There is a minority of nepali speaking people living in the Darjeeling region known as the Gorkhas. Their demand for an independent
Gorkhaland has a 110 years old history. The agitations for Gorkhaland went through a very violent phase in the 1990s and entered into a phase of dialogue in the first decade of the present century. This is when the new party Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) emerged.
Conflict flares up regularly; A strike was called for in 2011, which lasted 9 days. In 2013, there were further escalations including strikes, and shorter strikes took place in 2015 and 2016. In June 2017 GJM called for another indefinite strike, which lasted for 104 days and was only suspended on 27 September.
The recent strike has disastrous consequences for the Darjeeling region and in particular for the tea gardens. The tea bushes which have not been attended to during the strike need weeding and pruning. It will take some time until they are nursed back into shape and tea of the usual quality can be plucked again. Fresh Darjeeling tea is currently not available. The Tea Fairy still has some stock, but this is dwindling. Updates will follow.