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Sikkim Statehood Day: How Sikkim became 22nd state of Indian Union in 1975

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New Delhi, May 15: Sikkim remains an enigma for most. It can be seen that with many misconceptions about its history and its merger with India in 1975. In "Sikkim - A History of Intrigue and Alliance" (HarperCollins), former diplomat Preet Mohan Singh Malik combines insights into the erstwhile kingdoms unique history with the intriguing story of how it became Indias 22nd state.

Sikkim Statehood Day: How Sikkim became 22nd state of Indian Union in 1975

He examines the often-fraught relationship between the Lepchas (Rongpas)-its original inhabitants -- and the Bhutias -- people of Tibetan origin who established institutions of religion and governance, and founded the Namgyal dynasty that ruled the kingdom until it became a part of the Indian Union.

May 16 is being celebrated as the State Day, the day when Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union in 1975.

India's historical relationships with Tibet and China form a part of this narrative covering, in particular, the many facets of British involvement in the Himalayan region during the colonial period, and strategic failures that were compounded by a flawed Tibet policy pursued by independent India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Today, Sikkim remains significant from a strategic point of view, given its proximity to Tibet and the crucial Siliguri Corridor that connects India's north-eastern states with the rest of the country.

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