Talk of Mr. A. D. Moddie at Capital Hall Nainital...

In my earlier posts, I have published little information about Mr. A. D. Moddie who is a Historian, a gigantic stature in the Himalayan Studies, an IAS, a well-known figure in the corporate world, a thinker, a writer, a mountaineer and of course an adoring and a loving husband and a father. The most important thing about him is that he was the first Indian mountaineer who scaled Mt. Lama Aden in North Sikkim in the pre independence period. Further, Mr. Moodie had visited Gangtok in the late 50’s as a trading agent of Unilever Company and went up to Gyantze in Tibet via Nathu-La with a passport issued to him by the authorities from Pandra Mile in Sikkim. During his stay at Gangtok, he had been able to meet our Chogyal Sir Tashi Namgyal who according to him was a very pious person. I got an opportunity to be present at a talk by the most ascribed person that I have ever interacted, today at the Capital Hall, Nainital. The arrangements for the event were made by People’s Association for Himalaya Area Research also known as PAHAR, Nainital. The topic of his talk was ‘Opening of Himalayan Doors ‘Jewel in the Lotus’ to Geo-Politics’. The subject matter itself was an enthralling one for a student of history like me. I reached the venue nearly 15 minutes before the given time to interact to that old man of 90, who was going to have a discussion on the Himalayan Doors.
On his discussion, Mr. Moddie covered almost every sphere like the social, political and economic subject of the Himalayas. He focused on the aspect that the political boundaries are the brain child of the colonists and due to it the present Himalayan states are under pressure. They were having their own norms of governance and owing to the imposition of the laws gifted by the British they are agitating. In his talk of nearly two hours,  Mr. Moddie described the Himalayas in three different phases. “First, the early centuries of the jewel of Lotus, the second phase of Shangri-La and the last half century of turbulent geo-politics, and restless people in rapid transition to the uncertainties and chaos of modern times”.  
As Mr Moddie had to cover the entire Himalayas at a short time, he discussed about Sikkim in a brief. He said “the spirit of adventurous discovery also brought the early European natural scientists to the region to explore Nature’s secrets in Shangri-La. The most memorable Example was Dr. Hooker (A Botanist friend of Darwin) to discover Sikkim’s Rhododendron high hills in 1840’s”. Mr. Moddie further stated that Sikkim is a good instance of transition from kingdom to democratic development.

The important rationale of the event was to felicitate Mr. Moodie by the PAHAR along with various other distinguished personalities of Uttarakhand. The entire event was a mesmerizing one not only for me, but, for everyone who have their interest to explore the unseen and neglected spheres of the Himalayas. 

(Pic. Above Mr. Moddie delivering his lecture at Capital Hall, Nainital on 14th Nov.2010 , Pic. Below publication of PAHAR on his topic of Discussion)