Gorkhaland in Pictures

On my trip to Kalimpong and Pedong, the biggest change from when I left two years ago was the ubiquitous presence of the word “Gorkhaland” on banners, posters, shop windows, and graffiti. Gorkhaland refers to a proposed new state giving the Darjeeling District independence from West Bengal within the Indian Union. The current incarnation of the Gorkhaland movement got its start when I was living in Kalimpong, actually, when Prashant Tamang, a Nepali from Darjeeling, won Indian Idol. I covered this extensively on my last travel blog, hollow-bones.blogspot.com (1, 2, 3, 4). Now Bimal Gurung, the former president of the Prashant Tamang Fan Club, commands the leading faction of the Gorkhaland movement, the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM). While I’ve been gone this party has taken a rather totalitarian swing, and tries to command the district with thug rule. I hope to elaborate on this more in a post soon, but in the meantime here are some photos from my trip. Click through to the descriptions for details.

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