Intellectuals from diverse fields in West Bengal have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking restoration of normalcy in Darjeeling. A host of intellectuals from the fields of literature, painting and acting, many of whom are of national repute, appealed to the Prime Minister “to take steps to undermine the agitation and restore normalcy in Darjeeling hills”. “A section of population of the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal have raised once again demand for a separate Gorkhaland state on a flimsy ground. Their destructive activities have thrown public life totally out of gear there,” the letter, a copy of which was given to PTI today, said.
“Their demand for further division of Bengal is getting indiscreet support from some political quarters operating from outside,” the letter said. “Contrary to the allegation of the hill people, people of Bengal have always stood by them in their efforts to enrich their culture, language and ethos with proper honour,” the letter said. Sahitya Academi award winning authors Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Dibyendu Palit, Nabanita Deb Sen, classical vocalist Pandit Ajay Chakraborty, painters Ganesh Halui and Wasim Kapoor and actor
Ranjit Mallick are among those who signed the letter. “The West Bengal government, in this direction, has constituted a host of language and development boards,” the intellectuals wrote in support of the activities of Mamata Banerjee-led regime in the state in connection with the hills. Claiming that demand for a separate Gorkhaland state has no historical locus standi, the letter said “the state cannot and should not accept such a stance.”