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Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian Idol returns to hills, holding Morcha hand

Darjeeling, April 13: Indian Idol Prashant Tamang today performed in front of his adoring home fans, for the first time after winning the television reality show, at a programme organised by a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated association.

Last year, the Morcha was born after its president Bimal Gurung cashed in on the strong anti-Subash Ghisingh sentiment that swept through the hills during the campaign launched to help Tamang win Indian Idol 3. The GNLF chief had refused to publicly back Tamang even as the entire Gorkha community put its collective might behind the singer from Darjeeling.

Since then, the political turmoil in the hills has been one of the reasons why Tamang could not perform here, although he toured about half-a-dozen countries across the world.

This morning, Tamang appeared happy to be back.

“I wanted to come to Darjeeling after getting well (from jaundice) and I am overjoyed at being able to perform here during Nepali New Year’s Day (2065),” the singer said.

The Ekta Diwas ceremony was organised by the Gorkha Janmukti All Gorkha Students’ Union. It was formed recently after the apolitical All Gorkha Students’ Union (Agsu) threw in its lot with the Morcha.

The Agsu has been celebrating Ekta Diwas for the past four years.

Prakriti Giri and Karma Sherpa, two other singers who did well in different reality shows were also felicitated at the programme along with six other achievers from the field of sports, literature and academics.

Tamang, however, stole the limelight and, going by the applause, seemed to overshadow even the Morcha president at times.

Mindful of the support he enjoys not only in Darjeeling and Sikkim, but every place that has a Nepali-speaking population, the singer urged the hill people to remain united. “If we show the same unity (displayed during the voting for Indian Idol), we can do much more,” he said.

The Indian Idol will leave Darjeeling tomorrow and go on his second US tour on April 16. He is also busy working as a playback singer in a Nepali film, Himmat, being made in Kathmandu.

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