Sikkim Foundation Day: Story of Sikkim becoming part of India
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Sikkim Foundation Day: Story of Sikkim becoming part of India

On 16 May 1975, Sikkim, the least populous state became part of India. It is for this cause that this day is celebrated as the Sikkim Day.

Initially Sikkim was under Chogyal dynasty rule during 1640’s. It was invaded by the Bhutanese with the help of the half-sister of Tensung Namgyal. In 1890, Sikkim became a protectorate state under British rule. It acted as a buffer state between China and British India, of which Nepal and Bhutan were also a part.

Sikkim’s last monarch Palden Thondup Namgyal married an American, Hope Cook. People of Sikkim did not like Cook taking over the governance. In 1973, the people rebelled against the monarch. Anti-royalist riots took place in front of the Chogyal’s palace. The demand for responsible government continued and a civil disobedience movement was established against the monarch.

A referendum was held in which 97.5% of voters supported abolishing the monarchy. This led to Sikkim’s official merger with India. Many believe Indian agencies were involved in inciting violence in the state.

NSA Ajit Doval played a prominent role in Sikkim’s merger with India. 1967 batch IPS officer Ajit Doval, who is also the present National Security Adviser went from Mizoram to Sikkim and handled the entire operation.

To enable the incorporation of the new state, the Indian Parliament amended the Indian Constitution. First, the 35th Amendment laid down a set of conditions that made Sikkim an “Associate State”, a special designation not used by any other state. A month later, the 36th Amendment repealed the 35th Amendment, and made Sikkim a full state, adding its name to the First Schedule of the Constitution.

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