SIKKIM: FROM PROTECTORATE TO 22ND STATE OF THE INDIAN UNION

STATALES

2003: CHINA WENT FOR A SWAP OFFER, SOMETHING THAT IT HAS BEEN TRYING TO DO WITH ARUNACHAL PRADESH – IT AGREED TO FINALLY RECOGNIZE SIKKIM AS AN INDIAN STATE AFTER INDIA AGREED TO DECLARE TIBET A PART OF CHINA.

NATHU LA REOPENING IN 2006: THE FAMED TRADE ROUTE OF ANCIENT DAYS WAS REOPENED AFTER 44 YEARS AFTER IT WAS CLOSED IN THE 1962 WAR. IT EFFECTIVELY PUT TO REST ALL CHINESE DESIGNS ON NOT ACCEPTING SIKKIM AS INDIAN TERRITORY.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

1890 – THE BRITISH-CHINESE CONVENTION: SIKKIM DECLARED A “PROTECTORATE” OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE – LATER ON, IT BECAME A PRINCELY STATE OF THE BRITISH INDIA.

1947-1950: SIKKIM AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION – AS PEOPLE OF SIKKIM REJECTED THE PROPOSITION TO MERGE INTO INDIA THROUGH A POPULAR VOTE.

1950: INDO-SIKKIM TREATY WHICH MADE SIKKIM AN INDIAN PROTECTORATE – SIKKIM CONTINUED TO BE A SOVEREIGN NATION – BUT WOULD DEFER TO INDIA IN ISSUES OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND COMMUNICATION.

1975: CONTINUING ANTI-ROYAL PROTESTS – SIKKIM’S PRIME MINISTER REQUESTED FOR MERGER INTO THE INDIAN UNION.

  • APRIL 1975: INDIAN ARMY IN GANGTOK – REFERENDUM HELD – 97.5% VOTED TO JOIN INDIA.
  • MAY1975 : KINGDOM OF SIKKIM BECAME INDIA’S 22ND STATE.

CHINA ON MERGER: CHINA TERMED THE REFERENDUM ILLEGITIMATE, UNDER MILITARY PRESSURE – FOR CHINA, SIKKIM REMAINED AN INDEPENDENT NATION TILL 2003 WHEN THE SIKKIM-TIBET DEAL WAS REACHED AT.

©SantoshChaubey