In a shocking instance of state government high-handedness, the police seized the local channels in Darjeeling. It is no rocket science - the move has been initiated by the West Bengal government, who are fearful over the growing protests in Darjeeling, about the oldest statehood demand in the country, Gorkhaland. These were the only channels (local) via, which Darjeeling residents could come to know about the happenings of the peaceful Gorkhaland movement.

There are only one or two national news channels covering the movement and that too for a mere time span of 2-3 minutes. Hence, it was these local channels , who were involved in the extensive coverage of Gorkhaland related protests and strike and its effects.

But with the West Bengal government diktat, Darjeeling residents would be even barred from the much required information. It just questions the democratic structure and provides yet another typical example of how the Bengal government has dominated the people in the hills over the years, in the process trying to silence them.

Talking to local reporters, some of the cable owners said that the government was trying its best to stifle voices of dissent. Representatives from the cable companies also said that they would file a case against the infringement of their "Freedom of Expression" as enshrined in the Indian constitution.

Calling this a gross misuse of power, one of the local political leader, Mr. D K Rawat said "the Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government has lost its moral authority to govern over the people of Darjeeling, Terai and Doars. They think by preventing people from having access to information they will prevail - but perhaps they forgot that is exactly the mistake, the government in Egypt and Libya made - the people shall prevail."

The renewed demand for Gorkhaland is being met with a show of force by the state government and observers are worried that the situation could get out of hand in a very short span. In such a situation, the people from the proposed Gorkhaland region look up to the Central government to restore the law and order to protect their fundamental rights.

But, people in the hills are not going to let such acts hamper their agitation. In fact, such kind of attitude towards the people of Darjeeling would only make the movement a stronger one.


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