Gandhiji at the Hill Cart Road near Kak Jhora with Anne Beasant and Deshbandhu Chitranjan Das in 1925. One can see the Toy Train track running alongside the road as well as a hand-driven rickshaw behind.
(c) Fallen Cicada - Unwritten History of Darjeeling Hills by Barun Roy
The latest issue of the The Week dated December 27, 2009 had something stored for me. The cover story the national magazine was “Myths of our Time” that had few stories webbed around our cultural and social belief that had very little truth in it. One article excited me the most and it was the sole reason that made me put forward my hand towards it when I saw it hanging in one of the shop in Gangtok. The headline of the story read “Gandhi did not say Hey Ram when shot”.
The story was against the belief of the Gandhi followers that are spread to every corner of the globe. But the fact remains strong that Gandhi did not utter anything when he was shot by Nathuram Godse with 9mm Beretta on January 30, 1948. There was no official record of what had happened when he was shot or after an hour of the incident. I checked the internet sources and even those people present at the time of the incident deny the fact that they heard Gandhi uttering any words before he was shot dead. It was nothing more than Gandhi's devotion towards Lord Ram and his vision of Ram Rajya that designer Vanu Bhuta got "Hey Ram" inscribed on the slab at Rajghat.
Mahatma Gandhi never visited Sikkim as there are no documents supporting it but he did visited Darjeeling in 1925. But Gandhi did have connection with Sikkim. He was associated with Helen Lepcha, a freedom fighter from Sikkim who had than settled at Darjeeling. It was Gandhi who transformed Helen’s name to Savitri Devi.
Until few years back before the Rangpo Guest House was made the winter home for the Governor of Sikkim. I have heard about letters send by Gandhi at Rangpo Guest House; than just a Rangpo Dak Bungalow. But later nothing was heard off but I believe the letters are still there and the ‘person’ wants to sell them off. History is more of a myth but it is up to us to give them a distinct shape rather than make it a fabled tale.
My motive behind this particular article is to make people of my Sikkim aware of the fact that there had been certain incidents in Sikkim too that has been immortalized and has been an integral part of our social and cultural identity but their real truth are yet to be drawn out. The stories of brotherhood treaty at Kabi, ladder story of Daramdin, even the genealogy of Chogyal Dynasty and many others needs to be thoroughly researched before we give them an accurate data. Let’s not take anything for granted. Sikkim too needs to be studied.