Sikkim One of the most attractive tourist destinations in India, famous for tea gardens and Kanchenjunga, and its natural beauty but ever wondered how Sikkim became a part of India.
We bring you the History of this State:-
Sikkim was used to be a monarchy from 1642 to 16 May 1975 as it was ruled by Chogyals from the Namgyal Dynasty. This dynasty has its roots from Tibet, It is believed that the first King of Sikkim migrated from Tibet that’s why this state has a Tibetan and Buddhist Culture
The presence of Nepali population over there also leads to Cultural Linkage to Nepal.
During the 18th Century, Gorkhas attacked Sikkim and captured some area of Sikkim and ruled over Sikkim around 40 years and many of the Nepalese population called as Lepcha or Bhutia came to Sikkim.
After Anglo Nepal War with British during 1814-1816, the Kingdom was aligned with British East India Company and the Treaty of Titalia was signed with British EIC and the Nepalese acquired kingdom was restored to Sikkim after Nepalese lost in Anglo Nepal War.
Relation with the British EIC
Initially, the relationship was good the but it had some clashes started around 1850 over Darjeeling.
Britishers demanded Darjeeling for its unique land importance because of Tea Gardens over there, the King and the Landlords of Sikkim accepted this deal and based Britishers to give an annual amount of 6000. After some time BEIC didn’t give that agreed amount due to which clashes started in Darjeeling.
British had to the sent army to Darjeeling for controlling the clashes and they again started giving the annual amount to landlords of Sikkim.
In 1890 there was a treaty signed between British and China called as Anglo Chinese Treaty. It was documented that the Chinese area of Influence would be until Tibet and similarly British Area of Influence would be Till Sikkim both of them can’t invade each other area.
After the India independence, Sikkim Became a part of India as a protectorate with its own policies and rules like the princely states and the Indian government can’t exercise its own rule and regulation over there that time as it’s Sikkim was ruled by its own government.
During the 1940s, there were some political movements started in Sikkim by the majoritarian Nepalese population(75 per cent of Sikkim population in 1940s)for the demand of Constitutional Monarchy.
Indo Sikkim Treaty,1950
This treaty was Signed in between Maharaja of Sikkim-Tashi Namgyal and the Indian Government Representative to recognized as Sikkim as the Protectorate of Independent India, and Tashi Namgyal agreed upon the decision to make Sikkim a constitutional Monarchy and to conduct its own election and to be ruled by an elected representative.
Kazi Lendup Dorji was the first elected Chief Minister of Sikkim representing Sikkim Congress.
However, Chogyal still remained the constitutional monarch in the new system.
Sikkim became an autonomous state with India having controls only in communications, external affairs and Defence having its own state flag and Tashi Namgyal also used to project Sikkim as an independent state during his tours
Relationship between Jawaharlal Nehru and Tashi Namgyal was good till 1963 until the death of Tashi Namgyal.
Palden Thomdup Namgyal –The last Monarch of Sikkim married to an American named Hope Cooke in 1963 who was believed to be a CIA agent and deliberately came to Sikkim to create unrest over there.
Hope was a very good writer and written articles about the independency of Sikkim and other inflammatory articles and slowly affected the administration of the state which was not liked by the Indian Government and the govt representative over there.
Growing Unrest in Sikkim during1965-1970
-Due to geopolitical unrest increasing around Sikkim in the mid-1960s because of the Naxalbari movement and rise of communalism in West Bengal and Nepal and annexation of Tibet by the Chinese Army, the Indian government was worried that China may attack the Sikkim.
-This became clear after the Chola la Incident in 1967 where India won the war with China who tried to infiltrate into Sikkim near the Chola la Pass.
-Also, the Nepalese who were in majority over there protested against the ruling Bhutia who were ruling the Sikkim.
There was widescale protest started in Sikkim against the Chogyals in 1973. It is believed that the Indian government-funded this protest and the Intelligence Bureau and the present National Security Advisor -Ajit Doval played a vital role in this.
The political unrest between Lepchas and Bhutias for the demand of democratic constitution got so intense that Thondup Namgyal himself reached to the Indian government for controlling the situation.
After this, on 8th May 1973, a new agreement was signed between the political parties of Sikkim to form a new democratic Setup and the law and order would be controlled by the government and the Chief Representative of the Indian government would hold all the administrative power.
The Indian govt sent an advisor to draft a constitution of Sikkim, but this was opposed Chogyals as his all administrative power could have vanished.
In April 1974 elections Sikkim National Congress who were in support of Indian Govt won comprehensively and provided political liberties but the Chogyal tried to oppress it.
During September 1974-There were controversies arousing in Delhi India is making 36th amendment in the constitution to merge Sikkim into India which was highly criticized and Sikkim was made an Associate State.
April 9 1975
Due to the high tension growing over there a military operation was launched on the Chogyal Palace. The Raja of Sikkim was put under house arrest and the army overpowered the 300 Sikkim-Guards within 30 minutes.
The very next day the Assembly of Sikkim met and dissolved the power of Chogyal and Sikkim was made a Constituent and a Democratic state and was made a part of India.
However, Chogyal was still protesting against the Indian government, the govt made a referendum in 5 days. In this Chogyal was termed as illegal and around 60000 people voted to make Sikkim become part of India and 1500 were against that.
As per some supporters of Chogyal called this referendum as illegal as it was just done in 5 days in such difficult terrain and most of the voters were not from Sikkim as per them.
On 22nd April 1975, the Indian government passed the 36th amendment to the constitution and Sikkim became a part of India as the 22nd State of our country and on 16th May 1975, it became official and also known as the Sikkim Day.
Also, read about Shimla
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