Prashant Tamang

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Prashant Tamang
Native name प्रशान्त तामाङ
Born (1983-01-04) 4 January 1983 (age 31)
Occupation(s) Singer, actor
Years active 2007—present
Website Prashant Tamang Blog

Prashant Tamang (Nepali: प्रशान्त तामाङ) is an Indian singer and actor. He was the winner of Indian Idol Season 3 in 2007.[1] He is also the first person from the Indian police force to enter the final rounds of Indian Idol.

Personal life[edit]

Prashant Tamang was born in Darjeeling, West Bengal, to Nepali origin parents Rupa Tamang and Madan Tamang. He spent most of his early life in the Himalayan region of Darjeeling and studied at St. Robert's School. After the demise of his father in an accident, Prashant left school and joined Kolkata Police as a constable in his father's place.[2][3][4] In Kolkata Police, he sang for the police orchestra. His family includes his grandmother, mother and his sister, Archana. Prashant married Geeta Thapa (Martha Alley), who is a flight attendant, on 16 February 2011 in Nagaland, India.[5]

Indian Idol[edit]

According to the Indian Idol programme commentary, Prashant auditioned for Indian Idol III (2007) because his friends and his seniors, especially Mr. Zulfiqar Hasan, Special Additional Commissioner of Police[6] (who incidentally also got Prashant's leave sanctioned for the competition) told him that his voice was very good. He auditioned for Indian Idol in Kolkata and was subsequently chosen for the next rounds.[7] He received mixed comments from judges for his performances. He is the only contestant to have never been in the bottom three or four of the gala round. He made it to the top two of Indian Idol 3 along with Amit Paul. Prashant got about 10 times more votes (70 million votes)[8] than Amit in the final and went on to win the Indian Idol contest.

Voting for Indian Idol[edit]

After entering the Indian Idol contest, Prashant Tamang became a celebrity in West Bengal, Sikkim, Nepal and particularly in the Darjeeling hills. People from Darjeeling district, Sikkim, Nepal, and Gorkha (Nepali) population living all around the world voted overwhelmingly for Prashant in the contest.[9] The mayor of Mirik vowed to spend Rs. 10,000 and his staff vowed to spend a month's salary in SMS voting for Prashant Tamang.[10] People of Nepalese origin working in Brunei, UK, Hong Kong, UAE and other countries sent money to vote for him in India.[11]

Rallies were organised in Darjeeling and Kurseong in his support, some of which were attended by his sister, mother and grandmother. In Pokhara (Nepal), Radio Annapurna (93.4 MHz) campaigned for collecting donation and the collected sum of NRs. Seventy-thousand donations were sent to Darjeeling through its representative to vote for Prashant. A signature campaign for his support was organised by Himalaya Darpan (a Nepali newspaper) in Darjeeling. Schools, clubs and other organisations asked people to support and vote for Prashant, who was named "पहाडको गौरभ" (Pahad Ko Gaurav) meaning "Pride of the Hills".[12] Two cabinet ministers from Sikkim, G.M. Gurung and S.B. Subedi, planted tree saplings at Singtam to pledge the Sikkimese support for Prashant and to show the unity of the Nepalese community in Sikkim and Darjeeling.[9] The Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs of Sikkim, P.S. Golay, also supported the state-wide voting for Prashant.

Support from Kolkata Police[edit]

Prashant, a constable in Kolkata Police, was supported by the officials of his department. Zulfiqar Hasan (Special ACP), visibly ecstatic with Prashant's triumph, in his interview after the announcement of the result told that he was confident that Prashant would win and he and his team supported Prashant at every stage of the competition. According to reports, a couple of policemen even stayed awake through the nights to vote for Prashant.[13] Hasan said, "Given the hard worker he is, Prashant deserved this title. He has no formal training in music, but he has been chosen the new Indian Idol. This proves how dedicated he is towards whatever he does."

Bimal Gurung and Gorkhaland movement[edit]

Bimal Gurung, a former councillor of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, led a successful campaign for voting for Prashant Tamang in Indian Idol 3. His campaign gained huge support and popularity from the people of Darjeeling. Riding on the wave of this mass support, Bimal was able to move the campaign to a political angle and overthrow Subhash Ghisingh, the GNLF leader and caretaker of DGHC, from power. Bimal Gurung went on to found a new party called Gorkha Janmukti Morcha that renewed the demand for a state of Gorkhaland in India.[14]

Red FM controversy[edit]

A radio jockey Jonathan Brady (also known as Nitin) of Red FM, an FM radio channel in Delhi, commented in a live broadcast in his show that "shopkeepers will now have to make their own security arrangements as Gorkhas have taken to singing" when referring to Prashant Tamang, who is a Gorkha, singing in the Indian Idol 3 contest.[15] This led to massive protests from Gorkhas all over and especially in Darjeeling district, where violent clashes erupted between supporters of Prashant and local residents of Siliguri.[16] The Gorkhas demanded that the RJ be taken off the FM channel. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry of India issued a show-cause notice to Red FM for the racial slur.[17] Red FM issued a clarification stating that "We have not intentionally caused hurt to the sentiments of any person or any particular community, caste or creed. However in the event any inadvertent slight or offence has been caused to the sentiments of any person or community we tender our apology for the same".[18][19]

After Indian Idol[edit]

After winning Indian Idol 3, Prashant launched his maiden album Dhanyavad (meaning "Thank You"), consisting of Nepali and Hindi songs, with Sony BMG.[20] Prashant toured all over the world, including the USA,[21] performing in concerts. He also sang for a few Nepali films such as Himmat 2 (along with fellow Indian Idol contestant Charu Semwal).[22]

Films[edit]

In 2009, Prashant Tamang started his acting career in Nepali films. His first film Gorkha Paltan was released in 2010.[23] Gorkha Paltan did very well at the box office.[24] Prashant's second film Angalo Yo Maya Ko, produced in Sikkim, was released on 31 March 2011.[25] Kina Maya Ma, Prashant's third film, was released in 2011.[26] Prashant's fourth Nepali film Nishani, based on the bravery of the Gorkhas in the Kargil War, is under production.

Discography[edit]

Album title Year
Dhanyavad 2007
Namaste 2008

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Other notes
2010 Gorkha Paltan Also did playback singing in the film
2011 Angalo Yo Maya Ko Also did playback singing in the film
2011 Kina Maya Ma Released in 2011
2014 Nishani In production

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]