The Church has lost a dear friend in Tarun Gogoi – Archbishop Moolachira

Guwahati, 26 November: With the passing away of former Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, the Church has lost a dear friend says Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati.

After three days of state mourning and stopovers at various places of worship, the mortal remains of the longest serving Chief Minister of Assam was cremated at Nabagraha crematorium, Guwahati on 26 November.

In his condolence message on behalf of the Bishops in the North East Region, the President of the North East Regional Bishops’ Council (NERBC), Archbishop Moolachira fondly remembered his contribution to the people of Assam and his association with the Christian community in the state. “He was truly secular. He never made distinctions based on caste, tribe or religion”, said the Archbishop.

The Archbishop said, “Mr. Gogoi would often visit the Cathedral and the Archbishop’s House not because Christians formed a large vote bank, in fact Christians formed less than 5% of Assam population, but he noticed the good work done by the Church especially in the field of education, caring for the poor and service to humanity in all kinds of emergency.”

The three-time Chief Minister was not only the Chief Guest at a cultural event organized in honour of Bishops of India when the Catholic Bishops Conference of India held its plenary meeting at Guwahati in 2010, but also followed it up by hosting a dinner in their honour, highlighted the Archbishop.

The Archbishop also credited the former Chief Minister for bringing normalcy to the state of Assam after a long period of insurgency and for leading the state on the path of peace and development. “As a leader who promoted peace, the former CM recognized and appreciated the peace building efforts led by Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil”, Archbishop said.

That he wished to be carried to every religious place before being cremated speaks volumes about his secular spirit and the respect for other religions. With his death the people of Assam has lost its tallest leader and the Church, a dear friend, concluded the Archbishop.

The 86-year-old former Chief Minister of Assam passed away on 23 November at Guwahati Medical College due to post Covid-19 complications.