By Damayanthi Ravindher

What is Gorkhaland ?

Find out here through the voice of Lilly, one of the many women and men who struggle each day and make their way relentlessly through discrimination and violence in order to obtain an independant state.
The demand of a separate administrative setup goes back as far as 1907 and lingers on today, the Gorkha ethnic group's claims such as greater identity and economic freedom still not being adressed more than a century later by the West Bengal government.
The fight grew up in tension in the 1980's when the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF)'s violent agitation led to the establishment of a semiautonomous body in 1988 to govern certain areas of Darjeeling Distric, leaving a total of more than 1200 deaths in its trail.
But in 2008, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the new movement party founded after intestine strife, raised again the demand of the state of Gorkhaland.
On february 8 2011, three GJM activists were shot dead by the police as they tryed to enter Jalpaijuri district, in the Dooars, north plains of Bengal state. As a result, an indefinite strike was called by GJM that lasted 9 days.
In an article published on february 21 2011 in The Hindu, we could read that Mr Bhattacharjee, West Bengal chief minister, at an event held at Phansidewa near Siliguri, said: "The time as come for the (political) leaders in Darjeeling to realise that clamouring for Gorkhaland will yield nothing. It is not acceptable -either to the state or the Center. It is not realistic, it is not possible". His remarks came at a time when the GJM leadership has intensified attempts to take its agitation from the Darjeeling hills to the Dooars and the Terai in the north Bengal plains, reads on the article.
What to think of that? Has ever politics been able to decide what is possible and what is not? Where lies the power to make collective dreams reality?
It lies with you Lilly and the unstoppable nebula of humble, complex, passionate and fierce women that surround you. Your men and children still and always strong and courageous in your wake.

Thanks to all the "hellraisers" of the world.