18 June, 2021

Dribble And Shout

Football icon Baichung Bhutia hits a wall on the Gorkhaland issue

AFP (From Outlook 21 April 2014)
Dribble And Shout
  • The two main contenders, Baichung Bhutia and Surinder Singh Ahluwalia, are both outsiders, and not from Darjeeling
  • Darjeeling has a history of electing outsiders—Inderjit and Jaswant Singh—have both won earlier from the seat
  • A proxy war is on between TMC boss Mamata Banerjee and the GJM leaders
  • Gorkha leaders are supporting the BJP hoping to get their demand for a separate state realised; Ahluwalia ambiguous.
  • Mamata’s TMC and other major parties like CPI(M) and Congress opposed to any further division of the state to create a separate Gorkhaland state.


Football stars in India do not enjoy the same status and adulation reserved for their counterparts in cricket. Former Indian national football squad captain, Baichung Bhutia, though, has no reason to complain, being one of the best known faces of the sport in India. Yet, even for a “footballing icon”, political aspirations can be a minefield holding many difficult surprises. This...

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