A beleaguered CPM, banished from the Darjeeling hills after it opposed the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state in the early 1980s, is now planning to use Rabindranath Tagore to regain a toehold in the district. To celebrate the Nobel laureate’s 150th birth anniversary, the party is organising seminars, poetry and painting contests and workshops over the next few weeks, beginning with a gala celebration in Darjeeling. Tagore had a long, intimate association with the hills and its Gorkha inhabitants—he penned a number of poems and pieces during his visits there. Outfits like the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is spearheading the Gorkhaland agitation, won’t be able to oppose the celebrations since the Hill people have a special love for Tagore.
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