BY SHITAL PRADHAN
Today if i am asked what is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to you, i do not have any second doubt and say i am very fortunate to be born in Sikkim.But my love for my Sikkim never happened in a flash point.
It was the year 1996 and my first trip to Calcutta now they call it Kolkata, till then i never knew what was Sikkim really about. When i was asked about my place of origin i was too surprised to find that most of the people never had heard of Sikkim, they thought it to be part of either Nepal or Bhutan. It was with names of two Sikkim giant Danny Denzongpa and Bhaichung Bhutia i was able to relate that there is a small state of Sikkim a part of Indian union for the last 20 years. when i returned back at home i was swept off my feet, i was taken aback i never felt bad like that before and i thought within myself i never knew anything about Sikkim..how could i tell people about my Sikkim. This promoted me to learn more about Sikkim and over the years i do have few knowledge about this Himalayan wonder but there are many unsolved mysterious hidden yet to be written. Our biggest problem is that most of the books on Sikkim had taken reference from Gazetteer of Sikhim by H.H. Rishley dated 1884 and since it was written by a britishmen he did left few patches.
More than thirty years down the line what is Sikkim in Indian Union...a place that gets Television mention only in weather forecast, PM, President visits Sikkim but India is busy is relaying the story of Matuknath's love affair with his student. Sikkim is regarded as the kalapani in terms of Indian judges dictionary. Judges are send to Sikkim if they are not able to cope with the system. do we deserve to be a residence of kalapani.
To add misery to the problem i do feel that there is some lackness among us too in promoiting our State. Where are the youth of Sikkim that says we are proud to be Sikkimese and care for our Sikkim. Today our cultural heritage is getting lost but who cares, the three community of sikkim had been living peacefully over the years but today we have separate parties of these community, but who cares. I am sorry to say but it is true our youth lack the knowledge of Sikkim, the pride of our past. How many people know about names like Jiwan theeng, Nari Rustomji, Pagla Dewan, Kashinath Pradhan, Alley, Hitler Lepcha, Ruth Karthak and others.
How many people in our state know that a wise man Chanakya, a hero in the Indian history had killed a Lepcha king and he was killed by the Lepcha army. How many of us know Sikkim is the home of rocketmail...the moment when USA and USSR had not gone through rocket mission but it was Sikkim that paved the way for them. I just ask how many of us know who designed the map of Sikkim we today have. Do we know that a painting of Sir Tashi Namgyal hangs in the room above the bed of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in his home at Teen Murti Bhawan, have we gone through the pages of history when it says after the death of Nehru his ashes was dispersed in the sky around Gangtok and Kanchenjunga, we have many beautiful history to be written but who cares.