On Tarun Gogoi’s first death anniversary, we share ten things that you may not have known about the three-time Assam CM and of the most loved leaders of the state. 

One of Assam’s most educated leaders

Gogoi was an alumnus of the prestigious Jorhat Govt Boys High School. Punakon, as his parents called him, was an excellent student. He completed his graduation from Jagannath Barooah College, Jorhat. He then did his LLB from Gauhati University. He was always known as one of the most educated leaders from Assam.

Witty, humorous

Tarun Gogoi was known for his wit. While responding to his opponents or even journalists, he always replied with a sense of humour. Even in the toughest of the times for Congress, he never took a back seat.

Assam’s most decorated politician 

Tarun Gogoi’s political career stretched over five decades. He was elected as a Member of the Parliament six times. He held the position of the Chief Minister of Assam for fifteen years between 2001 and 2016. His political career started in 1968. Gogoi was one of Indira Gandhi’s most trusted leaders of all time. He also served as the Union Minister and was considered one of the most efficient politicians of the country.

The role of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

Gogoi said former Indian President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was the man behind his political career. It was the former Indian President who paved the way for Gogoi’s entry into the Indian National Congress, and eventually, politics. He also credited Indira Gandhi for his long political journey. He came from a middle-class family, and there were no cars for campaigning tours. His brother bought him a second-hand car for campaigning.

Mad about sports

Gogoi was a keen follower of sports and loved playing football, tennis, and cricket. Later on, he also started playing golf. His love for sports and other physical activities meant Gogoi was fit and fine even in his 80s before the deadly pandemic hit him. 

Returning to being a lawyer to challenge CAA

Apart from his political stance against the Citizenship Amendment Act,2019, Gogoi also challenged it in court, returning to the legal profession after 36 years. He assisted P. Chidambaram and attended court proceedings as a lawyer, as the Supreme Court took up a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Keen reader, willing author 

Tarun Gogoi was well-known for reading and writing. In 2016, he even wrote a book titled “Turnaround: Leading Assam from the front.” The book documented the transformative phase of Assam, a trailblazing career, and a state abuzz with the excitement of a makeover. He had a keen interest in books on history and contemporary topics.

Straightforward in his opinions: 

The three-time CM never shied away from expressing his opinion. He was not happy with BJP-appointed Assam Governor PB Acharya. Acharya made controversial remarks such as “Indian Muslims are free to go to Pakistan and Bangladesh if they want” or “Hindustan is for Hindus.” In response, Gogoi accused the Governor of converting his office into a ‘den’ or the RSS and ‘annexe’ of BJP.

Visionary

When Tarun Gogoi took over as Assam’s Chief Minister, Assam was nearly bankrupt, and violence was at its peak. It would have taken nerves of steel to control Assam from the point Gogoi started in 2001. Assam needed a visionary, and Tarun Gogoi proved to be that. He paved the path for the development of the state, ushering in new projects and taking steps to ensure a more robust economy.

Never taking a backseat

Most chief ministers retire after being at the helm for 15 years. Others, like former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, go on to become state governors. But Tarun Gogoi refused to follow the trend. Even after 15 years at the helm, Tarun Gogoi did not just sit back lamenting the defeat and remained actively involved in state politics. When asked how he has been affected by the results, he said, “It’s a temporary loss, not a complete setback.”



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