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14 Jul 2018

On Bhanu Jayanti, Chamling alludes to identity crisis of Nepalis

SUJAL PRADHAN, EOI, Gangtok, 13 Jul 2018: On the occasion of Bhanu Jayanti, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has called for preservation of the communal harmony that prevails in the State.
“Our government has maintained peace, security and harmony in the State all these years. I urge everyone to take ownership and responsibility as dutiful citizens and give their full support in ensuring continuity to the communal harmony that exists in the State,” he said, addressing the State-leval Bhanu Jayanti celebration at Manan Kendra on Friday.
In Sikkim, celebrations on the occasion of birth anniversary of poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya are not limited only to the Nepali community. People from all communitiestake part in the festivities related to Bhanu Jayanti, reaffirming the communal harmony that exists among the Sikkimese people. The theme for this year’s Bhanu Jayanti is “Jatiya Sadbhavana” (Communal Harmony).
On the occasion, the Chief Minister also talked about the identity crisis of the Nepali community. He said: “We still suffer from an identity crisis. We are still viewed as immigrants by our mainland countrymen. Doubts are cast on our nationality. Even personally also, I was made a victim of this crisis, when a case was filed in the Court questioning my nationality. It is during such times that we, the Nepali people, have to be united and prove that we are proud Indians having made our contributions towards the nation, right from the time of Lord Buddha. History is proof that the Buddha was of Nepali origin, having being born in Nepal. So, if we have to prove our identity, we can say that we are Indians as much as Lord Buddha is! Therefore, whenever aspersions are cast on our identity, we as a community should stand for each other and protect ourselves from such derogatory attacks.
He also made a few announcements. “Our Government has endeavoured towards the promotion of Nepali language. Nepali is taught in schools and colleges; from this year, we are taking further steps to encourage our students to take up Nepali as a subject in schools and colleges. A language can be safeguarded, promoted and recognized if people study it as a subject. People from the Nepali community can even write UPSC examination in Nepali language as it comes under the eighth schedule of the Constitution. Such efforts will go a long way in promotion and recognition of Nepali language,” he added.
He directed his department to look for land for construction of Bhanu Bhawan in Gangtok. The State Government would bear all expenditure for its construction.

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