Express press service
GUWAHATI: Gorkhas across India are outraged after the All India Women Conference (AIWC) rejected a performance by artists from the community on the grounds that ‘Nepali’ is a ‘non-Indian’ language.
On June 9, Chandra Prabha Pandey, executive member of the AIWC and head of events, had sent a note asking for contributions for an event organized to coincide with “Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav”. Contributions were patriotic songs and dances performed in regional languages.
When performers from Kalimpong in West Bengal sent in their contributions, Pandey allegedly rudely told them “we cannot present performances in non-Indian languages,” the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP) alleged.
This prompted the AIWC, Kalimpong secretary Aruna Pradhan, to intervene, but Pandey reportedly insisted “they can’t send the national anthem sung in the Nepali language because it’s not a language of India”.
The BGP expressed shock at the way Pandey behaved. “It is shocking that the AIWC is completely unaware that the Nepali language / Gorkha Bhasa is one of the national languages of India spoken by 10.5 million Indian Gorkhas and duly recognized under the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution “, said the general secretary of the youth wing of the BGP, Ramesh Bastola. .
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista also expressed shock. “The AIWC has shown willful racism against the Gorkha community of our nation by claiming that Nepali is not an Indian language and by not allowing representation in the Nepali language,” he said. .
The Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh demanded that Pandey issue a public apology within 24 hours or else she would be prosecuted.
“Our team will also file an online petition so that this incident does not happen again,” a Gorkha leader said.