Tea Connoisseur Could Soon Be Missing – Darjeeling Tea
Since June, Darjeeling has been hit by violent protests and prolonged strikes in support of a campaign by a local party demanding a separate state for the area’s majority Gorkha community. The protests have followed a recent decision by the West Bengal government to introduce Bengali as a compulsory subject in schools across the state, including in Darjeeling.
The harvesting season in Darjeeling extends to roughly a little over seven months – from March to October. It is also divided into four distinct seasons called “flushes”.The ongoing impasse came in the middle of the second season
More then 100,000 workers working in the gardens have halted work. Production has been hit. Only a third of last year’s crop of 8.32 million kg had been harvested when work stopped in June. Even if the agitation is called off tomorrow and the workers return to the gardens, it will take more than a month to begin harvesting. The gardens have been idle for more than two months, and are full of weeds. Tea bushes have become free growth plants, First have to clean and slash the bushes before begin plucking the leaves again.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has threatened “a fight-to-the-finish” for Gorkhaland, the separate state they want carved out of West Bengal’s northern hill region.
An indefinite strike has paralysed life West Bengal’s tea-producing region of Darjeeling