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Thursday, May 16, 2013

today is the day when Sikkim became another State of India

Have you heard of Lepcha ~ a Himalayish language and of Pawan Kumar Chamling

India is so vast and diverse that we know little of many other States.  Presently we have 28 States and 7 Union territories ~ Andaman and Nicobar Islands; Chandigarh; Delhi; Dadra and Nagar Haveli; Daman  & Diu; Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

Tucked away in the Himalayan mountains is a small and beautiful State called – Sikkim – a landlocked place.  The state borders Nepal; China's Tibet Autonomous Region; Bhutan and West Bengal. It has an area of 7,096 sq. km.  Its capital is Gangtok.  The principal languages are : Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali. Sikkim's hot springs are renowned for their medicinal and therapeutic values.

Nepal has a rich and long history which traces back to 13th century with the signing of a blood-brotherhood treaty between the Lepcha Chief Thekong Tek and Tibetan prince Khye-Bumsa at Kabi Lungtsok in North Sikkim. This follows the historical visit of three revered Lamas to Yuksam in 1641 in West Sikkim, where they consecrated Phuntsog Namgyal, a sixth generation descendent of Khye-Humsa as the first Chogyal of Sikkim, thus heralding the beginning of the Namgyal dynasty in Sikkim.  Sikkim became an integral part of the Indian Union in 1975.

The world's third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga, regarded as the guardian deity of Sikkim, dominates the tiny Himalayan State with its awe-inspiring beauty and majesty. Sikkim is one of the 18 Biodiversity hotspots in the world. The Sikkim Himalayas show tremendous biological diversity. With 607,688 inhabitants as of the 2011 census, Sikkim is the least populous state in India and the second-smallest state after Goa in total area. 

In 1975, a referendum abolished the Sikkimese monarchy, and the territory was merged with India. Sikkim is the only state in India with an ethnic Nepali majority. On 16 May 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished

In 2000, the seventeenth Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje, who had been confirmed by the Dalai Lama and accepted as a tulku by the Chinese government, escaped from Tibet, seeking to return to the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. Chinese officials were in a quandary on this issue, as any protests to India would mean an explicit endorsement of India's governance of Sikkim, which the Chinese still regarded as an independent state occupied by India. China eventually recognised Sikkim as an Indian state in 2003, on the condition that India accepted the Tibet Autonomous Region as a part of China.

Pawan Kumar Chamling, founder of Sikkim Democratic Front is the fifth chief minister of  Sikkim. Chamling is also a Nepali language writer and recipient of the Bhanu Puraskar (2010) awarded by Sikkim Sahitya Parishad. He writes under the pen name Pawan.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
16th May 2013.


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