The ongoing Darjeeling unrest seems unlikely to end with the agitating Gorkha Mukti Morcha (GJM) stating that they will continue the protest security forces are withdrawn from the region. Supporting the movement of getting a separate statehood, Prashant Tamang, one of the finalists (in 2007) from the singing reality show Indian Idol who is now an actor-singer in the Nepal film industry has said that he strongly backs GJM and its call of forming Gorkhaland. Tamang, who was a constable with Kolkata Police is now planning to write and sing a song for Gorkhaland. Speaking to Indian Express, Tamang said, “What I am today is because of the people of the Hills.”
In 2007, it was the first time when Gorkha had captured the national imagination and Subhas Ghising’s Gorkha National Liberation Front’s then leader Bimal Gurung triggered up notion in the Hills. He then conducted various rallies, collected funds and urged people to cast their audience votes for ‘pahar ka gaurav (pride of the Hills)’. Eventually Gurung then launched his statehood politics with his newly formed GJM.
Further expressing his stand on the ongoing turmoil in Darjeeling, Tamand further said, “I feel sad. Is Darjeeling a war zone? Or the border? Why are Army and central forces being sent there? The struggle for Gorkhaland cannot be stopped. Will you keep quiet if your mother is lathicharged?”
Tamang came into limelight after his successful journey with the singing reality show as then he went to several world tours and released two music albums. He has also worked in more than six Nepali films so far. Currently Tamang resides in Delhi with his mother and wife.
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The report further stated that many of Tamang’s family members, including his sister, are still in Darjeeling. His elder sister Anupama Gurung, who lives in Nimkidara, a village in Darjeeling said that her brother’s win in the reality show has not just changed his life, but that of the Gorkhaland.
“Everyone in the Hills supported him and sent thousands of SMSes in his support. He began to be identified with Gorkha pride,” Anupama told Indian Express. “We do not understand politics, but we are for a separate state,” says Anupama’s husband who is a retired army officer.