Sikkim governor Ganga Prasad, chief minister PS Golay and Dil Kumari Bhandari, wife of former CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari, during the release of a book titled ‘Atal Bhandari’, in Gangtok on Tuesday Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: The Sikkim government has declared October 5 as government holiday to commemorate the birth anniversary of former chief minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari. A statue in memory of the second-longest serving CM, who was also the founding leader of the Sikkim Sangram Parishad party, will also be installed along with his various literary works making it to the libraries of schools and colleges across the state.

The announcements were made by chief minister PS Golay during the release of a book, titled Atal Bhandari, to mark the second death anniversary of Bhandari on Tuesday.

The book was officially released by Sikkim governor Ganga Prasad in the presence of CM Golay, Smritigan Lokarchan Samaroha Samiti president and Bhandari’s wife Dil Kumari Bhandari, and eminent personalities from various places of India and Nepal, at Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok.

The 500-page book has been penned by renowned litterateurs from several places of the country such as Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Dooars, Mizoram, etc, besides Nepal. It has been edited by Arjun Piyush. The book focuses on the contributions of Bhandari as a chief minister and his work towards the recognition of the Nepali language and literature in India. The book has been published by Archana Publication, Gangtok.

While delivering his speech, governor Ganga Prasad congratulated all the people involved in the successful launch of the book. “It is a moment of pride to launch the book as Bhandari has played a prominent role in the development of Sikkim. There is always an important reason for the celebration of the birth and death anniversaries of someone,” he said, urging the gathering to work together so that the state and the country, as a whole, can move forward.

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CM Golay congratulated the contributors, publisher, organising committee and well-wishers for their contribution, directly or indirectly, in releasing the book. “July 16 is a sad day for Sikkim, as we lost one of the most prominent figures of the state. He has been appreciated all over India for his contribution towards the recognition of the Nepali literature. Forgetting Bhandari would feel like forgetting Nepali. I personally met Bhandari in 1989, after college. He has been a guardian to me and the state and had he been alive, Sikkim would be a different place right now. Out of all the people, I miss him a lot,” he said.

Dil Kumari Bhandari recalled her husband’s contributions to unite linguistic
and cultural diversity in including the Nepali language in 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India. She also highlighted about his contributions in sectors such as education, water and electricity, among others. She further expressed delight and gratitude towards everyone who was part of the historic event.

Arjun Piyush thanked the contributors and expressed that there were many hardships in writing the book and Atal Bhandari is the fruit of hard work. “It is just the beginning and we hope that hat’s left behind will be picked up by someone else,” he said.

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