Migration and Identity: The Nepalese in North – East India
Dr. Supam Biswas
Assistant Pofessor, Department of History
Baneswar Sarathibala Mahavidyalaya,
Cooch Behar, West Bengal
Abstract: The Nepalese constituted a major bulk of the population in seven states of North East India. The British encouraged the Nepalese to settle down on the foothills, forest fringes and river banks. Many of the retired Gurkha soldiers after their retirement also took up diary farming and agriculture. They were accepted both by the rulers and the local communities and transformed newly acquired settlements as good agricultural field. But at recent times, they have been identified as a threat to the identity and socio – economic prosperity of the
local indigenous people. The Nepalese, as a consequence, suffer from social and political problems, mainly crisis of identity. Such anti – Nepali feeling forced them to depart from North East and took shelter in West Bengal, Sikkim and other parts of India. The present day ‘Gorkhaland Movement’ demanding for a separate homeland is the product of such anti – Nepali feeling. Thus an attempt has been made here to make a study in this field.
Key Words:Gurkha soldiers, First World War, Gurkha Colonies, Indo – Nepal Friendship Treaty 1950, Anti – Nepali feeling, Gorkhaland Movement.