The first Prime Minister of Independent India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru greatly admired the erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim. During his tenure as the Prime Minister of India he visited the Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim and was warmly received by Sikkimese. As per the report of Kanchenjunga, the first Nepali news journal of Sikkim, the late Indian Prime Minister reached Rangpo, a bordering town (On Sikkim’s border with India) in the morning of December 28, 1957 on his way to Gangtok, the Capital of Kingdom of Sikkim.
Pt. Nehru He was warmly welcomed by then Maharaja Sir Tashi Namgyal, the heir apparent Palden Thondup Namgyal, Nari K. Rustamji the Indian Dewan and the Executive Councillors of Sikkim Assembly. The journal further informs that the Indian Prime Minister was greatly welcomed by the people of Rangpo.
“A crowd, busy in watching football match upon hearing his arrival came to wave their hands to the Prime Minister” the journal reports. After the grand welcome at Rangpo Dak Bunglow, Pandit Nehru inspected the working at Rangpo copper Mining. Nehru insisted on creating Indian machines for the development of such mines in Sikkim. After his brief visit to Rangpo Copper Mining the Indian Prime Minister visited Singtam Bazar and acknowledged the greetings by the people of Singtam at School Phatak. At Singtam, he visited food preservation factory, constructed under the Seven Years Plan adopted by the Royal Government of Sikkim.
Fondly called Chacha Nehru by Children, Nehru was also warmly welcomed by children at 32 NO Ghattey School (now Brihaspati Parsai Sr. Sec School) Ranipool Golai, Deorali and Gangtok Bazar. The jeeps accompanying the Indian Prime Minister made several rounds of the capital clamouring the slogan of Panchseel Zindabaad.
On the same day, the Indian Prime Minister visited Technical Institute, Tashiling Secretariat and STNM hospital and made a round of the Capital Town. In the evening, Pandit Nehru attended Garden Tea Party at Sikkim Palace hosted by the King Shree Panch Maharajadhiraj Sir Tashi Namgyal.
The Report of Pt. Nehru’s visit was published in Kanchenjunga, (Vol.5 year
1957). A copy of this journal is with Shri Ganesh Pradhan of Rhenock at his private museum Ramgauri Sangrahalaya Rhenock East Sikkim.
The above post has been published on Rajen Upadhyaya’s blog
About the author:
Rajen Upadhyay from Namchi, Sikkim is an Assistant Professor of History in the Namchi Government College. A passionate reader and sports enthusiast Rajen is working to revive the History of Sikkim. You can read his blog sikkim-historyhunter
Read other posts by Rajen Upadhyaya:
Sikkim’s Bal Bahadur Rai: For whom art is passion
School days drawings of Sikkim’s Bollywood celebrity Danny
Jaharman Rai: The unsung Hero of Sikkimese History
The journey of political consciousness in Sikkim
Constitution of Sikkim State Congress 1947