By Our Reporter
The people of Nepali origin have been demonstrating in Darjeeling of India against the provincial government’s decision to make Bengali a compulsory language in schools of the hill.
The present unrest began when Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamta Banerjee said on May 16 that Bengali would be made compulsory for all students across the state.
The dispute over language has resulted in the revival of the demand of a separate province, Gorkhaland, in Drajeeling and surrounding areas.
The angry locals have called an indefinite period shut down forcing the tourists to flee the city. Darjeeling, the beautiful hill station in the east of Nepal, draws thousands of tourists from other parts India. But the strike, which has already become violent, has affected not only normal life but also the booming tourism industry.
Dominated by the people of Nepali origin, Darjeeling was a part of Nepal until the Sugauli Treaty of 1816. The Indian government has been suppressing the movement launched by the locals demanding creation of a separate province.
The Indian government has been using excessive forces against the demonstrators even after the latest eruption of violence. A large number of locals have been injured. But the political leaders in Kathmandu and the mainstream media have remained silent on the inhuman suppression of the Nepali speaking people in Darjeeling.
When Indian leaders and media are quick to make comments when any unrest takes place in Nepal’s Tarai, where a large number of people migrated from India live, the Nepalese leaders and media have kept mum when Nepali brethrens in Darjeeling are undergoing suppression. This shows how our leaders and the media fear to utter a word in favour of Nepalis living in India. This inferiority complexity exhibited by our leaders and media in regard to the Drajeeling violence shows our mindset towards the hegemonic attitude of our southern neighbour.