Former Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha leader Anit Thapa finally floated his new political party, Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM), amid much fanfare, with several well-known personalities from different fields throwing their back on the “new equation” in the Hills as envisioned by Mr Thapa.
Also unveiled today was a tricolour party flag, with yellow at the top, grey in the middle and ruby red at the bottom, with pictures of the rising sun, the Himalayas, a river running down the mountains, tea leaves, a forest, and two Khukuris (traditional sharp Gorkha knife) in the middle.
Speaking at the launch of the party at Gymkhana Club here, the BGPM president, Anit Thapa, said, “The way intellectuals have come forward to support us shows that they believe in politics without deception and lies. We have taken in people from different fields as we feel more work can be done if we understand them better.”
Among the many people supporting the BGPM today included literary figures like Jas Yonzon ‘Pyasi’, Dr Gokul Sinha, Bijay Rai and also musicians like Durga Kharel and Chandan Lomjel, theatre personality Lalit Golay and sports personality like Nawang Bhutia.
A noted and senior political leader of the Jan Andolan Party, Amar Lama, also affirmed his support to the new party today. “We always tend to blame the Centre and the state governments, but it is not their fault. We were always busy fighting each other and now we are trying to stay away from such things. During the 1986 Gorkhaland agitation, our Gorkhas burnt our own houses and now we should not indulge in violence. We will work to make the Hills a better place and see to it that no houses are burnt or anyone is chased away,” Mr Thapa said.
He added that they will segregate and work separately for two issues-the Gorkha identity issue and the issues of the hills. “There are many problems plaguing the Hills, but we only focus on big issues when 80 per cent of the people do not even have land rights or the panchayat system is not in place.
Gorkhaland is the issue of every Gorkha, but we are saying that it should not be made an issue only during the elections. We should make the government understand this and one section of our party will work for it with our other issues being employment, training for farmers, water, scarcity among such things,” Mr Thapa said.
He also maintained that they will not go in confrontation, but work with the state government. On the other hand, Mr. Lama said, “We have come forward thinking that good things will happen now. Even if we go for agitation for Gorkhaland, it will not be based on violence and no one should also encourage such leaders.”
He added that many political parties coming up was a good thing as there will be no monopoly of one party. With only the post of the president announced today, the BGPM is scheduled to hold a central committee meeting on Sunday where more portfolios are expected to be announced.
Today, the launch event was aired through social media and around 43 giant LCD screens all over the GTA area, where a good number of people gathered and witnessed the programme live right in their areas.
The party, meanwhile, said that the yellow colour in the flag symbolized purity, sacrifice, humanity, auspiciousness and tolerance, while the grey colour signified neutrality, intellect, elegance and coolness. They said that the ruby red colour showed courage, bravery, liberty and social change.