Tarun Gogoi's last wish: A 'secular' last journey

Tarun Gogoi's last wish: A 'secular' last journey

Family members pay their last respects to former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati. Credit: PTI.

Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's mortal remains will be taken to a church, a Naamghar (Vaishnavite monastery), a masjid and a temple before performing the last rites on Thursday, as per his last wish which he reportedly made on his hospital bed.

The president of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), Ripun Bora on Wednesday said Gogoi's mortal remains will be first taken to a church at Six Mile in Guwahati and will stop at a Naamghar at Zoo Road, at Burha Jame Masjid at Ambari and then to Ugratara temple near Latasil before his cremation at the Navagraha crematorium.

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"His family members told us that Gogoi had made the last wish that his last journey should send a message of secularism and so it will be done as per his wish. Gogoi showed his secular behaviour during his decades-old political career and social life, and he wanted us to do the same even after his death," Bora said.

Gogoi, 86, who served as CM for the three consecutive terms between 2001 and 2016 passed away on Monday evening during treatment for post-Covid complications. Gogoi tested positive for Covid-19 on August 25 and was discharged from hospital after two months. But he had to be again hospitalised due to post-Covid complications.

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He was elected to the Lok Sabha six times and also served as union minister of state for food processing under PV Narasimha Rao.

The BJP-led state government declared three days' mourning. Thousands, irrespective of party affiliations, have paid their tributes to Gogoi since Monday.

Gogoi united all communities: Rahul

Paying his tribute to Gogoi in Guwahati, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday morning said the way Gogoi united the diverse and difficult Assam was exemplary. "He was a teacher, a guru for me. I have learnt a lot from him. Whenever I visited Assam, he explained to me - like nobody can - what Assam is and what people of Assam are. Gaurav (Gogoi) is his son but he treated me that way," Rahul said after paying his tribute to Gogoi's mortal remains at Sankardeb Kalakshetra in Guwahati.

Rahul reached Guwahati on Wednesday morning and went straight to Kalakshetra and later to Gogoi's residence to meet his wife and other family members.

Rahul also mourned the demise of senior party leader Ahmed Patel. "Ahmedji was another pillar for Congress. This is a tragic day for us as we lost him today," he said. Patel died on Wednesday.