DARJEELING, 8th JUNE, 2017: Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) Chief Bimal Gurung, has reiterated that the agitation against the compulsory imposition of Bengali language in the school syllabus will not be terminated until the West Bengal Government passed a resolution exempting the three hill sub divisions from the purview of making Bengali language compulsory at the Cabinet meeting to be held at Raj Bhawan in Darjeeling.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had during her speech in Mirik a few days ago said that Bengali language was not compulsory and it could be used as a fourth language in schools. While this has led to some relief that Bengali language will not be compulsory, it has also led to confusion as to what language be pursued as the third language and what will be the other options available besides Bengali language as the fourth language. Further there has been no official notification from the State Government as such the GJMM along with other parties such Gorkha National Liberation Front, Gorkha Rystriya Congress, Communist Party of India- Marxist, Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist, Akhil Bharatya Gorkha League among others have demanded that the resolution has to be passed at the Cabinet meeting and gazette notification issued to that effect.
The uncertainty has led to the view that the tourist season which is in full bloom in the hills will be affected greatly.There are also concerns that the GJMM after having lost Mirik to Trinamool Congress (TMC) is in a backfoot and thus could use the Bengali language issue to launch a sustained agitation to regain grounds lost.