Deepa Thapa, 25, a Gorkha living in West Bengal, says none of the parties in fray has a spotless record in governance, be it healthcare or economy
I belong to a family of Gorkhas from Nepal who have shifted to India. My father shifted to India more than 20 years ago but most of our extended family is still in Pokhra, Our extended family gets worried whenever there is tension in Indo-Nepalese relations.
I have assured my relatives that I have always felt loved and safe here in India and personally I have never experienced any discrimination, but sometimes policy changes are so sudden and ambiguous that one doesn’t know who might get caught in it.
Frankly, Amit Shah might have said that Gorkhas didn’t really need to worry about NRC (National Register of Citizens), but as an individual I do worry about it. Whenever such news comes up, I read every detail about it in depth so that my family is never caught off-guard. I keep an eye on the statements made by our national leaders, because on crucial matters they have more say than local leaders. However, I give more importance to local leaders than those at the top.
As about the demand for Gorkhaland, I am neutral in that regard. I can understand people who want it and I can also understand people who don’t want it. Maybe I would be able to take sides, be able to cross the bridge when we finally come to it.
Personally I think West Bengal electorate is caught between the devil and the deep sea, with no party being better than the other. I feel one should always vote keeping in mind which local representative of a party is doing better work. Before voting one must clearly figure out what their priorities are when it comes to governance and whether there is a likelihood of those priorities being met.
Talking as a common individual, I feel both the BJP and TMC are doing little for the economy. West Bengal was anyway under the Left parties rule for so many years that it will take a long time to revive the state’s entrepreneurial spirit. So we need someone in the state who can lead from the front, especially in times like these when so many people are facing an uncertain future job or business-wise due to the raging coronavirus. I feel the pandemic could have been handled better by both the state and central government.
I also wish that India and Nepal’s relationship goes back to how it was in the past. Every time there is a slightest friction in the Indo- Nepalese relation, our Gorkha community here as well as relatives in Nepal get worried.
We Gorkhas are a tight-knit and loving community and so is India generally, and I hope whichever party comes to power, they ensure that their representatives, right from the local to the national level, communicate openly with people. And I would love to see representation from different ethnic backgrounds at the local level.
As Told To Yog Maya Singh