Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Inheritance of Loss

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The Inheritance of Loss

by Kiran Desai

The Inheritance of Loss
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2006, 336 pages
    Aug 2006, 384 pages

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Conflict in the 1980s: The area around Darjeeling in North East India (map) is populated primarily by Gorkhas (also known as Gurkhas) whose ancestors founded the Kingdom of Nepal; they have long wanted an independent state.  Massive violence broke out between 1986 and 1988 but was resolved with the establishment of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council within West Bengal.  Although some still push for statehood rather than autonomy, it seems there is not the political will at this time to press on.  For example, there was a large rally in 2005 to revive the demand for a separate state but the issue did not more forward. 

Gurkhas take their name from the Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath.  The Gurkhas are renowned for their bravery and strength and have been employed by the British army since the early 19th century.  Following Indian independence in 1947, six of the ten Gurkha regiments joined the Indian Army, four were transferred ...

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