Upset in Darjeeling May Freeze Tea Sales

Tea sales in Darjeeling are expected to halt this week due to large political protests in the region, as The Telegraph reports. A separatist group known as The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), has been calling for the creation of a distinct and independent region, “Gorkhaland”. The Indian government has recently agreed to make a new state in Andhra Pradesh, angering the persistent Gorkhans.

Until government officials agree to discuss the creation of “Gorkhaland”, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has stated they will block the exporting and sale of tea from Darjeeling, the most expensive tea in India.

The Darjeeling Tea Association is fearful of this obstruction as they claim 25% of Darjeeling’s population is employed in the tea industry. With over 9.9 million kilograms of tea produced in Darjeeling, the blockade could seriously disrupt the sales and consumption of Darjeeling’s tea.

After many smaller scale protests, GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri intends to be taken seriously by the Indian government by blocking the tea trade. He spoke with The Telegraph and said, “We discussed this yesterday at our Joint Action Committee. We’re looking to stop the supply of Darjeeling tea. It’s part of our agitation and of course it will have a huge impact. We hope it will make them take this agitation seriously.”

SOURCE: The Telegraph