The unity of all nine pro-Gorkhaland forces in the Darjeeling Hills, their decision to work a consensus on political programmes for Gorkhaland and the huge success of the Janata (public) curfew have rejuvenated the separate state movement.
However, All India Gorkha League (AIGL) leader Madan Tamang-the main proponent of a ‘collective leadership’ and ‘united movement’-did not live long enough to see his dream come true.
At a time the Gorkhaland fever has gripped the Hills, Bharati Tamang, widow of the deceased AIGL leader, has mixed feelings.
While happy over her husband’s dream of a united struggle for Gorkhaland coming true, she rues her husband is not there to witness the unique spectacle of parties setting aside all differences and coming together for the cause of Gorkhaland.
64-year-old Tamang was murdered in broad daylight near the Clubside Motor Stand in the heart of Darjeeling town on May 21, 2010, while overseeing preparations for an AIGL public meeting.
“What my husband prophesised is coming true now. Whatever he stood for, whatever he preached is finally translating into action. I am so proud. I can see a united people’s movement emerging for Gorkhaland. This gives me the strength to overcome my sadness, the sadness of his loss,” Bharati Tamang told HT.
Tamang stood for nothing short of a separate state.
He had been a vocal critic of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, the move to include Darjeeling Hills in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution and the government’s plan to create an autonomous administrative body (which later emerged as the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration) in his last days.