Published: Darjeeling hills of tea ready to boil?

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I spent time in Darjeeling at the end of May reporting a political magazine story on the tension in the Gorkha movement after the leader of a smaller separatist party was killed in daylight near a crowded market. That story was published this month in a Delhi magazine and is available online now. The full-text version is also available here.

The photo above is from a massive political rally in Darjeeling the weekend I was there.

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Jai puppy

Gorkha dog

I recently spent a few days in Darjeeling reporting (real, live journalism!) on political tensions surrounding the Gorkhaland movement. A week before I arrived, a minority party leader was assassinated in the street.

The town was still covered in the typical green and white Gorkha colors and other than a good bit of shouting and lots of paramilitary forces, cooler heads prevailed. That story is set to run in July in a magazine.

In the mean time, I give you the above green scarfed dog.

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Darjeeling tense as Gorkha movement heats up

Gorkhas know how to paint

The hillside roads of the Darjeeling region share an artistic vein: Demands for Gorkhaland. Signs are painted everywhere calling for the new Indian state for Gorkhas, Indians who are ethnically Nepali. Green and white flags — Gorkha colors — hang everywhere.

Now, the region is growing more tense by the hour, as a leader of one of the Gorkha factions was killed at a rally. Gorkha groups have been demanding their own cohesive state for years. They don’t want to simply be a part of the larger, Calcutta-dominated West Bengal.

They above and below photos were taken when I visited Darjeeling in January. I was conveniently there during one of the Gorkha movement’s regular, bandhs, or strikes, of area transportation and business, to press their cause to the state and central governments.

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