oppn parties Don't Let Darjeeling Burn

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  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
India shows solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 by lighting diyas and candles at 9 pm yesterday as requested by Prime Minister Modi
oppn parties
Don't Let Darjeeling Burn

By Anukriti Roy
First publised on 2017-07-11 07:55:40

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Anukriti is a student who dabbles in writing when she finds time.
There seems to be no solution in sight to the Darjeeling imbroglio. With all the three parties to the dispute – the Centre, the State and GJM – taking up different positions, strike continues to cripple the region. This in turn is crippling tourism – a source of livelihood for the majority of the people. It is also dealing a hefty blow to the famous Darjeeling tea, already reeling under the impact of cheap, look-alike tea from Nepal.

The Centre is adopting a wait and watch position but it is now becoming more wait than watch. For, it is clear that there have to be tripartite negotiations to end the impasse. But the Centre is perhaps enjoying Mamata Banerjee’s discomfort. It cannot continue to be indecisive any longer as the people are suffering due to this dirty game of one-upmanship.

The state government, on the other hand, blundered by refusing Central forces when they were offered. It had unrealistic faith on the district police. Now, accusing the Centre for not helping is not going to hold water. While there can be no question of dividing Bengal, the state government must either engage GJM in talks or ask the Centre for tripartite meeting. A solution has to be found.

As for the GJM, it must realize that strikes have limited appeal as a pressure tactic. Beyond a certain point, they become counter-productive as they turn the people against the party for bringing hardships. Hence, the GJM leadership should now approach the state government first and then the Centre to redress their grievances.

If a quick solution is not found and if arson and violence continue, Darjeeling is going to see a hardening of attitudes that will take a lot of time to reverse. That would be in no one’s interest. Hence, a negotiated political solution must be arrived at by all the parties in an atmosphere of give and take.