Monday, August 25, 2008

Brotherhood on Bimal Gurung’s lips

Sikkim Express
‘My neck can also go if Gorkhaland does not happen by 2010’
GJM leader seeks elder brother help

GANGTOK, August 24: Ever since taking charge of a revived Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung today made a maiden visit to Sikkim and appealed ‘his elder brother Dr.Pawan Chamling’ to lend a few words of support to the ‘neglected smaller brother’.

Sikkim and Darjeeling share brotherly relations for ages and will continue till Teesta-Rangit flows, said the GJM chief in his address during a spiritual programme organized by ‘Heavenly Path’, a spiritual body here at Paljor Stadium. He had been invited to listen to the spiritual discourse of the founder of the body.
“Gorey Salam to Sikkim with whom we share blood relations. I have also come today to erase out the recent minor misunderstandings between the people of Sikkim and Gorkhaland. The road between these two regions have reopened today”, said Mr.Gurung.
The GJM chief then presented the tale of two brothers-elder being Sikkim and smaller being Darjeeling or ‘Gorkhaland’ in his words.
“The smaller brother is suffering a stepmotherly treatment from the makers of this nation and the elder brother (Sikkim) must come forward to help”.
Mr. Gurung said that he has been regularly appealing the ‘elder brother Dr.Pawan Chamling to impart some love to the smaller brother’. Please speak a few words for the smaller brother, that’s our only request, he said.
Mr.Gurung also acknowledged the support of Sikkim to Darjeeling since the 1986 agitation. “Sikkim has been helping Darjeeling. We will never forget the contributions of Sikkim and we are ready to return this gesture in future if Sikkim ever needs help from Darjeeling”, he said.

Later, the GJM chief interacted with the local press at Norkhil hotel on various issues specific to Sikkim and Gorkhaland movement. The excerpts of the interaction with the press is presented below

On his visit to Sikkim
I came here to attend a religious programme. I could not meet properly the Guru in Darjeeling and I have given my promise to attend his programme in Sikkim. And on this basis I have come today.

On the other objective
There were a kind of environment between Sikkim and Gorkhaland which was going some other directions. To address this also, I came here. I also took this occasion to tell the people here that we came from the same family tree and nobody should forget each other.
Sikkim and Darjeeling share blood relations. We share the same customs, culture and language. There is no different between these two regions. The only thing is that the smaller brother is presently suffering from a stepmotherly treatment.
Sikkim is our home. Darjeeling is also the home of the Sikkimese people. They are always welcome. Both areas are our family grounds.

On his maiden visit since taking leadership of the Gorkhaland movement in October, 2007
This is my first visit since the movement began. I should also respect the status of the place and people here. We have internal brotherhood and a pleasant environment exists between us which we don’t want to destroy.
Though we speak several things from mouth, but our internal feelings are the same.

The brotherhood
Sikkim and Darjeeling are brothers. We want to tell our elder brother that the father has given everything to them but not to us. We want to tell them to render some vocal support. Just tell a few things to the father. That’s what we want. The smaller brother is telling respectfully to the elder brother.

On the support from the elder brother
We understand that it is not a simple thing as he is the Government and have to consider the sentiments of all people. Nobody can openly support. They will do on their own.

On the Gorkhaland resolution demand from Sikkim Assembly
We will keep on sending delegations till he (Chief Minister) says yes. Brother should help brother.

On the Chief Minister
I am just a small person. Today Dr.Pawan Chamling is the Chief Minister of Sikkim. The Gorkhas of the world recognize him. I am just leading a population of 30-35 lakh Gorkhas. We have great respect for him.
Talks should be there between the two brothers. I can come any number of times.

On his coming to Gangtok on a GL number
There was no problem. I tell that I am coming to a home ground. A brother is coming to a place of an elder brother. Even if I was not allowed to come in a GL number, I would have come in another vehicle.
I will go to Siliguri in this GL number. It is a part of our non-cooperation movement to the West Bengal government.
(This is the first time a GL no vehicle has entered Sikkim. Two other vehicles carrying GJM workers with GL nos also accompanied the GJM chief)

On his claim of Gorkhaland by 2010
It’s our take. Gorkhaland will happen before 2010. If does not happen then my neck can also go. I have accepted this also. We will compel Bengal government to ask us to take Gorkhaland.