TIME CAPSULE- Important events in the History of Darjeeling Hills

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Category History
Allied Category Darjeeling Hills
Associate Category Time Capsule

Important events in the History of Darjeeling Hills

1641 Penchoo Namgyé (PHUN-tSHOGS rNAM-rGYAL) is declared as the first Buddhist Gyalpo (King) of the nation of hBras-ma-lJongs or Sikkim.

1706 Bhutanese Army captures a part of Sikkim

1730 The great Dutch Traveler Van De Putte, after his travel of Tibet and the fringes of Sikkim publishes his sketch map where he calls Sikkim ‘Brama-scjon’ a phonetic distortion of ‘hBras-ma-lJongs’.

1763 Monks from the Pemî.iộng.chî Monastery arrives at Darjeeling.

1765 The construction of the Dorŕ.jéeling Monastery is completed.

1814 The Nepąlese War – Between British East India Company and Nepal

1815 Treaty with Nepal and the start of Gőrkha recruitment in the British Army.

1816 The transfer of land captured by Bhutan back to Sikkim

1835 Lord William Bentick is given the entire of Darjeeling Hills through the Deed of Grant by the Sikkimputee Rajah Chophoe Namgyé.

1840 The Declaration of the Nepąlese Army Revolt

1841 The Sikkimputee Rajah Chophoe Namgyé receives 3,000 Rupees as emoluments on lieu of partying away with the Darjeeling Hills

1842 The emolument is increased to Rs. 6, 000

1850 Darjeeling Superintendent Dr. Campbell declares the population of Darjeeling to be 10,000

1865 British defeats Bhutan and captures Kalimpong and the Doars

1869 Population of the Darjeeling town declared to be 22,000

1870 First Tea Plantation in the region

1879 The Darjeeling Steam Tramway Company commences work on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

1880 (March) Lord Lyton, the Viceroy of India becomes the first individual to travel on the ‘Tiny’.

1880 (August) Services of the ‘Tiny’ opened formally for the general populace.

1881 (July) Line is extended from K.rsǽng to Darjeeling. The Darjeeling Steam Tramway Company is renamed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Company.

1885 (June) Line is extended from the Darjeeling Railway Station right to the Market Square / Gundreé Bazaar.

1887 (8th March) Dalbâhâdur Giri is born.

1895 A map showing the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway route is published in a German book called Die Entwicklung von Seeschiffahrt, Eisenbahn, Post und Telegraphie, in Berlin. Darjeeling is quoted as ‘Dardschilling’ and the average gradient of the Himalayan railway given as 1:36. Darjeeling becomes a ‘must visit’ place for the Europeans and Americans.

1897 (10th November) The first Hydro-electric undertaking in the Indian sub-continent, Sidrāpöng Hydro-electric station is inaugurated by C. C. Stevens, acting Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.

1899 Hajji1 Ghurmiya and his wife become the first pilgrims from Darjeeling to travel to Mecca.

1913 (November 5) Vivien Leigh is born at the Eden Sanatorium.

1915 A Branch of the railway is opened from Siligūrî to Kalimpong Road and named as the Teesta Valley Line.

1917 A memorandum for the declaration of a separate state (region) of Darjeeling Hills (Jậlpaîgūrî and Doars amalgamated) is submitted to the Secretary of State and the Viceroy of India.

1919 The famous Batasia Loop constructed.

1923 Treaty with Nepal

1924 (9th March) Dalbâhâdur Giri, Mahatma Gandhi’s close associate and an ardent freedom fighter dies. Mahatma Gandhi fasts and prays for the ‘great patriot’.

1925 Mahatma Gandhi arrives in Darjeeling

1926 (16th June) Deshbandhű Chitranjan Das dies at his Step Aside residence at the age of 55. The nation plunges into mourning.

1928 A memorandum is submitted to the Simon Commission for the separation of Darjeeling Hills from Bengal and the creation of an autonomous province / state.

1940 Sushil Chaterjee, Satyendranath Majumdar, Dr. Sachin Das Gupta, Ratanlal Brahmin and Bhadrabâhâdur Hamal establishes the Communist Party in Darjeeling Hills

1942 Communist Party seeks for a separate ‘Gőrkhasthan’.

1943 All India Gőrkha League established. Darjeeling becomes the ‘Hill Bangkok’. As a recruitment centre for the Gorkhas and the sanatorium for the allied forces, Darjeeling is filled with British, Irish, Australian and American Soldiers. American, British and the Kuomintang Flags adorn the streets. The town prospers as war rages on.

1946 Ratanlal Brahmin seeks for the establishment of an autonomous administration for the economic upliftment of Darjeeling Hills

1946 (9th May) Communist Party writes to the All India Gőrkha League stating its stance on the Gőrkhasthan

1948 Pragatîsîl Nepąli Sahi.t.ya Parîshad established. The likes of Mahakavī Bal Kr.s.na Sam, Pundit Dharnidhar Koirala (Sharma), Parasmani Pradhan, Laxmī Prasad Deokata, and Agam Singh Giri for the first time brought together in one platform. Agam Singh Giri declares the beginning of the Golden Era of Nepąli language and literature.

1948 (20th October) Indian Government purchases the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and absorbs it into the Indian Government Railways Organization.

1950 (21st July) India signs a treaty with Nepal. The Teesta Valley branch of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway closes following major washout. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway comes under the management of the Assam Railways Organization.

1952 M. B. Gurung leads a delegation of All India Gőrkha League leaders and submits a memorandum to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Assam Railways including the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways and Oudh and Tirhut Railway regrouped into the North Eastern Railway zone. Chandan Singh Rawat becomes one of the first footballers from the Hills to play in Europe. He is dubbed as the ‘Human Locomotive’ by the Hamburg press. (May 29th) Swami Prabuddhananda dies.

1954 (May 29th) Tenzing Norgay unfurls the United Nations, England, Indian and the Nepąlese flag on Mount Everest. The soft spoken and humble ‘Sherpa’ from Darjeeling becomes a hero world wide. Darjeeling braces to become the spring board for Himalayan Expeditions.

1958 Darjeeling Himalayan Railways and ex-Assam lines transferred to the newly created North East Frontier Railway zone.

1962 Railway line realigned and extended from Siligūrî to New Jậlpaîgūrî for freight.

1963 (14th April) Pundit Rahul Sankritiyayan dies.

1964 (April) The New Jậlpaîgūrî – Darjeeling Rail line opened for general populace.

1969 The United Front Government of West Bengal gives recognition to use Nepąli language as an official language in the three sub-divisions of Darjeeling.

1978 Morarji Desai’s anti-Nepąlese statement brings life in Darjeeling Hills to a standstill.

1980 (30th July) Gőrkha National Liberation Front established

1981 (13th April) All India Gőrkha League submits a memorandum demanding for a separate state to Home Minister Zail Singh

1986 (13th March) Gőrkha National Liberation Front demands for the nullification of 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty and for the formation of a separate Gorkhaland at its Ghoom session.

(12th May) The first 72 hours strike called. One of the first casualties of the Gorkhaland Movement occurs in the police firing – One dies, seven are injured.

(25th May) Police fires at GNLF cadres at K.rsǽng – 5 are killed and 22 injured.

(26th May) K.rsǽng plunges into indefinite strike. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi declares "The Central Government would support the State Government on the question of Gorkhaland."

(24th July) Home Minister Buta Singh during the ‘Question Hour’ in the Rajya Sabha answering to a question declares that without the State Government’s approval the Central Government could not act on the Issue.

(27th July) 9 protestors killed in police firing in Kalimpong. The town plunges into curfew.

(28th July) Six people succumb to injuries at hospital increasing the number of casualties to 15. 108 hours strike is called to protest the death.

(1st August) The 108 hours strike is increased to 120 hours strike.

(4th August) Police fires at protestors in Tindharia

(18th September) Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi declares – Bengal will not be divided.

(26th September) Chief Minister Jyoti Basu makes the statement – As long as I am the Chief Minister, Bengal will not be divided.

1987 (July 10) GNLF passes the resolution on the acceptance of an Autonomous Council.

(August 22) The Darjeeling Gőrkha Hill Council Accord is signed.

1992 (20th August) Nepąli Language included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution

1999 Darjeeling Himalayan Railway granted World Heritage status by UNESCO


REFERENCE:

FALLEN CICADA - UNWRITTEN HISTORY DARJEELING HILLS, Barun Roy, 2003


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