basis of such a narrative and why it was
possible for India’s armed forces to get an immediate 21% hike in her military
spending with promises of continuing increases in subsequent years.
To prove this a false flag operation, Davidsson gave a jillion arguments. One of them
was the fact that the Prime Minister of India, while the attack was still in progress,
implied that the perpetrators were from a terrorist group supported by Pakistan.
Prof. Graeme McQueen of Global Research (Canadian think tank) explains that when
officials claim to know the identity of a perpetrator (individual or group) prior to any
serious investigation, this suggests that a false narrative is being initiated.
For example, Lee Harvey Oswald was identified by officials of the executive branch as
the killer of President John F. Kennedy–and as a lone wolf with no associates–on the
afternoon of the assassination day, long before an investigation and even before he
had been charged with the crime. Likewise, we had major news media pointing with
confidence, by the end of the day of September 11, 2001, to Osama bin Laden and
his group with no evidence at hand.
There were so many loose ends in the investigation process that leaves an inquisitive
mind in a state of total perplexity. Also, the assassination of ATS chief Hemant
Karkare makes the whole episode yet more dubious. Karkare was killed as he steered
the investigation of the 2008 Malegaon blasts and was on the verge of exposing the
BJP led Hindutva extremist forces who were fomenting terrorism in the name of
Indian Muslims. Davidsson also questions about the extreme secrecy and withholding
of basic information from the population, on the plea of national security.
The lone surviving alleged terrorist had no public trial. One lawyer who agreed to
defend the accused was removed by the court and another was assassinated. The
confession of the suspect, on which the judge leaned heavily, was given in secret. No
transcript of this confession has been released to the public and the suspect later
renounced the confession, saying he had been under threat from police when he
gave it.
Interestingly, the public was told that there was extensive CCTV footage of the
attacks, despite the mysterious malfunctioning of the majority of CCTV cameras on
the days in question, the book reveals, but only a very small percentage of the
claimed footage was ever released and that too suffered from serious defects – two
conflicting time – stamps and signs of editing. Also, those 475 – 800 members of the elite
Indian commando unit that battled the eight terrorists were never allowed to testify
in court. Above all, the suspect, after being convicted and sentenced to death, was
presumably executed, but the hanging was done secretly in jail and his body, like the bodies of the other dead “terrorists,” was buried in a secret place which could not be
Davidsson correspondingly cast doubt on the grotesque failure by investigating
officials to follow proper procedures. Eyewitnesses to the crime differed on the
clothing and skin color of the terrorists, and on how many of them there were. At
least one eyewitness confessed she found it hard to distinguish “friends” from
terrorists but no probe was stimulated by this odd confusion. Weird enough, of the
“hundreds of witnesses processed by the court” in relation to the attacks at the CaféLeopold, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Oberoi-Trident Hotel or Nariman House, “not a
single one testified to having observed any of the eight accused kill anyone”, the author
The number of contradictions and miracles present in the investigation report was
more offending. One victim was apparently resurrected from the dead when his
testimony was essential to the point the finger at Pakistan. A second victim died in
two different places, while a third died in three places. No one in authority cared
enough to solve these difficulties. Moreover, the number of terrorists who
committed the deeds changed repeatedly, as did the number of terrorists who
Another surprising question was raised when the forensic study of the attack at the
Cama Hospital failed to turn up a single AK-47 bullet while the common narration of
the attack claimed that the terrorists were armed with AK-47s. In addition, the crime
scenes were violated, with bodies hauled off before they could be examined. Also,
the Indian authorities declined to order autopsies on the dead at the targeted Jewish
center in Nariman House. The dead, five out of six of whom were Israeli citizens,
were instead whisked back to Israel by a Jewish organization based in Israel,
apparently for religious reasons.
The FBI showed great interest in the attacks from the outset. Interestingly, it actually
had a man on the scene during the attacks and sent an entire team directly after the
event. The Bureau was, remarkably, given direct access to the arrested suspect and
to his recorded confession (before he even had a lawyer), as well as to eyewitnesses.
The New York Police Department also sent a team after the conclusion of the event,
as did Scotland Yard and Israeli police.
Taking account of all the aspects, the author concludes that, “It is highly plausible
that major institutional actors in India, the United States and possibly Israel, were
complicit in conceiving, planning, directing and executing the attacks of 26/11, but
the evidence of a deceptive investigation is even stronger.” He is convinced that
India’s major institutions including the Central government, parliament, bureaucracy, armed forces, Mumbai police, intelligence services, judiciary, and media, have
deliberately suppressed the truth regarding 26/11 and continue to do so. Prof.
Graeme McQueen opines, there are two good reasons to pay attention to evidence
of a cover-up. First, to cover up a crime is itself a crime. Second, those covering up a
crime implicate themselves in the original crime. If they were not directly involved in
the commission of the crime, they are at least accessories after the fact.
India is in a habit of implicating Pakistan over false flag operations planned and
executed by herself. Adeela Naureen, while discussing the book by Davidsson, has
very rightly asked Pakistan to take India to ICJ for this indigenous false flag operation
conducted by RAW and western intelligence agencies. It is high time these false flags
must be exposed and ended downright. Or else the dangers of such false flag
operations in this highly nuclearized zone could develop into something beyond
the imagination of any.

Pictorials Courtesy-defence.pk


Some attached the images of the document in their tweets, convinced that the document was official

Abid Khan said that India was funding the Taliban to engage Pakistan in terrorism
India is blamed for pursuing a policy of genocide against Muslims

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Video Confession of Indian Spy Gulbhushan Yadav


Video Confession of Indian Spy Gulbhushan Yadav









ISLAMABAD: The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released on Tuesday a confessional video statement of Indian spy agent Kulbushan Jadhav admitting to foment terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi.

He was arrested red-handed by law-enforcement agencies in the first week of the current month while infiltrating into Pakistan from the Saravan border area of Balochistan with Iran.









Following is the full text of his voluntary confession shown at a press conference jointly addressed by Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid and ISPR Director General Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa at the Press Information Department.

“My name is Commander Kulbushan Jadhav and I am the serving officer of Indian Navy. I am from the cadre of the engineering department of Indian Navy and my cover name was Hussein Mubarak Patel, which I had taken for doing some intelligence gathering for Indian agencies.”

“I joined the National Defence Academy in 1987 and subsequently joined Indian Navy in Jan 1991 and subsequently served in the Indian Navy till around December 2001 when the Parliament attack occurred and that is when I started contributing my services towards gathering of information and intelligence within India.”

“I live in the city of Mumbai in India. I am still the serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement by 2022 as a commissioned officer in Indian Navy after having completed 14 years of service by 2002.”

“I commenced intelligence operation in 2003 and established a small business in Chabahar in Iran as I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004 and having done some basic assignments within India for RAW.”

“I was picked up by RAW in 2013 end. Ever since I have been directing various activities in Balochistan and Karachi at the behest of RAW and deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi, I was basically the man for Mr Ani Kumar Gupta who is the joint secretary of RAW and his contacts in Pakistan especially in Balochistan Student Organisation.”

“My purpose was to hold meetings with Baloch insurgents and carry out activities with their collaboration.”

“These activities have been of criminal nature, leading to the killing of or maiming of Pakistani citizens.”

“I realize during this process that RAW is involved in some activities related to the Baloch liberation movement within Pakistan and the region around it.”

“There are finances which are fed into the Baloch movement through various contacts or various ways and means into the Baloch liberation (movement) and various activities of the Baloch liberation and RAW handlers go towards activities which are criminal, which are anti-national, which can lead to maiming or killing of people within Pakistan and mostly these activities were centred around of what I have knowledge is of ports of Gwadar, Pasni Jewani and various other installations, which are around the coast damaging various other installations, which are in Balochistan.

“So the activity seems to be evolving and trying to create a criminal sort of mindset within the Baloch liberation which leads to instability within Pakistan. In my pursuit towards achieving the set targets by my handlers in RAW, I was trying to cross over into Pakistan from the Saravan border in Iran on March 3, 2016, and was apprehended by Pakistani authorities while on the Pakistani side and the main aim of this crossing over into Pakistan was to hold (a) meeting with Baloch separatists in Balochistan for carrying out various activities, which they were supposed to undertake and carrying backwards the messages which had to deliver to Indian agencies.”

“The main issues regarding this were that they were planning to conduct some operations within the next immediate (near) future so that was to be discussed mainly and that was the main aim of trying to coming into Pakistan.”

“So that moment I realised that my intelligence operations have been compromised on my being detained in Pakistan, I revealed that I am an Indian naval officer, and it is on mentioning that I am Indian naval officer, the total perception of the establishment of the Pakistani side changed and they treated me very honourably and they did utmost respect and due regards and have handled me subsequently on a more professional and proper courteous way and they have handled me in a way that befits that of an officer and once I realised that I have been compromised in my process of intelligence operations, I decided to just end the mess I have landed myself in and just wanted to subsequently move on and cooperate with the authorities in removing complications which I have landed myself and my family members into, and whatever I am stating just now, it is the truth and it is not under any duress or pressure. I am doing it totally out of my own desire to mention and come clean out of this entire process which I have gone through last 14 years.”

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Indian RAW agent Kulbushan Jadhav sentenced to death

Indian RAW agent Kulbushan Jadhav sentenced to death



RAWALPINDI: Indian RAW Agent Kulbushan Jadhav who was arrested from Balochistan on espionage charges, has been sentenced to death through a Field General Court Martial, the ISPR said Monday.













Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has confirmed death sentence awarded by the FGCM under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA).

According to an ISPR press release, Kulbushan Sundir Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016, through a Counter-Intelligence Operation from Mashkel area of Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage actives in Pakistan.

Jadhav was believed to be an on-duty officer for the Indian Navy.

“The spy has been tried through Field General Court-martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded death sentence. Today, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa has confirmed death sentence awarded by FGCM.

“RAW agent Commander Kulbushan Jadhav was tired under GGCM under section 59 of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of official Secret Act of 1923.”

“The FGCM found Jadhav guilty of all charges. He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by RAQ to plan, coordinate and organize espionage/sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi,” said the press release.


Pakistan sentences Indian spy Kulbushan Yadav to death

Reference:By News Desk
Published: April 10, 2017

Pakistan on Monday sentenced Indian spy Kalbushan Yadav to death.

“Indian RAW Agent / Naval officer 41558Z Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a Counter Intelligence Operation from Mashkel, Balochistan, for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

“The spy has been tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded death sentence. Today COAS, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has confirmed his death sentence awarded by FGCM.

Analysis: Kulbhushan Yadav’s RAW move

Yadav was tried by FGCM under section 59 of PAA 1952 and Section 3 of official Secret Act of 1923. FGCM found Yadhav guilty of all the charges, the statement added.

Further, Yadav confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to plan, coordinate and organise espionage/ sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.
The accused was provided with defending officer as per legal provisions.

Army chief vows to pursue Kulbhushancase to finish

Yadav, an Indian Navy commander, and agent of the RAW, was arrested in a raid near the Pak-Afghan border town of Chaman in March last year. He was earlier posted at Chabahar port in southeastern Iran where he lived with his wife and two children and possessed a genuine Indian passport but with a fake name, Hussein Mubarak Patel.

The bilateral dialogue process between Islamabad and New Delhi was suspended after Yadav’s arrest.  Yadav, in a video confession circulated shortly after his arrest, admitted to carrying out subversive activities inside Pakistan for India’s premier intelligence agency.

Peace process with India seemingly suspended after Yadav’s arrest

India had sought consular access to Yadav, however, Pakistan refused its request.

Pakistan believes that India is using covert means to foment violence in the country with an aim to undermine the multi billion dollar ‘one belt, one road’ initiative of China. The recent surge in terrorist attacks in the country has once again brought the India intelligence agencies’ role in backing the terrorism in Pakistan to the spotlight.

Security officials claim that RAW was using certain militant outfits operating out of Afghanistan to carry out terrorist attacks in the country. The current Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is considered to be the architect of this policy called ‘offensive-defensive’ that advocates a policy of supporting proxies to create trouble inside Pakistan.



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We want Separation from India; Battle for Gorkhaland



At hoist, three yellow stars placed in a triangle pointing downward, at fly a yellow “dagger”. Here is an update about Gorkhaland and the flag of the Gorkha National Liberation Front. … The flag of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) was designed 26 years ago by Amar Lama.Feb 27, 2010








Gorkhaland – the second coming

In the sleepy Himalayan towns of West Bengal, India, an old agitation for Gorkha statehood is revived and ‘resolved’. Ann Morgan reports on a fascinating struggle (which Western readers may only know of as the backdrop to the Booker prize-winning novel The Inheritance of Loss.)

West Bengal, by judepics under a CC Licence

You can’t make out the place where the severed heads used to hang along the main road in Kalimpong anymore. But the memory of the violent campaign for a separate Indian state that shook this picturesque town in the foothills of the Himalayas 25 years ago remains.

‘The state government fired upon the people of Kalimpong, just 100 yards from here,’ says local guesthouse and orchid nursery owner Norden Pemahishey, recalling one of the most violent days, 27 July 1986. ‘I witnessed that. One of my neighbors got shot. At that time the police had those second world war infantry rifles. They are nasty pieces of work. Just a small hole here and it blows you apart.

‘My dad and I took out our jeep to take the wounded,’ he continues. ‘No one else came out. We had seven or eight people with these bullet holes in one jeep. You can imagine the blood gushing out. By the time we’d crossed into town, people saw our jeep going through to the hospital. Then all hell broke loose. They attacked the police station and massive firing took place. Officially I think 22 people died on that day, but unofficially it was a lot more. That was Gorkhaland part one.’

Since a fresh separatist campaign launched in 2007, many have feared that Gorkhaland part two might go much the same way. So this June, when West Bengal’s first female chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, announced that she had ‘resolved’ the Gorkhaland issue less than three weeks after she and her Trinamool Congress party swept to victory in the north-east Indian state’s elections, ending 34 years of communist rule, it seemed as though the state’s new leader was making a habit of achieving the impossible.

The news came after just two days of talks between Banerjee and representatives from the Darjeeling region’s new ruling party Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM; literally Gorkha People’s Liberation Campaign). The fine details of the deal, which has yet to be formalized with the Indian government, will be thrashed out over the coming months, but the pact will involve the establishment of a newly elected body to administrate the Darjeeling hills and certain other – as yet unconfirmed – neighbouring districts, and promises investment in development for this hitherto neglected region. Already, the GJM has hailed it as the foundation for establishing Gorkhaland.

It’s an astonishingly rapid solution to a dispute that has rumbled on in one form or another for more than 100 years, and is bound up with the shifting boundaries that have seen land and people passed back and forth between India, Nepal, the British Empire and the various independent kingdoms that used to hold sway in the region.

Matters of state

In the 1980s, when the term ‘Gorkhaland’ came into common parlance, the campaign for a separate state for Gorkhas – loosely defined as the descendants of the Nepali Gorkhas who were drafted into the British and later Indian armies – was spearheaded by Subhash Ghising’s Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). The violence then saw an estimated 1,200 people killed in the space of two years and only ended in 1988 when an agreement was signed between the West Bengal government and the GNLF.

Like the deal between Banerjee and the GJM, this paved the way for the formation of a semi-autonomous body with a mandate to administrate the Darjeeling hills. The GNLF painted it as the first step on the road to a separate state, but as time passed, rumors of corruption within the party and a growing sense that the ideal of Gorkhaland had been sacrificed for lesser concessions fuelled discontent.

Rumors of corruption within the party and a growing sense that the ideal of Gorkhaland had been sacrificed for lesser concessions fuelled discontent

In 2008, the newly formed GJM drove Subhash Ghisingh and his supporters out of the hills and began a new separatist movement, which saw them winning resounding victories in all four seats they contested in the recent elections. Anxious to play down any parallels between their campaign and the GNLF’s, and perhaps now between their deal with the West Bengal government and the one struck in 1988, the GJM are quick to stress the contrast between their methods and those of their predecessors.

‘This time, our agitation is a Gandhian, non-violent agitation,’ says Suva Pradhan, General Secretary of the GJM’s Kalimpong Subcommittee. ‘We did not cooperate with the [former] West Bengal government. We are not paying any taxes. No one in the whole area has paid any taxes for three years. We have organized hunger strikes to open up a dialogue with the government.’

He goes on to explain that the campaign for Gorkhaland grew out of the cultural, linguistic and emotional differences between West Bengal’s hill people and those living on the plains in the rest of the state.

Here, ethnic Nepalis, including Gorkhas, make up the majority. Nepali, or Gorkhali as some campaigners are anxious to brand the local dialect, is the most common language. Many people can trace their roots in the area back five generations to the first Nepalese workers brought into labor on the Darjeeling tea plantations, although, because of the freedom of movement permitted between the two nations under the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship, they often possess neither Indian nor Nepalese citizenship papers. This has given rise to a sense of statelessness which the GJM is keen to address, bolstered by their belief that the historical contribution of the British and Indian gurkhas makes a compelling case for giving them administrative control over the region.

The faithful and the brave

‘The Gorkhas of Darjeeling, the Gorkhas of India, the Gorkhas residing anywhere in the world have always been recognized as the most faithful, most loyal, most brave people,’ says Pradhan. ‘They have fought the battles of different countries. They have protected this country for generations. Now their homeland is being colonized by Bengal, by people who only want to extract benefit from here. The Gorkhas should get their due. They should get justice which is overdue now.’

As well as non-payment of taxes, hunger strikes and bandhs (enforced region-wide shut-downs of roads and services which have crippled the local economy in recent years), the GJM’s ‘non-violent’ tactics include the establishment of the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP). Uniformed, equipped with batons, and drilled in martial arts, this is an 18,000-strong organization of 16-21-year-olds, all of whom have been trained by ex-commandos and can be mobilized within 48 hours. They patrol the streets in parallel with the West Bengal police, often ‘arresting’ people for disorder or drunkenness.

At the Kalimpong training camp, located at the empty Chest Clinic, Retired Major SP Warner, the General Secretary of the GLP, is proud of what his organization has achieved.

‘It is the brainchild of Bimal Gurung,’ he says, sitting beneath a large framed photograph of the party leader. ‘It is the first time we ex-servicemen have been invited to join the party. Our main part of the agitation is we control the civilians – the action they take. We control them a lot. We stop them becoming violent. That is the point of us.

‘Our agitation is a Gandhian, non-violent agitation. We did not cooperate with the [former] West Bengal government. We are not paying any taxes. No one in the whole area has paid any taxes for three years’

‘It’s not for fighting. We have proved this many times. The inspector general of police said that many times. He got fed up with me. I took him to the camp. He supervised the camp. Then he gave his word: “ah, yes, no arms training is taking place”. Previously he was saying that the arms training was taking place. I said, “no, see for yourself, but please do not give the wrong information”.’

He points out that, with unemployment and drug addiction rife in the region, the GLP provides much-needed opportunities for young men and women, for whom discipline and physical fitness is very valuable. Many people believe in it. So much so that the trainees’ 1,500 rupee monthly salaries (about $34), clothes and food costs are paid for purely by ‘supporters’ – he himself gives 100 rupees a month towards the effort, he says. Quite who the other supporters are is unclear, although in the narrow strip of India caught between the troubled nation of Nepal, Bangladesh and the states of Bhutan and Sikkim – the subject of an angry dispute between India and China – the list of possible donors to an unofficial youth movement trained by ex-military men is long.

And, for all the rigorous drilling and training, the Major says he cannot rule out violence in certain circumstances.

‘As far as possible we will not permit that to take place. But can we? Because the youngsters of today – you can control them to a certain point, a certain stage, and after that, it will be very difficult,’ he shrugs.

The limits of control

In February, there was an example of what that certain point might be when three young GLP members died when police opened fire during a rally, in Shibsu. The resulting backlash saw police buildings and buses torched. As yet, there has been no inquiry and, given past incidents of alleged policy of brutality, such as the beatings at the Siliguri Rally in 2008, there seems to be a reluctance to investigate, as local Gorkha TV journalist Sandhya Pradhan found when she went to the scene of the deaths.

‘They have thrown plastic tarpaulins over the area so no-one can put any memorial to the people who have been shot,’ she says. ‘They don’t want to see the area where it happened. The blood is still there on the spot. They want to cover it up.’

A passionate supporter of Gorkhaland, which she says she needs ‘like a mother’, she shows me around a puja (Hindu ritual worship) site set up for people to come and pray for Gorkhaland in the run-up to the elections. Two large pyramid frames, wrapped round with flowers and decorations stand over coals where offerings of rice, spices, and food can be made to Ganesha, the elephant god revered as the remover of obstacles. On a table in the far corner stand pictures of Jesus Christ and some Buddhist lamas, as a nod to some of the other religions in the area.

Diktats and defiance

Although the Nepali Gorkhas are in the majority, the hills around Darjeeling are home to a wide variety of ethnic and cultural groups, partly as a result of the area’s complicated political history, which has seen boundaries drawn and redrawn across the region. Kalimpong itself has a sizeable Tibetan refugee community, while members of various indigenous hill tribes make up a considerable proportion of the population. Chief among these is the Lepcha tribe, whose members account for 12 percent of residents. Though generally committed to the idea of a separate hill state, for which provision was made in the 1947 Indian constitution, they are anxious that their interests and ancient traditions are not being represented.

‘You can’t have one state to create an identity for one community. There is no such thing. We all are Indian. We are Indian and that is the bottom line’

‘The Gorkhas have a right to demand Gorkhaland but that does not mean that the Lepchas support the nomenclature,’ says Dorjeet Lepcha, President of the Lepcha Youth Association and Coordinator of the Lepcha Rights Movement. ‘We want something inclusive, like “Darjeeling”. You can’t have one state to create an identity for one community. There is no such thing. We all are Indian. We are Indian and that is the bottom line.’

In 2008, the Lepcha community opposed a diktat from the GJM that all hill people should wear Gorkha dress for one calendar month as part of the separatist campaign. The party relaxed that requirement for Lepchas, but the Gorkha bias remained.

Frustrated at their community’s lack of political representation, the Lepcha Association called for all Lepchas to abstain from the recent elections. However, they were keen to stress that this action ‘is neither against any community nor against any political party but an expression of the circumstance [sic] of Lepcha Community at present’, in an official statement.

They are right to be careful. It is only a year since Madan Tamang, leader of the moderate Akhil Bharatiya [All India] Gorkha League party, was set upon and hacked to death by a mob who tried to cut off his head at a public meeting in Darjeeling, allegedly after he had criticized some of the GJM’s methods.

With the name Gorkhaland painted on every shop sign and plastered on posters and graffiti on the very street where the heads of Gorkhaland skeptics once hung, it seems that, no matter what Banerjee has agreed, Gorkhaland is here to stay.

Ann Morgan is a freelance journalist.


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