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TJAC declares support for GJM’s Gorkhaland struggle

LiveMint logoLiveMint 11-07-2017 Yunus Y. Lasania

In a shot in the arm for the struggle for a separate Gorkhaland by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in West Bengal, the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which fought for the state’s separation from Andhra Pradesh, has declared its support for GJM’s agitation.

The Darjeeling-based organization’s Telangana chapter held a meeting on Tuesday, which was attended by about 300 Gorkhas and TJAC representatives.

“When the agitation for Telangana’s separation was on, the GJM supported us. These regional aspirations should not be seen as just emotional sentiments, as they have some strong socio-economic reasons. This is a part of a national small state federation that was formed years ago,” said Prof. M. Kodandaram, chairman, TJAC.

He said movements like the one for Gorkhaland must be addressed in a democratic matter (by the Centre). Prof. Kodandaram said the TJAC will participate in programmes that the GJM will conduct here. “They requested us to visit Darjeeling also, but because of our own programmes we are not able to do so. We will decide on it shortly,” he told Mint.

Paul Rai, president of GJM’s Telangana unit said that there are about 50,000 Gorkhas living in and around Hyderabad. At the meeting held with the TJAC, Rai said that the demand for Gorkhaland is genuine, and that it had begun 107 years ago, much before independence.

“The people of Darjeeling district in West Bengal have nothing in common with people, still the latter impose their culture and language on us. People in India think we are Nepali, but that is not true. We are from here and just want a state for us Gorkhas,” Rai said at the meeting. He added that another meeting or rally will be held on July 30, after which the GJM and TJAC will formulate a plan to visit Darjeeling.

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