The Gorkha Janmukti Vidhyarthi Morcha, a students’ wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) , have plastered posters across the hill town of Kalimpong, protesting againt the mandating of Bengali for class 1 to 12 students in hill schools.
The student wing termed the move to make the language compulsory as “linguistic imperialism” imposed by the West Bengal government. They said that it infringed their right to education in their mother tongue, which is Nepali.
“This is dictatorial and we oppose this blatant imposition of Bengali language on our people,” the general secretary of GJVM, Bhushan Tamang, said on Tuesday.
Tamang added that the text books for class 1 to 12 which used to be issued in Nepali, before the district became a part of the state, were now being replaced by textbooks issued in Bengali.
The GJVM also urged all “self-respecting Gorkhali” and Nepali-speaking politicians to speak out against the move. Kalimpong became part of West Bengal this year as the state’s 21st district after it split from the Darjeeling district.