Saturday, 29 May 2010 14:20
Gorkha League, the oldest party of Darjeeling hills unanimously nominated Bharati Tamang as the new party president. Bharati Tamang, wife of committed and fearless leader of Gorkha League, the towering personality, Madan Tamang, was the only person that Madan Tamang used to fear; says a close member of Gorkha League. Huge party’s responsibility and people’s aspirations have been shouldered upon the lady. The DT correspondent tries to construe her past and future commitments…
DT: Under such a grim situation, you have taken the huge responsibility of the party, what have you thought of ahead?
BT: Right now I am going through trauma; I have not been able to extend my homage properly to my late husband. However, I am compelled to engross myself now with the party’s activities, beside, so many family responsibilities.
I accepted the post of ABGL president to fulfill the wish of the people and the dream of my husband. Peace and harmony among the people of Darjeeling was the dream of my late husband. Our efforts will be on restoring peace and democracy in a civilized way not in a barbaric way.
However, I have not yet clearly outlined the future course of action, but we have Political bureau, which will decide the upcoming strategies of our party.
DT: Can you explain about the Political Bureau and the existing members?
BT: It is our core committee, consisting of eight members of our party. They are S Zimba, Laxman Pradhan, Pratap Khati, Mani Sharma, Manohar Dewan, S K Pradhan etc. We are constantly in touch and having several meetings, we are currently taking the people’s opinions.
DT: Do you think in the present context of the hills, approaching civilized way would be successful?
BT: This is the democratic country, we respect democratic system and every solution can be solved though dialogue, not terrorizing people.
DT: What are your immediate programs?
BT: Tomorrow we are organizing a tribute program at the site where Late Madan Tamang was assassinated, which will be held in peaceful and disciplined manner, there will be no political slogans. Likewise, we have plans to observe such programs in many other places of the hills for the next forty nine days.
DT: Do you think that the funeral procession was exploited by other parties?
BT: To some extent yes! We had written the apt slogans and distributed to our supporters but as the funeral procession progressed it was beyond control.
DT: Do you have any counter program for GJMM’s May 30 public program? Like say Janta Curfew?
BT: We are in the state of shock…we are not bothered with GJM program; we do not want to confront with GJM. We don’t want to create chaos and enmity among our brotherhood; rather we would encourage unity among our people.
DT: If in case GJMM accepts Setup or Interim Council with greater territorial advantage will you oppose?
BT: Definitely we will oppose. This is the reason why my husband died. Any arrangement that bring us within the Bengal slavery, we will not tolerate.
DT: What did Ashok Bhattacharya, Jibesh Sarkar and Suman Patak say today during their visit at your home?
BT: They were here with condolences from the Chief Minister and assured that anyone involved in the assassination of Madan Tamang will not be spared.
DT: What would be the role of Democratic Front after the sad demise of Madan Tamang?
BT: That will remain as usual; it will have its own agenda. We will maintain our strong correlation as usual.
I also strongly believe in collective leadership as my late husband did, we can achieve only if we are united, we cannot accomplish anything single handedly.
Mrs. Tamang with son Sanjog
Mrs. Tamang with son Sanjog
Ma’am, since you are now a public figure, many of our people do not know about you properly, if you don’t mind, I would like to go into your past professional and personal life with regard to you and Late Madan Tamang.
DT: Can you tell us about your education and past professional career?
BT: I did my schooling at St. Teresa School, Darjeeling and graduated in Humanities from Loreto College, Darjeeling. Later when I was doing my B.Ed., I got the job opportunity at Government Press.
I was a govt. employee as a News Reader in Govt. Press Darjeeling under West Bengal government, situated near Raj Bhawan. I retired in 2006.
Darjeeling town is my birthplace; I was born in 1946 and married in 1975
DT: Did your husband have any objection on your professional career?
BT: I was working before I got married. Initially he had told me it is not necessary to do the job, but I convinced him that I should make a use of my education. So he left me to my wishes. Besides I always had so many responsibilities towards my family.
DT: Did you have any interest in politics?
BT: I was not so interested but when I listened and looked at my husbands’ activities towards the society, I always appreciated and I used to be encouraged.
DT: But in recent news we find that you never participated in the field programs but in any political program inside your house organized by your late husband, you always seemed to be active and supportive?
BT: Yes, after all it used to be my husband’s initiative, the good works for the society. I could not standby when my husband was busy.
DT: This signifies you are interested in politics?
DT: What are your interests or your hobbies?
BT: Knitting, gardening, cooking are the subjects of my interest…
DT: I never had an interview with Madan Tamang other than politics. What was your husband’s interest beside politics?
BT: He was a Naturalist too. He loved Gardening. He was an Arts student but his botanist friends used to consult with him because of his interest on plants made him so proficient on the field, especially rhododendron, we have here more than 60 varieties of Rhododendron. He was an expert on Tea too. He was fond of books. He bought books every place he visited. He has abundant amounts of books on various subjects of his interest.
He is also a member of Rhododendron society of England, National Geography etc.
He graduated from St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling but his mark-sheet is still lying in the College, which he never required.
DT: What do you say about your husband Madan Tamang?
BT: He was so loyal a husband, he was always ready for any help, I never thought about procuring house hold matters. We hardly had any quarrels, he had very good understanding. He used to serve morning Tea every day… Can you believe, he would maintain the domestic work including cleaning of bathroom, serving foods to dogs etc. he used to call me ‘Rita’ as my nick name.
He used to lead very simple life. He was content with simple and plain food. He never took any cigarettes, pan, alcohols etc. that’s why he was a physically fit person. He was very much disciplined, strict and sincere person.
His dream was to make a Garden in memory of his late parents, which now remains incomplete.