Subash Ghisingh, on returning to Darjeeling, conducted a political post-mortem of what led to the present crisis and where the Hills are headed. He did not forget to prescribe the panacea either.
Juggling around with words, Ghisingh said the state and the Centre, knowingly or unknowingly, had distorted the elected pattern of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council into a bureaucratic pattern and the “caretaker chairman” into an “administrator”. This, he said, was the root of all evil.
With this, Ghisingh clearly admitted that owing to the government’s failure to hold elections to DGHC and instead appointing an administrator had sparked off the resentment which finally snowballed into the ongoing Gorkha crisis and the public had to suffer owing to this political uncertainty.
He also did not fail to pull up the government for not having honoured the memorandum of settlement signed by him, the central government and the state on December 6, 2005. “By signing the MOS the government had given consent to our demand and even had tabled a New Gorkha Hill Council Bill,” said Ghisingh, referring to the Bill to incorporate Darjeeling in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution tabled by the then Union home minister, Shivraj Patil, in parliament.
“The public misunderstood the Bill. The 6th Schedule is just a provision that would accord a constitutional guarantee to the upgraded Hill Council with 45 departments and legislative powers. It had nothing to do with Schedule Tribe status,” said Ghisingh.