Panos Radio South Asia | Latest Panoscope issue, 5 December 2009
Gorkhas's last battle
In late 2007, the hills of Darjeeling in India renewed their demand for a separate statehood of Gorkhaland with a movement led by Bimal Gurung under the banner of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha or G-J-M-M. The demand for a separate homeland for the Nepali-speaking people of the region is over a century old, first articulated around 1907. Since then, the movement then led by Gorkha National Liberation Front or G-N-L-F turned widely violent in the 1980-ies and managed to earn a semi-autonomous administrative arrangement called the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council or D-G-H-C within the West Bengal government of India. But the G-N-L-F later started loosing its support base with its leader being charged of compromising its demand for a separate statehood. Today, the political opposition in the hills is almost non existent and there is widespread support for the G-J-M-M with power base shifting from the G-N-L-F to Bimal Gurung's G-J-M-M. This is often being referred to by the current leadership as the "final battle for Gorkhaland".
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