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Life begins at 60 for Purno

Saidul Khan
The 60th birthday former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma was celebrated with pomp and gaiety at his residence on September 1. People from all walks of life including party members, MLAs,

representatives from different parts of the country were present to wish Sangma, the member of parliament from Tura (Meghalaya) constituency all success in life as he comes back to State politics.   

The celebration was marked in a very traditional way. Admires, relatives and well wishers of Sangma were all seen in their traditional attire. The grandson of Sangma, were also dressed in traditional Garo attire.   

Garo traditional Songs and Wangala were part of the celebration, which marked the birthday of Garo strongman Purno Sangma, whose new era of life begins at 60 as he plans to live next 10 years in active politics teaching younger generation leaders.   

Speaking at the celebration, Sangma expressed his heartfelt gratitude, love and respects shown to him by the people in the country in general and Garo Hills in particular. He took the opportunity to thank all those people who had helped him grow at several stages.   

"This is one of the biggest day in my life, I thank all who have supported me, and all my achievement are due to you" an emotional Sangma with tears of joy said. "I also take this opportunity to thank my wife, my father in law who had encouraged me to join politics" Sangma said as he added, "I love Achik and my country and I will continue my active political career".   

Later, interacting with Indigenous Herald Sangma said, "Meghalaya could have grown much faster and better, but instability has been a major factor which had caused this downfall". In 35 years of Statehood, 18 times government was formed, Sangma observed.   

He further told "Political stability is a must and this can be ensured if politicians have a holistic view for development of the State". He further urged the young and committed leaders to join politics.   

Further interacting Sangma said "Winnability is the only criteria for NCP in the forth- coming Assembly elections and party tickets are being issued only to such applicants who are sure of a hands down win in their constituencies".  

"We believe that women need to be empowered socially, politically and   economically…unfortunately, women are not coming up", he said.  

Sangma said that from Khasi-Jaintia Hills, two or three women had applied and based on their winning chances, party tickets will be allocated. The NCP will be the single party to form a stable government in 2008, a confident Sangma said.  

"Today, the standard and quality of debates in our Assembly is very low…quality representatives will change this" Sangma opined.   

"All my people will become famous as orators and committed leaders by 2013 " he said confidently Stating that the party is expecting to win more than 18 seats from Garo Hills, Sangma said that the people will opt for NCP because they know that it can give a stable government, "there is no leadership problem in the party".  

" I pity the Congress for their frequent leadership crises. In the Congress, no one can say for sure who will be the leader - Mukul, Lapang, Salseng or…?" Sangma said with a smile.  

"When you come to NCP, there is no confusion of leadership, we are going with clarity, with the people and I am being projected as the Chief Minister. There is no confusion of leadership" said Sangma. With pause Sangma also said "It reminds me that I have limited time more to work, it calls for more hard work".  

Most precious moments of life:

"I am born three times" Sangma replied with justifying his birth15 days after India's Independence, that he was born in Independent India on September 1, 1947. He feels that he was re-born for the second time in 1959, when catholic missionaries picked him up and took care of his education.   

He was born for the third time in 1977 when he was elected from Tura Lok Sabha seat. These are the three significant dates in Sangmas' life.   


"From the point of view as India as a Nation, I have done much for the people as a whole" Sangma said with zeal of satisfaction. Than a few second pause "Now I want to spent 10 years of my active life fully, in this years I will do more for the people of Meghalaya and Garo Hills in particular" he said.  

"Development is a prime concern…technology is changing fast, our focus will be on social and political angel" Sangma said.  

"I can help the younger generation, the next generation leaders, training them with leadership qualities, approach to mankind and building on human relationship" Sangma added.   

"I will be sharing my administrative experiences with the younger generation on governance".  

Representative from different areas of Meghalaya attended the grand celebration, his friends and relatives, political representation from Assam, Delhi, Arunachal, Manipur, and other states of India.                       September 2007   

Journalist Saidul Khan is based in Meghalaya state.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.