Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2012: Gorkhaland Territorial Administration

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  • The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha՚s has decided to contest the elections to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA)
  • The region was on the boil for nearly three decades, driven by protests over the Gorkhaland demand. In more recent years, a series of shutdowns hit the region, that is largely dependent on tourism.
  • A tripartite agreement was signed among the GJM, and the West Bengal and Central governments. The deal provided for the GTA, replacing the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council that was formed in the late-1980s.
  • While “keeping on record the demand of the GJM for a separate state of Gorkhaland,” the agreement provided for the formation of the autonomous and self-governing GTA through direct elections.
  • The State government agreeing to acknowledge in that deal the essentially divisive Gorkhaland dream clearly amounted to appeasement. The government should not go down the placatory path anymore without giving due thought to the disruptive potential of the slogan.
  • The whole process cannot be impervious and insensitive to the legitimate political and social aspirations of the people of the Dooars and the Terai in the Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts. If they do not want their areas to be part of the GTA, their sentiments should not be ignored.
  • Now, putting aside its resistance to the Shyamal Sen Committee՚s recommendation to include within the GTA՚s jurisdiction only five mouzas in the Terai and the Dooars-against its demand for 396 mouzas-the GJM has decided to take part in the elections to the 45 seats in the new body even before its final territorial contours are clear.
  • It is important that the GJM refrains from muddying the waters again, keeping alive and reviving the

Gorkhaland demand. Instead, it should help the region realise its development potential and integrate its people with the national mainstream as a truly democratic player. On its part, the State government should stand firm on resisting divisive trends and not seek to bend over backwards to pander to disruptive demands.

Courtesy: The Hindu