Gorkhapedia (pronounced / gor'kha'pi'diə गोर्खापिदिया) is the first online Wikipedia styled free for all to edit encyclopedia on Gorkha people, life and culture. It evolved from The Himalayan Beacon also known as Beacon Online which itself evolved from Beacon, a monthly English news magazine published from Darjeeling.
The Himalayan Beacon known until 2006 simply as BEACON is an English monthly news-magazine published from Darjeeling by The Mandalay Books India (Pvt.) Ltd1. It is now owned by The Mandalay Books India (Pvt.) Ltd, which publishes other periodicals, including the weekly newspaper ‘This Week’ and ‘The Himalayan Traveller’.
Nicknamed the “Fire Hose” for its colourful appearance and undiplomatic journalistic style, Beacon is often regarded as a source of record, meaning that it is frequently relied upon as the official and authoritative reference for current events. Founded in 1998 by Barun Roy the magazine is by far more popular among the youths of the region than the readers of other generations. The magazine’s name is often abbreviated to Beacon, due to its earlier popularity as Beacon. Its famous motto, always printed in the upper left-hand corner of the cover page, is “News and Views on Gorkhas by Gorkhas.2”
Beacon was founded on October 18, 1997 by Barun Roy. The first issue of Beacon came out on the 15th of January 1998 and the then Founding Team included:
Chief Editor: Barun Roy
Sub-editors: Subash Sthapit (Subash Sthapit later, went on to become the Finance Manager of Beacon Publications which published the Magazine)and Raju Biswas (Raju Biswas later went on to become the Advertisement Manager)
Advertisement Manager: Vikash Agarwal
Marketing Executives: Nishan Chettri and Amina Fareedi
Reporters: Prateeq Ojha, Asif Iqbal, Prashan Rai
The Editorial Head office then was situated at 8/A Toong Soong Road, Darjeeling.
The magazine was originally published every 15th of the Month until April 1998.
The paper’s growing influence was seen during its very initial publication when in Jan-August 1998 a series of Beacon exposés targeting Bengal and the Local Administration ended the Government apathy over the retired workers of the Sidrapong Hydel Power Station.
In the later years, Beacon transitioned from supporting populistic politics to becoming a politically independent periodical; In 2001, Beacon Publications went bankrupt and almost 90 per cent of the employees lost their jobs. Beacon Publications had to shut down its offices and Beacon went out of circulation for almost two years. In 2003, Beacon was acquired by “The Mandalay Books India Pvt. Ltd.”
The paper moved its headquarters to 118/A Dr. Zakir Hussain Road, Elysee Lane. It has remained there ever since.
The most controversial and historic issues of Beacon
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Some of the most controversial Beacon articles
Beacon published numerous highly investigative and mostly controversial articles with international ramifications. While some of the articles like 'Problems Unsolved' ultimately forced the West Bengal State Government to pay up all the dues that it had been holding for almost 25 years from the workers of the Historic Hydel Electric Project at Sidrapong, Darjeeling - articles like 'China’s claim on Indian Territory' lead to major diplomatic scuffle between India and China which took years to heal. Ultimately, in 2003, China acknowledged Sikkim as an inalienable part of India. The “I am not seeking independence…”, statement by His Holiness The Dalai Lama in the June 1998 issue of Beacon lead to a major shift in the Foreign Policy of numerous Government all over the world including India’s.
* Vol.1. No. 1. Jan. 1998 - Rajiv Gandhi - A Victim of International Conspiracy
* Vol.1. No. 1. Jan. 1998 - War Game - Hectic Political Drama now in climax
* Vol.1.No.3 April 1998 - War in December
* Vol. 1. No. 3. April 1998 - Why Separate State?
* Vo1. 1. No. 4. May 1998 - India's Defence in Peril
* Vol. 1. No. 5. June 1998 - China's Claim on Indian Territory
* Vol. 1. No. 5 June 1998 - I am not seeking independence - His Holiness The Dalai Lama
The Himalayan Beacon [Beacon Online] A community Blog
Internet Address: http://www.beacononline.wordpress.com
The Himalayan Beacon is a community Blog founded by Barun Roy. The blog was initially aimed at addressing the problems faced by people in Darjeeling Hills. It was started on the 3rd of December 2007. Within months due to overwhelming support and participation, The Himalayan Beacon or popularly known as Beacon Online due to its physical address on the internet, became a Community Blog representing the entire Global Gorkha community and not just the Gorkhas of the Darjeeling Hills.
The Himalayan Beacon started modestly and within two months had a Technorati Ranking of 1,023,384 ranking with 1 Authority today (as of 17 September 2008) Technorati Ranks it at 163,050 in Global ranking with the Authority of 43. It is estimated that Beacon Online should within a year reach the 10,000 world ranking in more than 57 million blogs.
Alexa ranks Beacon Online at 440,036 among 1.7 billion websites (as of 17 September 2008). Beacon Online today is the most respected community news blog representing the Gorkhas Globally.
Some prominent Campaigns of The Himalayan Beacon [Beacon Online]
History of Gorkhapedia
Gorkhapedia as a word originates from a comment made by Jyoti Thapa Mani at the the gorkhas/ Save the Gorkhas Campaign Post. She said, "….Please do find out and we shall add to our Gorkhapedia. If the response is good, i hope volunteers will come forward to a documentation system." That was the first time when anyone had ever uttered the word 'Gorkhapedia'. Thus it can be safely said that Jyoti Thapa Mani was the person who invented the word 'Gorkhapedia'.
The 'Save the Gorkhas' Camaign grew into one of the most participated Campaigns in Indian Blogging History. The information that were gathered were great but there were no means of categorizing and documenting them. Save the Gorkhas campaign also brought out the need and possibility of creating an open encyclopedia of sorts which was free to edit for all and dealt with every aspect of the Gorkha life and the Gorkha people.
Gorkhapedia was started by Barun Roy, the founder of Beacon and The Himalayan Beacon [Beacon Online] to document the Gorkha people and the Gorkha Life. It was started on the 28th of August 2008.
Gorkhapedia.org is dedicated towards:
1. Study, research and documentation of every aspect of Gorkha life
2. Create a global intellectual peer group in all the fields of Human Pursuance
3. Coordinate between all the scholars, enthusiasts and peer groups
4. Become a bridge between all Gorkhas world-wide.
What does Gorkhapedia Offer:
1. Anyone can create and edit pages on any topic
2. Anyone can create Discussion link or initiate discussion on any topic
3. Post audio, video, photos and texts on main content pages and discussion threads
4. Create Profile page for the self
Gorkhapedia.org intends to be the most respected, most comprehensive, free encyclopedia on Gorkhas.