Birth: 2 March 1977, Arghakhanchi
Death: 23 November 2021, Rupandehi
During the Maoist insurgency (1996-2006), almost every commander of the party was given a nom de guerre to hide their identity. Ram Prasad Banjade, a man who always wanted to fight autocracy, thus became Comrade Tankamani.
Comrade Tankamani was not overtly involved in the rebel army but rather became a part of its secret missions, many of which are yet to be revealed. Party leaders, even Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), have talked fawningly about the secret missions led by Tankamani. Those who knew him described him as creative and brilliant.
On the political front, Comrade Tankamani worked as the central representative and the Rupandehi district in charge of CPN (Maoist Center). Previously, he was in the party’s politburo. He is also one of the founding secretaries-general of ANNISU (Revolutionary), the party’s student wing.
In his home town of Butwal, Tankamani was synonymous with ‘Maoists’. He was an ideology-driven character who believed in simple living. Apart from his party members and friends, he was loved by his political opponents and the people of Rupandehi due to his down-to-earth nature. Every day, he used to go to the house of financially weak folks asking if they needed any help. Rather than give them money, he used to provide them opportunities to train and to acquire skills so that they could land decent jobs.
Even though he was one of the top contributors to the party, he had of late been excluded from the central committee, but that didn’t bother him. Rather, he started working tirelessly for the breakaway party’s expansion after the dissolution of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
A few months ago, Tankamani established an organization, Sahid Smriti Pratisthan, which was working on a project to build a garden and park in Rupandehi.
On November 22, he attended a meeting of party members who were either injured or disabled during the Maoist insurgency, in Dang, to assure them that the party and the government would look after them. While returning to Butwal, his motorbike was hit by a bus.
He was rushed to the nearby hospital. He was pronounced dead on November 23. He is survived by a wife, a daughter, and a son.
ANNISU (R), Rupandehi district committee, has vowed to take up Tankamani’s park project, and install his statue there.