Protests in Darjeeling

It’s a quiet day in Kurseong because nearly everyone in the whole town has gone to Darjeeling for a protest rally. Basically, there are no services today. I’m just glad we still have electricity. I am told the people are protesting the lack of moneys that end up in the hill stations as opposed to the other parts of their state, West Bengal. They are pushing for their own state, “Ghorkaland”.

What to do with my time?

I took a walk down the hillside until it began to rain, then got back to the hotel. I made further arrangements for my time in Tanzania, and went to the dining room for a snack. But there was no one there. So, I went back to my room, read the local paper for a while and learned how an isolated group of young Maoists derailed a passenger train, killing 145 people and injuring 250. This happened maybe 200 miles from my location(?). How this is supposed to encourage the government to bring infrastructure and jobs to the region is beyond me. The spokesperson for the Maoists was quick to point out to the paper that this was done by an isolated sect of “illiterate” young men, age 15-25, that they had quick-trained in use of weapons and explosives for four months. Deemed sufficiently trained, they were told to await instructions. When they were told to derail a train, they did. The Maoists apparently meant that the young sect should have derailed a goods-train and not a passenger train, but this was either not relayed or not understood. All in all, it was a sad day for innocent people.

After that? Ate some beef jerky and chocolate from the suitcase in my room watching an episode of “Firefly”. I am looking forward to getting to Delhi.

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