The Political Legacy that Tarun Gogoi Leaves Behind...
“Baad Diyok Hain!” “Misa kotha koley ki daal hobo?” These words epitomize the man who is known for his quirky, yet no-nonsense nature. But this dismissive political attitude helped him scale unprecedented heights in the political scenario of Assam, after Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi.
Tarun Gogoi, who has left for his heavenly abode, leaves behind a lasting impression among millions of his admirers for his plain-speaking and never-say-die attitude.
At an age when most would prefer the confines of cosy homes, Gogoi unleashed himself politically and verbally on his detractors. For 15 straight years, Gogoi was at the helm of the state’s affairs with his record and tenure remaining unblemished.
Many who have seen Gogoi from close quarters said that his dismissive attitude politically used to send a signal of superiority to the person opposite him. Actually, it was clearly a politically crafted design of Gogoi that always kept himself ahead of others.
Gogol was instrumental in bringing the MNC Pepsico to India. His efforts in the union cabinet as Minister of Food with Independent Charge during 1991-93 paved the way for many multinational companies in the FMCG sector to set their foot in India.
This very fact speaks volumes about a man who was occupying the hot seat in the state for 15 straight years without throwing his weight around on his friends and foes.
Jokes about his words and mannerisms became physical memes in the state. But this was the style of a man who bought Assam back on the financial track from a point when the state was virtually on the brink of bankruptcy under the AGP misrule.
Gogoi made his electoral debut in state politics during 1996-98 when he was elected from Margherita. After two years of shunting between Guwahati and Delhi he finally took over the reins of Assam in 2001 when the state’s finances were in complete chaos and coffers were empty. He took the dismal GDP of the state from 3.4 per cent in 2001 to above 6 per cent within his first tenure as chief minister of the state.
Gogoi was born to Kamaleswar and Usha Gogoi on April 1, 1936 at Rangajan Tea Estate in Jorhat district. He graduated from JB College in Jorhat but studied law at Gauhati University. Tarun Gogoi began his career as a lawyer while simultaneously engaging himself in socio-political activities. Gogoi joined politics when he was elected as a member of the Jorhat Municipal Board in 1968.
In fact, Gogoi managed to carve a niche for himself in the political map of India. He mentored leaders like Himanta Biswa Sarma before they fell apart. Behind his quirky remarks lurked a strong man with strong ideals who never gave in to the strong arm tactics of the Congress high command but always held his ground on various issues concerning his state.