Condemn this act of Desperation and Violence

We write this note to vehemently condemn the killing of two innocent persons from Dooars and Kalimpong by the state security agencies at Shibshu and also those who instructed to carry out such brutal act. In a democratic country like ours , protests, strikes and resentments for any reasons are both common and very normal. It must be more so in a state like West Bengal where the ruling party and the govt themselves have called for several bandhs and strikes in the past. Has anyone calculated the losses and damages triggered by these govt sponsored bandhs?

The duty of a responsible state is to look for and provide a durable solution to such kind of protests which have hit the hills of Darjeeling for almost three decades now. A civilised society like that of Bengal would never celebrate the use of guns against hapless, unarmed and innocent human beings. Given the history of inquiries and their revelations in the aftermath of such killings in West Bengal no one would even have faith on such inquiries let alone asking for the same.

Solutions cannot be brought by brutality and repressions and parochialism and highhandedness. The people of Darjeeling district have not seen the government and the state for last three decades now. Utter chaos and lawlessness, political alienation, economic deprivation and cultural degeneration have been deliberately and systematically injected by the state of West Bengal. People have suffered incessant damages, large number of people have been killed, institutions have been uprooted and more importantly the very beautiful psyche and harmony of the people have been dislocated and demolished. Darjeeling district brought so much of fame and name, huge quantum of wealth and assets and more seriously global prestige to West Bengal as the “Queen of the Hills” and what it in turn got is only filth-dirt, destructions, deprivations, negligence and violence. It has institutionalised internal colonialism in Darjeeling district and Dooars region.

The Shibshu incident only proves that the West Bengal Government only believes in repressions and brutality. Political will to give a durable solution is starkly feeble and remarkably fragile. It also shows the crying need to democratise the Bengal brand of democracy.

What the people in Darjeeling district and Dooars require and want today is a solution to their century old problems that range from identity to development; demographic encroachment to erosion in national security; political participation to constitutional recognition and newer geographical configuration to their own governance system. West Bengal Govt today has two clear options either it should sincerely and effectively rule or quit to let the people Darjeeling district and Dooars to manage their own affairs. The options are narrowing and signs of desperation and nervousness have already started appearing in the politico-governance firmament of West Bengal.

This is a desperate situation today that requires a desperate solution. We the civil society members of the Darjeeling and Dooars want the solution that is durable, permanent and more critically that fulfils the century old aspirations of the people who live and sustain in these two distinct geographical regions.

Issued by

Prof Mahendra P Lama, a concerned citizen.
On behalf of the Civil Society Members of Darjeeling district and Dooars