In any community, the socio-cultural organisation plays a vital role in reflecting the nature of a given community as it serves as the map of the community in question. There exists a plethora of studies and writings on identity assertion and politics in Darjeeling, but none have focused exclusively on the sociocultural organisations that exist in Darjeeling to understand the same, therefore this paper attempts to venture into this horizon. This paper tries to unearth the understanding of the construction of Nepali/Gorkha identity in the Darjeeling hills of colonial and post-colonial India, by looking into the socio-cultural organisations, particularly NSS formed in 1924 and GDNS in 1932. They were established in Darjeeling when there was a rise in the Nepali nationalist idea of awakening that ran parallel to Indian Nationalism of the early 20th century and gave a clarion call to march towards the path of progress (Unnati) and unity (Ekta) called for by the educated Nepali elites who formed a public sphere of Habermasian kind. These organisations were the result of the realisation of awakening incidental in the famous excerpts of Udbodan by Dharnidhar Koirala and played an active role in disseminating this idea of awakening among the masses mostly through the instrument of language and education. The efforts of these organisations contributed to a pluralist amalgamation of myriad groups that together constituted the Gorkha/Nepali jati since these organisations played a vital role in disseminating the set of ideas, norms and beliefs that reflected a unified race under the umbrella of a Gorkha/Nepali Jati to an otherwise dispersed and scattered population of Darjeeling as it had been a melting pot of varied groups because of the influx of migrants from across the country and outside. The process of Gorkha/Nepali identity formation was a product of the cultural renaissance in Darjeeling, thus making it imperative to study the socio-cultural organisations. This paper also tries to fathom the influence these organisations have on the political demands in Darjeeling and its dominance in the politics of colonial and postcolonial Darjeeling, as it remains buoyant even to this day.

The research methodology employed in this study is purely qualitative following a discursive methodology substantiated by the analysis of archival data, in the form of journals, magazines, and the publication of the two concerned organisations. Also, historical analysis has been made of the accounts of Darjeeling from various primary and secondary literature. The research questions this paper attempts to articulate are the contributions of the NSS and GDNS, in the process of the formation of Nepali/Gorkha consciousness and the identity, which eventually culminated in the Gorkhaland Movement, and how have these organisations been instrumental in reflecting the aspirations of the people in the Darjeeling hills and its relation with the political parties?