Kanchenjunga....The First Nepali News based journal of Sikkim.

Sikkim, on the eve of Indian independence, was a closed book as far as the political activities were concerned. Few movements were taking place in some far-flung places of Sikkim but, they did not have much impact on the political enlargement of the country. They can be considered as an act of waywardness by the peasants against their feudal lords and those acts were flattened down with iron hands. This all was happening due to the political oblivion among the subjects of Sikkim. They had an intimidation in their minds, an intimidation of confiscation of their private property therefore; they could not raise their voices against the atrocities imposed upon them by their Masters (Kazis).  There was no question of education in such a situation where one loaf of bread was dearer then the philosophy of Marx, Engel, Gandhi and Socrates.  
For the establishment of an egalitarian government, journalism has always played an essential role. Journal not only provides information about the fresh developments but also provides broader sphere for arousing the feeling of liberty, parity and democracy among the browbeaten and mistreated section of a society. Before the birth of ‘Kanchenjunga’ there were very few journals like Amulya-Ratna (hand written journal) published in 1948 and 'Pushpanjali' of the APATAN literary society and The Pole-Star published in 1951 by Mahananda Poudyal were in the scenario but, they were not able to reach at the doorsteps of the ill-treated section as they focused mostly on the literature feature, ignoring the political aspects. To fill-up the inadequacy in the political process of Sikkim the publication of a monthly Nepali journal ‘Kanchenjunga’ was started on 15th August 1957. The editor of this journal was Nahakul Pradhan but, the entire important workout for the publication of 'Kanchenjunga' was completed by Mr. Kashiraj Pradhan. It is to be noted here that 'Kanchenjunga' was the first news based journal of Sikkim written in the language of the majority i.e. Nepali.
I am greatly indebted to Miss Pabitra Bhandari for sharing with me the aged page of the ‘Kanchenjunga’ which seems to be the 26th issue of the journal. Published on 15th September 1959, it provides us information about the asylum of the Dalai Lama of Tibet at Mussouri in India.  It is stated further in the journal that the Gyawa Karmapa had taken his refuge at Rumtek monastery, nearby Gangtok, along with his 80 followers. A refugee Committee was formed on the chairmanship of the eldest princess of Sikkim Pema Choden to take care of the Tibetan refugees. According to the reports of Kanchenjunga of 15th August 1957, three to four thousand refugees were to be permitted to come to Sikkim to work as the labourers for the construction of roads under Public Works Department, Government of Sikkim. The first group of such refugees which comprised 271 Tibetans had already reached Sikkim and was executing its duty as the labourers in North Sikkim.
Probably, this is only the piece of information related with the Tibetan refugees in Sikkim which is obtainable from our state. 


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