THE HIMALAYAN BEACON
VISUAL JOURNALIST: PRAVIN THAMI
ROHINI, 5 DECEMBER 2017: Mann Ghisingh has consolidated his mandate by taking Rohini by storm. On the 2nd of December, Mann Ghisingh observed Udhouli at Jagadamba Temple in Rohini. The temple built by his father Subash Ghisingh, the once unquestionable leader of the Gorkhas and the founder of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) is symbolic of the link Subash Ghisingh shared with Rohini, an area close to Kurseong and Siliguri. It may also be noted that Rohini was one of the area which had remained loyal to Subash Ghisingh even at the height of Bimal Gurung’s ascendancy in 2007-2008. With Mann choosing to observe Udhouli, a typical tribal ritual in Rohini, political observers are of the opinion that it firstly points at his desire to consolidate his mandate in the hills by showing his popularity. Secondly it hint towards the party’s ardent desire to follow the Sixth Schedule path.
Mann Ghisingh while speaking to media on the sidelines of his visit said that the party had accepted to lead Hill Development Committee solely with the desire to supervise the various developmental works that were to be initiated. However, there were no clarity as yet about the extent of their jurisdiction and he hoped that the issue would be solved soon. He said that Udhouli was observed since his father’s days as the Chairman of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) and that he was following in his footsteps.
A large number of people thronged the area as the GNLF Chief went about through the rituals at the temple and outside it. A brief Shamanistic performance was also organised and a two minute silence was observed in the memory of late Subash Ghisingh.
Pravin Thami is the Chief Cameraman and the Coordinator Darjeeling Region for ‘The Himalayan Beacon’.