ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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From 50 Years Ago: GANGTOK

Vol IV, No 9 MARCH 1, 1969


First Rays from South

While it is difficult to gauge the reaction among the political circles close to the Palace to the outcome of the mid-term elections in West Bengal, there is no doubt that most ordinary people in Gangtok and in the other Sikkimese towns were jubilant over the election results …

The victory of the Gurkha League candidate, Prem Thapa, from Siliguri, under the banner of the United Front, has boosted the morale of a large section of the population here. For, they have long felt that the ghost of pan-Gurkhaism had adversely shaped the policies of New Delhi, and the attitudes of the Indian political parties, towards the Himalayan states. This ghost they feel might gradually be buried now.

Not all the strata of Sikkimese society, however, have reacted similarly to the West Bengal election results. People who belong to the sophisticated and affluent society of Gangtok, Kalimpong and Darjeeling have been in fact struck with fear — and understandably so, since the neighbouring Indian State of West Bengal may now react differently to their activities.

Yet the nervousness of the Marwari businessmen of Gangtok and Kalimpong, who have probably benefited most from the permissiveness of the Congress regime in the south and have made much shady money in the heyday of ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’ even at the cost of India’s long-term interest surpasses them all. They survived the disruption of the age-old Indo-Tibetan trade, but they feel their existence is truly threatened now since they have an unsympathetic government to deal with in the south as well.

Updated On : 1st Mar, 2019


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