Sikkim - The Land of Mystic Splendour

Sikkim - The Land of Mystic SplendourSikkim is India's smallest state in terms of population which lies in the Eastern Himalayas. Being a region which had its geophysical uniqueness owing to its location and climate conditions, human inhabitation was sparse. It was only in 1641 that it was given a political entity. The population inhabiting this area were of Indo-Mongoloid, Tibetan or Nepalese origin. The first known people to occupy Sikkim are the Lepcha and anything before that is obscure. Their cultural traits such as dress and family norms show close affinity with the Khasi of Meghalaya, and linguistically, they have a lot in common with the Tangkul Naga of Northern Manipur.

The population of the region is rural and tribal. The influence of the Buddhism has created a unique culture, different from other parts of the country. The tribals had little contact with the other parts of the country. Agriculture through jhum cultivation besides animal rearing formed their important occupation. The Lepchas and the Bhutias who came from the regions of Tibet settled in Sikkim.

In 1973, Lhendup Dorji Kazi, a former Sikkim Council member leads a peoples-agitation against the monarchy making demands for a one-man one-vote system. To maintain parity between the Bhutia-Lepcha minority (25%) and the Nepalese majority (75%), a single Bhutia-Lepcha vote was equivalent to six Nepali votes. The palace administration collapses paving way for Sikkim’s merger to the Indian Union and for Kazi Lhendup Dorji to becomes it’s first Chief Minister.