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Preet Mohan Singh Malik

Sikkim: A History of Intrigue and Alliance

Sikkim: A History of Intrigue and Alliance

ISBN: 9789354226434

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Sikkim remains an enigma for most, with many misconceptions about its history and its merger with India in 1975. In this book, former diplomat Preet Mohan Singh Malik combines insights into the erstwhile kingdom's unique history with the intriguing story of how it became India's twenty-second state. He examines the often-fraught relationship between the Lepchas (Rongpas)-its original inhabitants-and the Bhutias-people of Tibetan origin who established institutions of religion and governance, and founded the Namgyal dynasty that ruled the kingdom until it became a part of the Indian Union. India's historical relationships with Tibet and China form a part of this narrative covering, in particular, the many facets of British involvement in the Himalayan region during the colonial period, and strategic failures that were compounded by a flawed Tibet policy pursued by independent India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. For India today, Sikkim remains significant from a strategic point of view, given its proximity to Tibet and the crucial Siliguri Corridor that connects India's north-eastern states with the rest of the country. The author draws from extensive sources, including hitherto unknown archival material that he had access to while serving at India's political office to Sikkim and Bhutan in Gangtok in the late 1960s.
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