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Year : 2017, Volume : 7, Issue : 2
First page : ( 244) Last page : ( 256)
Print ISSN : 2231-4547. Online ISSN : 2231-4555. Published online : 2017 August 1.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2231-4555.2017.00019.5

Land Question, Ethnicity and the Gorkhaland Movement: The Political Economy Perspective

Rumba Pratik1,*

1Ph.D. Scholar, Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-110067

*Email id: pratikrumba@gmail.com

Received:  08  December,  2016; Accepted:  09  June,  2017.


The demand for the separate state of Gorkhaland by the people of Darjeeling Hills and adjacent Dooars region, in the state of West Bengal, is probably one of the oldest unfulfilled demand in Indian subcontinent today. Scholars have attempted to understand and interpret the movement from diverse perspective but what seems to be unaccounted in the existing literatures is the political economy understanding of the movement. This paper attempts to fill this gap. The paper tries to locate the identity question to the right over land of the people in which they have historically resided and toiled. The paper argues that not only scholars but even those who were/are leading the movement have looked at the two (identity and land) separately and these have obstructed them to have nuanced understanding of the movement that partially, if not entirely, lead to compromise of the issue at least on the part of its leadership.



Gorkhas, Darjeeling, Underdevelopment, Marginalisation, Ethnic identity, Nationality, Neo-Colonial.


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