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30 Jul 2017

Gorkhas all over the globe march united for Gorkhaland

Gorkhas all over the globe march united for Gorkhaland
Before the march in Aukland, New Zealand
Amitava Banerjee, oneindia, July 30, 2017: Gorkhas in over 100 cities and towns across the globe marched for Gorkhaland on Sunday in a first of its kind event "Global Gorkhaland Unity March." 

Gorkhas have been agitating with the demand of carving out a separate state of Gorkhaland from West Bengal. 
A violent 28 month long violent agitation is the 1980s had left 1200 dead. With the resurrection of the Gorkhaland demand in North Bengal followed by an agitation since June this year, the movement has earned immense support from Gorkhas residing not only in India but throughout the globe. 
Events specially rallies have been held in the recent past worldwide in support of the demand.

"Rallies were being organized worldwide along with other events worldwide. It was more of group or organizational efforts. It is then we decided that we should do a rally globally on the same day. This would ensure that we would make a loud noise and be heard" stated Siddarth Bhitrikoti, an global coordinator for the march from Bangalore.

The main aim of such a rally is to stress on unity and sustainability. "The main mantra now is unity and sustainability to carry the movement forward and not let it die down. The global march is a step in this direction. In future too such global programmes will be organized. Gorkhaland movement is a people's movement now and does not bear the signature of any political outfit" added Bhitrikoti.

The idea of the global rally evolved in the United States when Manish Chettri, a Gorkha residing in North Carolina had to drive for hours to participate in a Gorkhaland rally in Washington DC. He then had floated the idea of having a unity rally in different cities of USA on the same day. Others from across the globe pitched in and it was then decided that a global rally would be held on July 30.

" The primary objectives of the rally are to unite the Gorkha populace globally; condemn the human rights violation in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and raise a united voice for Gorkhaland" stated Smriti Rael Philip from Darjeeling.

The march also invited supporters from outside the Gorkha community. "We welcomed all who believe in the Gorkhaland dream and want to raise their voice against the human rights violation in the Hills" added Philip.

Rallies are being held in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Myanmar, Canada, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Israel, Kuwait, Tanzania, Scotland, Thailand, UAE, USA and other parts of the globe along with cities and towns in India.

Owing to the sporadic clashes between security forces and Gorkhaland supporters in Sukna near Siliguri in North Bengal, the organizers have called off rallies in Salugarah, Salbari, Sukna and Mirik in North Bengal.

" It was a herculean task to coordinate between different countries in different time zones. It would have not been possible without social network sites. The rallies were perfectly synced through social network sites. Most of the global coordinators are not known to each other in person but only through these social networking sites stated Bhitrikoti.

As a database has been created for the global march, in future there will be many such events worldwide. " We are planning different types of innovative protests and programmes, " stated Bhitrikoti. Bangalore has already hosted "Fight with Art" (protests through various art forms along with three rallies.

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