October 6, 2015
Mamata Banerjee – ‘Didi’ of Bhutan
By Agnivo Niyogi | Thimphu
In India, everyone calls her Didi. On Monday, she won hearts and became ‘Didi’ of the people of Bhutan – all thanks to her simplicity and humility.
Although Mamata Banerjee occupies the high chair of the Chief Minister, she has always said that she is nothing but a commoner. This was reflected in Bhutan also from the moment she stepped into the country.
The warmth was showing in her meeting with the Prime Minister of Bhutan, His Excellency Tshering Tobgay. The meeting began with the PM sharing anecdotes of his student days when he studied at Dr Graham’s Home in Bengal. He even broke protocol to walk the CM till her car and fondly addressed her as Didi.
The camaraderie was also visible when His Excellency Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk, the Minister for Economic Affairs said: “Mamata Banerjee is our Didi. She is very popular in Bhutan. We know about her struggle right from starting her own party to coming to power wearing just a simple saree and hawai chappals.”
Didi also got a thundering applause at the India-Bhutan Business Conclave when she greeted the audience with “Ku Ju Jangpo” (Good Evening) and “Tasidela” (Thank You). Her firm determination to foster stronger business ties between Bhutan and Bengal impressed the delegates at the conclave.
The high point of the day was probably when the Prime Minister made an unscheduled visit in the evening to the hotel where the Chief Minister was staying.
Clearly, Didi has made a lasting mark in the hearts of the people of Bhutan.