The people of Darjeeling hills, the aam janta, must withdraw the strike. I say aam janta because we all know that it is only they—nameless, faceless and leaderless, and yet the engine of the Gorkhaland agitation going on in the hills for over three months now—who can do so. It is they who have pressured political leaders into continuing with the strike, initially called by the politicians, refusing to let them withdraw without a positive outcome.
The strike in demand for a separate Gorkhaland state will complete 100 days on Friday. The common people are caught between the pro- and anti-strike factions of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the party that has been spearheading the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state over the past decade.
The agitation this time belonged to the masses and after owning it all this while it is slowly turning into a contest between Bimal Gurung, the Morcha chief in hiding who wants the strike to continue, and Binay Tamang, his lieutenant who has defied him and wants the strike to end. It will be most unfortunate for an agitation fuelled by people’s passions to end up as power struggle between two political opportunists.