FAQs


1. Are Gorkhas living in India foreigners?

Answer: Absolutely not. Gorkhas have been living in the land that falls under India since millenia. It is common knowledge that the history of the minority communities in India has not received much attention. There is a misunderstanding that the Gorkhas came to India only after the British started to rule India. This view is completely incorrect. A simple historical example would explain this:

Lho-Mon-Tsong Sum (1642)

Limboos, who come under the Gorkha community of India, were living in Sikkim from time immemorial. Most people think that the Limboos lived in Limbuwan in olden times and that Limbuwan falls entirely in Nepal. But the truth is that Limbuwan included parts of Sikkim (that included the area of Darjeeling). It should be noted that the boundaries of olden kingdoms were very fluid. Sikkim once had boundaries up to Arun and Dudh Kosi rivers, now in Nepal (J.R. Subba, "History, Culture and Customs of Sikkim", 2008). People also tend to believe that the original inhabitants of Sikkim are only the Lepchas and the Bhutias. But the truth is that the Limboos are also true sons of the soil of Sikkim. Dr. Richard Keith Sprigg, the famous linguist who lived in Kalimpong for many years, says, "The Limboos were living in Sikkim before there was a Sikkim for them to live in!"

Lho-Mon-Tsong Sum meaning:
Lho - Bhutia; Mon - Lepcha; Tsong - Limboo; Sum - treaty

This is a treaty signed by representative leaders of the Bhutia, Limboo and Lepcha communities of Sikkim during the reign of Phuntsog Namgyal, the first Chogyal (king) of Sikkim (1642-1670). The treaty says: "Henceforth in according to the command of his majesty, the humble ministers of Lho, Mon and Tsong have met here with the desire for unification and solidarity and hereby make the statement that there shall not be separate governments of Lho, Mon or Tsong."

There were 24 signatories to this treaty, many of whom represented a region, including Thar Thim, the Lepcha leader of Barphung; Tsong Subba, Limbu leader of Namphang; Tenchos, Lho pa leader of Lingdam; Tapa Agod, Limbu leader of Rathang; Thapa Shupang, Limbu leader of Rimbi; and Dechen Namgyal, Lho pa leader of Tritong.

This proves that Limboos were in Sikkim (which includes the area of Darjeeling) even before there was a country called Sikkim, centuries before the British ruled India. Thus, to call Gorkhas foreigners would be the same as saying the land that the Gorkhas live in right now in India doesn't belong to India.


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1. The proposed Gorkhaland state has only 3 MLAs (minus Siliguri). How can you have a state with 3 MLAs?

Answer: The number of MLAs a state can possess will depend on the size of the state when it is formed. There are no set criteria for forming assembly constituencies in India. For example:
* Goa which has an area of 3,702 sq km has 40 assembly constituencies.
* Sikkim with an area of 7,096 sq km has 32 assembly constituencies.
* Delhi, a Union Territory but possessing a state assembly, has an area of only 1,484 sq km but has 70 assembly constituencies.
* Puducherry, another Union Territory but possessing a state assembly, has an area of only 562 sq km but has 30 assembly constituencies.
Therefore, Gorkhaland with an area of ~3,000 sq km at the minimum can have enough assembly constituencies and thus enough MLAs to function as a state.

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2. The proposed Gorkhaland state has only 1.5 districts (minus Siliguri). How can you have a state with 1.5 districts?

Answer: Again, the number of districts is determined after a state is formed/decided to be formed.
* Goa has 2 districts in an area of 3,702 sq km.
* Sikkim has 4 districts in an area of 7,096 sq km.
Gorkhaland with an area of ~3,000 sq km at the minimum can have enough number of districts to function as a state.

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3. The proposed Gorkhaland state has only about 9 lakh population (minus Siliguri). How can you have a state with only 9 lakh population?

Answer: Population is not a criterion to form states in India.
* Sikkim has a population of 6,44,660.
* Mizoram has a population of 10,97,206.
* Arunachal Pradesh has a population of 13,83,727.
* Goa has a population of 14,57,723.
Gorkhaland will have a population of ~9,00,000 at the minimum and thus can easily be a state in India.

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4. The proposed Gorkhaland state has an area of only 3149 sq. km. How can you have a state with an area of 3149 sq. km?

Answer: There are many regions in India that function as state or union territory with small areas.
Sikkim: 7,096 sq km.
Goa: 3,702 sq km.
Delhi: 1,490 sq km.
Puducherry: 492 sq km.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli: 491 sq km.
Chandigarh: 114 sq km.
Daman and Diu: 112 sq km.
Lakshadweep: 32 sq km.
Gorkhaland with an area of ~3,000 sq km at the minimum will have no problem becoming a state in India.

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5. How can there be a separate state on ethnic lines?

Answer: Most of the states in India have been formed on ethnic lines:
West Bengal - Bengali
Odisha - Odia
Tamil Nadu - Tamil
Kerala - Malayali
Karnataka - Kannadiga
Nagaland - Naga
Mizoram - Mizo
Manipur - Manipuri
Assam - Assamese
Punjab - Punjabi
Gujarat - Gujarati
Maharashtra - Marathi

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6. How can there be a separate state on linguistic lines?

Answer: Most of the states in India have been formed on linguistic lines:
West Bengal - Bengali
Odisha - Odia
Tamil Nadu - Tamil
Kerala - Malayalam
Karnataka - Kannada
Manipur - Manipuri
Assam - Assamese
Punjab - Punjabi
Gujarat - Gujarati
Maharashtra – Marathi

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