Late Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, the last recognised King of Sikkim featured on the front page of April Issue of Talk Sikkim published from Gangtok.
The article "Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal: Requiem" written by Tenzin C. Tashi and published in Talk Sikkim, the most happening monthly magazine from the state of Sikkim is the talk of the town ever since it hit the stand. The article takes the readers to the world of Palden Thondup Namgyal, late Chogyal of Sikkim. The detailed story of Chogyal’s life is beautifully penned down. The outcome of his inability to cope with the emerging voices against him that finally led Sikkim to merge with Indian Union in 1975 is excellently highlighted. But (?) when the deposed King passed away seven years after his kingdom was taken away, “However, in death, Zhungkyang (Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal) finally had the honour denied him in his last years. A massive crowd- including his detractors, his bitter foe and one-time estate manager of Chakung, the people who had turned against him- all offered his kubur, decked out in Sikkim’s flag, a khada.”, writes the writer.
I would like to draw everyone’s attentions in the extract below that tell us about the hard truth within the royal house after the merger.
“Deposed and betrayed, Zhungkyang (Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal) yet believed that at some point of time, people would understand that his ambition was not personal, it was for them. He always believed that he was only one in a long line of rulers whose sacrosanct duty was to ensure the survival of what he saw as the very heart of Sikkim, her Buddhist ethos. He knew too that this survival was possible only if there was a Chogyal. Things were so hard at the Palace that Crown Prince Tenzing himself was looking after the Palace cows so that they could at least have fresh dairy produce at the table. Zhungkyang also stressed to his younger children in America that as his finances were limited- ‘Abala does not have much money now’- they should study diligently and earn scholarships for themselves. He had to literally beg Delhi for foreign exchange for his elder daughter’s kidney operation. Crown Prince Tenzing’s premature demise in 1978 was the cruellest blow of all to the already beleaguered Chogyal for he had come to increasingly rely on his dynamic young son for companionship and succour.
With special arrangements from the editor of Talk Sikkim, the admirers of Sikkim History can now download and read this article "Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal: Requiem", the cover story of its April issue.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
The photographs attached with the article are very exclusive and most of them from the private collection of Tenzin C. Tashi and her family.