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Why Gorkhaland: A guide for starters - A must read for everyone and know who are the Gorkhas

Many people across India are curious about the Gorkhaland issue, but most of them do not know about the issue very well and are of the false impression that Gorkhaland is a demand by the Gorkhas for separation from India.Hence, the following paragraphs below would help those, who are not familiar with the Gorkhaland issue. As one will read the story, they can view that the demand for Gorkhaland is a just and moral demand for the creation of the state of Gorkhaland within the geographical and constitutional contours of India.
 To make it for an easy read, I have made a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which has been answered, thus acting as a guide to Gorkhaland issue.

Q. Who are Gorkhas in the Indian context?
 A.The 'Gorkhas' in the Indian context are Indian citizens of Nepali ethnicity, who live across the length and breadth of India. The term 'Gorkha' in the Indian context is used to differentiate the Indian citizens of Nepali ethnicity from the citizens of Nepal, who prefer to be called 'Nepalese.'
 Many a time, people mistake the Indian 'Gorkhas' with Nepalese 'Gorkhali'. It is to be noted that in terms of Nepal, 'Gorkhali' refers to the people from the 'Gorkha' region. However, the use of the term 'Gorkha' in the Indian context is very different than in Nepal's context. Therefore, the term 'Gorkha' refers to different groups of people depending on the country they are being used in reference to.

 Q. Did the Gorkhas immigrate to India?
 A. Majority of the people who identify themselves as 'Gorkhas' in India are sons and daughters of the soil, and their forefathers 'came with the land.' They did not immigrate to India. However, it is well recognized that there are many immigrants from Nepal, who have also settled in India, post-independence.

 Q. What do you mean by 'came with the land'?
 A.The Nepali kingdom in the 17th and 18th Century was spread all over the Himalayas. In the year 1777, Nepal had appropriated the Kingdom of Sikkim (that included most of the present day Darjeeling district) in the east and had also successfully invaded and conquered the Kingdoms of Kumaon, Garhwal and Kangra in the west. The Nepali Kingdom was spread from the east of rivers Teesta to the west of river Sutlej.
 However, following the Anglo-Nepal war of 1814-1816, Nepal agreed to cede most of the Terai region, the lands of Sikkim, Kumaon, Garhwal and Kangra to the British through the Treaty of Sugauli (Sugauli Sandhi), which was signed on 4 March 1816. After the Anglo-British war of 1865, the British appropriated the lands that are today known as Kalimpong and Dooars. Therefore, all the people of Nepali, Sikkimese and Bhutanese origin, who were living in these tracts automatically came under the British and subsequently under India (after the British left), hence the term – 'came with the land.'

 Q. Were there Gorkhas in Darjeeling region prior to the British coming to India?
 A.Recorded history shows that the region was inhabited as early as the 9th century. When Guru Padmasambhava had passed through this region in the 9th century, he had established Buddhism in the region – which indicates the presence of people living in the area way, before the British ever landed in Asia.
 In the Indian context, the word 'Gorkha' is an umbrella term used to identify a varied group of people, as one unified entity, in terms of Darjeeling, communities such as the Róng – Lepchas, the Tsong – Limbus, the Kirat – Rai, the Dukpas and the Magars are the aboriginal/ethnic/native people of the region, who constitute a large chunk of the 'Gorkha' people living in the Darjeeling region. Hence, it can be safely said that the majority of the 'Gorkhas,' who belong to these communities and are living in Darjeeling, ethnic to the region.
 In addition, other groups of people such as the Gurungs, Thapas, Chettris, Newars, Sunwars, Bahuns, Kamis, Damais, Sarkis, Bhuti
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