A Historical Study of Tribal Status and Development in Sikkim- Post Merger 1975

Bikash Karki


Sikkim is the tiny little 22nd Indian state in the Himalaya, surrounded by the West Bengal in the south, Nepal in the West, Tibet in the North and Northeast, the kingdom of Bhutan in the east. It is not easily located in the map unless one knows when to look for it.  The whole state measures only 70 miles from north to south and 40 miles from east to west. Sikkim is fully organic state of the country. It has a population of 607688[i].The total number of voters’ details as on 31st December 2013 is 345481. Sikkim constitutes the western part of the eastern Himalayas within the great and the inner realms Himalayan regions. Situated below the world’s third highest mountain, the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga, Sikkim is a veritable treasure house for lovers of nature. Sikkim comprises a multi-ethnic society inhabited by different ethnic communities belonging to different racial and linguistic groups, having more than 25 different tribes and communities and spoken more than 13 different languages belonging to various stock in the state. The existence of different religious sects such as Bon animism, Yumaism,  Buddhism, Hinduism  Christianity and Heavenly path etc are adopted in faith and belief system among the different ethnic  groups. Historically of these different tribes and communities of Sikkim, ‘Lho-Men-Tsong-Sum’ Bhutia Lepcha and Limboo, three indigenous communities constitute both linguistic and religious minorities in Sikkim.


Namgyal Dynasty, Chogyal, Buddhism, Bon- Animism, Yumaism, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tsong, Tamang, Seat Reservation

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. Census of India, 2011.

. Interview taken on 23rd of Jan 2015 to Prem Lal

Tiwari and Phigu Bhutia at Geyzing Kyongsa west Sikkim.

. Kharel, Sunita. Bhutia, Wangchuk, Jigme. 2013. Gazetter of Sikkim, published by Home depart-ment, Government of Sikkim, p.123

. Limbu Kingdom that existed in Eastern Nepal until 1764, but it fell into the hands of Gorkha King Prithivi Narayan Shah.

. Buddhi L. Khamthak, Struggle of Sikkimese Lim-boos for the Tribal Status and seat Restoration in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly Part-I , A Emeyt-nasung- (Limboo literary Magazine) 34th issue 2013, p 416.

. Ibid.

. Ibid.

. Karubaki Datta occasional papers Centre for

Himalayan Studies, North Bengal University p.9

. Sikkim Herald vol.18 No.114 Monday October 17, 1977

. Himalayan Observer, 1979, Sept 22 Vol-14 No-5.

. Sangha seat is not a territorial seat, but it is seat reserved for the Monks.

. Sikkim Sangram Parishad party, Election Mani-festo, 1984, pp,1-10

. Informal interview taken to Pooja Sharma daughter of late Dharma Dutta Sharma on 25th of July 2017 at Ranipool Gangtok.

. The Statesman Tuesday August 4, 1992.

. The Statesman, September 9,1990.

. Sunday Mail, Delhi 18-24 December, 1994.

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. Statements March 2nd 1995

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. Subba opcit. p. 417

. Times of India, Friday 1 June 2001

. Times of India, 19 December, 2002

. Times of India, 21 December, 2002.

. Burman Commission is blamed for adopting nega-tive approach for not recording substantial histori-cal facts in the report. The history of reservation of the Tsong seat as well as the Tripartite Agreement of Lho, Men, Tsong, Sum was not recorded by Burman Commission. Whether it was intentionally left or mistakenly left out.

. The government of Sikkim has allocated separate seats and Quota in Service sector and Higher Edu-cation for Limboos and Tamangs. To make bal-ance between Bhutia Lepchas the earlier tribes and Limboo Tamang the new existing tribes, the earlier was given the ST category of BL and later termed as Schedule Tribe.

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