For Tarun Gogoi, age seemed to be just a number. Even a few months before he passed away, the former CM was actively involved in the state’s politics. At an age when many others consider permanent retirement, Gogoi was at his vibrant best, whether it was commenting on the state’s politics or taking to Twitter to voice his opinion.
Team EastMojo brings to you 10 lesser-known points about one of the most important leaders of all time from the state of Assam, who passed away at the age of 86 on November 23 at 5:34 pm. Born on October 11, 1934, into a Tai-Ahom family, Gogoi’s life has been full of ups and downs. However, fighting all the odds, the former Chief Minister of Assam stands tall, as the most successful Political leader from the state.
Tarun Gogoi is an alumnus of the prestigious Jorhat Govt Boys High School. Punakon, as their parents called him, was an excellent student. He completed his graduation from Jagannath Barooah College Jorhat. And later on, went on to do his LLB at Gauhati University. He has always been one of the most educated leaders from Assam.
2. Wit and sense of repartee-
Tarun Gogoi has always been known for his sense of repartee. While responding to his opponents or even the journalists, he always replied with a sense of humour. Even in the toughest of the times for Congress, he never took a back seat. He has always held strong, his opinions and never feared expression of the same. His wit, sense of repartee, and cautious nature made him a nightmare for the interviewers.
3. Biggest name in Assam’s Politics-
Tarun Gogoi’s political career has been long and storied. He has been elected as a Member of the Parliament six times. He held the position of the Chief Minister of Assam for fifteen years from 2001-2016. His political career started in 1968. With 52-years long experience in politics, Gogoi has been one of Indira Gandhi’s most trusted leaders of all time. He has also served as Union Minister and is considered one of the most efficient politicians of the country.
4. Persons behind Tarun Gogoi-
Gogoi gives the former Indian President Fakruddin Ali Ahmed, the credit for his political career. It was the former President who paved the way for Gogoi’s entry to Congress and eventually, politics. He also gave credits to Indira Gandhi for his long political journey. He came from a middle-class family and there was not any car in their home for campaigning tours. His brother bought him a second-hand car for his campaigns.
5. Lover of sports and gardening-
Tarun Gogoi has always been a lover of sports. He loved playing football, tennis, and cricket. Later on, he also started playing golf. It is his love for sports and other physical activities that had made Tarun Gogoi, even at the age of 86, fit and fine, before his passing. He loves reading and gardening too.
6. His fight against CAA-
Apart from his political stands against the Citizenship Amendment Act,2019, Gogoi, who is also a lawyer, backed himself and practised after 36 years of long gap. 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.
7. Love for Reading and writing –
Gogoi was also keenly interested in reading as well as writing. In the year 2016, he even wrote a book titled, “Turnaround: Leading Assam from the front.” The book documents the transformative phase of Assam, a trailblazing career, and a state abuzz with the excitement of a makeover. He has a keen interest in books on history and contemporary topics.
8. Straightforward in his opinions-
Gogoi never feared in the expression of his opinions. He was not much happy with the BJP-appointed Governor P.B.Acharya as since his appointment in 2014, Acharya famously made remarks such as “Indian Muslims are free to go to Pakistan and Bangladesh if they want” or “Hindustan is for Hindus.” Gogoi response to these statements made by the Governor accused him of converting his office into a ‘den’ or the RSS and ‘annexe’ of BJP.
9. Visionary –
When Tarun Gogoi took the chair of 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 along with taking steps to ensure a more robust economy.
10. Optimism –
Most Chief Ministers retire after being at the helm of 15 years. Others, like former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, go on to become Governors of states. 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. He came back as a lawyer too, in times of need- for example, he assisted P.Chidambaram, and attended court proceedings as a lawyer, as the SC took up a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. On being asked how he has been affected by the results, he said, “It’s a temporary loss, not a complete setback.”