A section of intellectuals from West Bengal have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi "to take steps to undermine the agitation and restore normalcy in Darjeeling hills", and stressed that any division of the state will be "suicidal".
Slamming the demand for separate state of Gorkhaland as being based on "flimsy" grounds, intellectuals from fields such as art, literature, music and films have penned a letter to Modi seeking his intervention.
"A section of populace 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. Their demand for further division of Bengal is getting indiscreet support from some political quarters operating from outside," the letter said.
Drawing attention to the Indo-Nepal Treaty of 1950 and W.W. Hunter's "A statistical account of Bengal", they said: "Further division of Bengal as proposed, if ever so, will be suicidal, given the present status of Indo-Nepal relations and the possibility of the Siliguri corridor aka the chicken neck of India being turned into a geopolitical underbelly."
The letter was signed by eminent authors Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, classical vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty among others.
"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 in support of the Mamata Banerjee-led regime.
The demand for a separate Gorkhaland state has "no historical locus standi, the letter said adding, "the state cannot and should not accept such a stance as taken by the Nepali people of Darjeeling."
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