SIKKIMS’ MERGER INTO INDIA: WHAT DID THE CHOGYAL WRITE TO INDIRA GANDHI?
Posted by completenepal on April 7, 2010
[ “I have no words when the Indian army was sent today in a surprise attack on Sikkim Guards who are less than 300 strong and were trained, equipped and officered by the Indian army who looked upon each other as comrades. This is a most treacherous and black day in the history of democratic India in solving the survival of our little country by use of arms.” – The Last King Palden Thondup Namgyal of Sikkim]
By Shital Pradhan
I believe this piece of article is more of a documentary as the title suggests “The Story of Sikkim“. A part of many stories in opinions24x7blog. The article gives a simple narration about Sikkim in brief. What I liked the most was the annexation part and as in my part what I see I share. So this interesting piece of extract is provided here which did touch my heart especially the “letter” sent by our Chogyal (King) to Indira Gandhi when Sikkim Royal Palace was attacked by the Indian Army.
“Finally, in 1975, the Kazi (Prime Minister Lendup Dorjee Khangsarpa) of Sikkim went against the Chogyal and appealed to the Indian Parliament to change Sikkim’s status to a full state of India. His appeal was approved. In April 1975, a 5,000-strong contingent of the Indian Army invaded Sikkim and surrounded the Chogyal’s palace. His 300 bodyguards, who were themselves trained by the Indian Army, were caught and driven away, while one of them was shot. The Chogyal was arrested. In his last letter to Indira Gandhi, he wrote:
“I have no words when the Indian army was sent today in a surprise attack on Sikkim Guards who are less than 300 strong and were trained, equipped and officered by the Indian army who looked upon each other as comrades. This is a most treacherous and black day in the history of democratic India in solving the survival of our little country by use of arms.”
The Chogyal died under Indian surveillance, supposedly of a weak heart. The Sikkim National Flag was lowered and subsequently banned, being replaced by the Indian Tricolour. A referendum was held under which 59% of the electorate came out to vote. Of them, 97.5% approved a merger with India. However, historians strongly dispute the statistics provided by the Indian Government as well as the fairness of the referendum, which was conducted by the Indian Army. Nonetheless, Sikkim was merged with the Indian Union as its 22nd State.
Interestingly, the treaty which enabled the merger had a special clause inserted into it by India: the merger of Sikkim and India could never be disputed in any court of the land, including the Supreme Court. Of all the instruments of accession signed between various Princely States and the Indian Union, only this one contains this special clause. Details of what actions Indian Intelligence agencies took before the annexation, including the accession of Bhutan to the United Nations, remain sketchy, mostly because the Government classifies it as a state secret.”