April 25, 2009


DARJEELING:This morning (22 April), the reactions and response that we received from the hill city, were overwhelmingly in favour of the CPI (M) rally in general rally and the address by CPI (M) Polit Bureau member, Sitaram Yechury, in particular.

Representatives of every hill community—the Tamangs, the Gurungs, the Lamas, the Thapas, the Mokhtans, the Bhattarais, the Pathaks, and the Chhetris et al—i.e., cutting across castes as well as social groups-- spoke paeans of praise in favour of the basic tenor of the CPI (M) rally.


The CPI (M) rally called for unity of the people of the hills, the plains, and of the hills and the plains. The political content of Sitaram’s address where he emphasised the position of the CPI (M) and the Left as friends and comrades of the hill communities in and out of the parliament struck a sympathetic chord, as they told us, among the minds of the hill people.

The talk about the Left fighting in and out of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the overall and not sectarian development of the hill areas kept being recalled repeatedly, even after the rally was over, as we were told, and its effects remaining yet powerful among the hill peoples in general.


On the other hand, the separatist GJMM and its cohorts have been made angry at the way the CPI (M) could make its way back and in force to the hill townships of Darjeeling, Kurseong, and Kalimpong, in particular, and they are infuriated at the onrush of popular, indeed mass, support for the CPI (M), once again in the hills after a gap.

The scathing attack that Sitaram launched during his address at the opportunism and dangerous brinkmanship of the divisive kind of the BJP also blended well with the consensus in the hills, among people of such far flung areas as Chungtung, Hrishihaat, Kaujali, Jhenpey, Pemeti, Balachanr, Gokh, Bijonbari, Poolbazaar, Aatpara, and Teendharia.

Elsewhere, Biman Basu, CPI (M) Bengal secretary, and chairman Bengal Left Front told the media that the Left Front called upon the Election Commission to ensure that voting remained free and fair in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Kurseong. Biman also complained that at least half-a-dozen letters written by him to the ECI on the situation developing in the hill sub-divisions had gone unresponded to and it seemed nothing would be done by the ECI to remedy and set right the recent state of tension there.

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