KATHMANDU, Dec 2: As party leader Bhim Bahadur Tamang was laid to rest at Swayambhu with state honors on Sunday, Nepali Congress (NC) leaders recalled him as a politician who left an indelible mark through his simple lifestyle, sense of sacrifice and value-based politics.
They said the country would face no problems if leaders followed the footsteps of late Tamang, who never craved for power, influence, or money.
NC leader Purushottam Basnet, who feels proud to have been a student of late Tamang, said his teacher never thought of his personal needs. “He would always think about the larger interests of the country. He took formidable risks in his political career all for the cause of democracy and the country,” he said.
Funeral procession. (Photo: Bijay Rai)
Basnet recalled that Tamang in his capacity as a minister had the privilege to import tax and duty free car back in 1994, but he did not do that. “He was among a rare breed of politicians- a socialist to his heart who never owned private property in any form,” he said. “His unflinching determination and devotion to democracy and the country are something all leaders should emulate.”
Another NC leader Kul Bahadur Gurung said Tamang´s “simple living high thinking” lifestyle is something worthy of deep admiration. “As an educated person back in 1950s, he could have devoted his life for the happiness of his own family and relatives. But instead, he devoted his life for the cause of democracy, people and the country,” he said.
Final rites being performed. (Photo: Bijay Rai)
Gurung argued Tamang´s vision and ideology is something Nepal needs most at this critical juncture. “Tamang often complained that Nepali Congress was deviating from the principles of democratic socialism as propounded by founding leader BP Koirala,” he added.
Despite holding the post of a parliamentarian and cabinet minister, Tamang did not own anything beyond the basic necessities of life. He had been living in a room provided for free by NC leader and advocate Radhe Shyam Adhikari at Thapagaun for the past 15 years.
NC youth leader Gagan Thapa said the most strong impression he has about Tamang is his simple life and a sense of sacrifice. It is difficult for one to be left untouched by cravings for material possessions. Our generation, which has succumbed to consumerism, can learn a great lesson from him,” argued Thapa. Thapa believes that Tamang was the most successful politician of his time.