Past Story: How Sikkim Ended Monarchy & Became Part Of India

Sikkim favoured India
Sikkim was at a strategically important trade route, a route which British wanted to exploit to establish trade with Tibet, however, post 1947, after Independence of India, Sikkim became a separate country. Sikkim remained independent until 1975 when it merged with India after a referendum was held in which the people of Sikkim decisevely voted in favor of merging with India. The merger with India was preceded by series of events. Let us look at a few of them.


Nehru’s attempt to annex
Nehru’s attempt to annex Sikkim to Indian union failed and he eventually agreed to a special protectorate status for Sikkim. Sikkim was to be a tributary of India, in which India controlled its external defence, diplomacy and communication. This was followed by establishment of aA state council in 1953 to allow for constitutional government for the monarch Chogyal which lasted for twenty years.However, relations between Chogyal and the elected Prime Minister Lhendup Dorji resulted in an attempt to block the meeting of the legislature. The resentment against the monarch became unanimous in the legislature.


Becoming of state
Indian reserve police were moved in, Gangtok was taken over and Chogyal was kept under siege and the borders were closed. China did its bit in mobilizing opinions against India, however history had already been written and matters came to a head in 1975, when Prime Minister Dorji appealed to the Indian Parliament for representation and change of status to statehood.


End of Monarchy
A referendum was held that facilitated the merger of Sikkim with the union of India and thereby Sikkim became the 22nd Indian State and Lhendup Dorji became head of State (chief minister). The status and post of monarchy was brought to an end in Sikkim. Democracy reigned supreme.

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