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How Mamata Split Gorkha Jana Mukhti Morcha And Managed To Freeze Demand For Gorkhaland

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In the hills of Darjeeling, the Himalayan northern stretches of the state of West Bengal, the decades-old agitation for a separate state by the Gorkhas – Nepali-speaking indigenous people of the region – has now reached a unique point. The movement for “Gorkhaland” – as the Gorkhas call their identity-based idyllic state – is suddenly in the grips of an internal crisis that has not only spilt the Gorkha Jana Mukhti Morcha (GJM) – the party leading the demand – but threatens to severely weaken the force of the movement.

And this rift was not caused by any power tussle within the party or growing differences in methodology or even ideology, often enough attributed as reasons for failed struggles, but was the handiwork of a shrewd politician for whom the secessionist movement had become a very big headache.

For West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Gorkhaland struggle had become more than an internal state problem to be solved. The agitation which resulted in a three-month long, still ongoing, general strike in Darjeeling, had turned violent with bombs going off near administrative buildings, government property being vandalized, police vehicles being burned, stones and bricks being........

© Outlook India