The demand to establish Gorkhaland as a state separate from West Bengal has surfaced once again as a national issue in India. Some eight protesters have already died in the protest demanding separate Gorkhaland state. The issue of the Gorkhaland state came to light again after the West Bengal government made Bengali language compulsory in the school curriculum.
This demand was first put to the British India government in 1907. This region has a political history and socio-cultural background that is different from the complexities of Bengal’s politico-economic structures.
This 110 year old demand has seen three phases of intense agitation and violent eruptions during 1970-81, 1985-88 and 2008-2012. It was preceded by the fierce Naxalite movement in 1960s and 1970s originating at the very core of Darjeeling’s foothills.
Meanwhile, protest rally was held at Maitighar in the Capital City in support of the Gorkhaland protest. People gathered carrying placards with message in support of the protest. One of the placards demands to stop police atrocities in Darjeeling.
"We gathered here to express condolence to eight people that have died in course of the protest and action taken by the Bengal government on the protestors," said one of the protestors.