Danny Denzongpa- A Sikkimese skill in Bollywood

Tshering Phintso Denzongpa, commonly known as "Danny" Denzongpa in cine world was born on 25 February 1948 at Yoksam in West Sikkim. His father was a Lama at the famous Pemayangtshe Monastery in West Sikkim. During his childhood there was a lack of education among the Sikkimese populace. From the son of his maternal uncle who was studying at Gangtok, his father got inspired to set up a school at his village. For this pious task his father donated 15 acres of land. Thus, Yoksam witnessed a first school in its surrounding. Danny started his schooling from Gyalshing where he studied for one year.  After getting stipend from the Royal Government of Sikkim, he went to Nainital and studied at reputed Birla Mandir School. In 1964, after finishing his matriculation from Birla Mandir School, he came back to Darjeeling Government College and completed his BSC. During his stay at Darjeeling, he fostered an ambition to join the Indian Army, and even won the Best Cadet award from West Bengal and also participated in the Republic Day parade. Danny completed his M A (First Class) from the esteemed FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) Pune. It is said that he had been qualified for dignified Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) Pune but, took out admission to join FTII. It is to be noted that famed actress of Bollywood Jaya Bhaduri, was his classmate at FTII. While studying in Pune, Tshering Pintsho Denzongpa decided to change his name to an easy sounding "Danny" since his atypical name (for rest of his fellow mate) was tough to be pronounced. After finishing his studies from FTII, Danny worked as a teacher in acting at the same institute for two years.
He started his film career with Mere Apne (1971) with Vinod Khanna and Satrughan Sinha which was directed by Gulzar. It was Dhund (1973) which brought him fame as a gigantic Bollywood Star where he played a crippled and disturbed husband. He has produced Phir Wohi Raat and has played various Bengali and Nepali Films. The iconic character of Gabbar Singh from the film Sholay, was originally offered to him, but it finally went to Amjad Khan. He appeared in a character role against Amitabh Bachhchan in a movie Hum as "Bakhtawaar" which is gravely commended.
He is famously known for playing negative characters. In the multi starrer The Burning Train (1980), he appeared in a negative role.  For films like Khuda Gawah (1992) and Sanam Bewafa (1991) he won the Film fare Best Supporting Actor Award.
In the Shahrukh Khan starrer Asoka he played a character named Virat. He was seen in the lead role as Vir Vijay Singh in 16 December (2002).  
He has also starred in some international films, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he acted alongside Hollywood actor Brad Pitt. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India's fourth highest civilian honour. The Government of Sikkim has honoured Mr. Denzongpa with the award of Sikkim Rajya Puraskar on 15th August 1999.
A part from a versatile actor he is also an gifted singer having harmonic with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhonsle, three brawny of Hindi music. He has released Nepali songs and has sung for Nepali movies. His most famous Nepali songs are "Chiso Chiso Hawama", "Rato Rani Phule" Suna Katha Euta Geet. His Nepali movie "saiino" was a superhit.
Danny is married to Gawa Denzongpa, a Sikkimese princess and niece of the last Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal. In recent times he has become more selective as to the roles he plays. The movies he prefers, he works on his own terms. He has a son named Rinzing and a daughter named Pema.
Danny is a multifaceted person who is not only an actor and a singer but also a painter, writer, and a sculptor. 

Sikkim is always proud of you!!! 

Flag of Independent Sikkim

The national flag in Sikkim was first adopted in 1877 after its contacts with the British and it has a history of its own. The flag of Sikkim had change its shape and colour according to the need of the hour. The flag pasted here is the youngest of all its predecessors which was adopted in 1967 and remained as a national flag of independent Sikkim till 1975. Before this, Sikkim had come across other three flags which were distinctly different from the last one. As stated earlier the first national flag was adopted in 1877 which remained up to 1914. With the accession of Maharaja Tashi Namgyal the former flag was send-off and a new flag was adopted. From 1962 till 1967, Sikkim adopted another banner as its national Flag which stayed for five years. With the succession of Palden Thondup Namgyal Sikkim espoused this very emblem as its National Flag.
The Sikkim National Flag had red border all around and the yellow coloured Chakra (Wheel) denoting the Buddhist Symbol of the Law of Dharma and Gankyil as the centre element. The Chakra in the former Sikkim National Flag is different from the one found in the Indian National Flag, in place of 24 spokes there are eight spokes and has an ornate "nub" on the wheel at the head of each spoke. The wheel in the flag points out to the first sermon of Buddha, which is described as the "Turning on the Wheel of Tutorage”(Extract from Proud to be a Sikkimese- http//sikhim.blogspot.com)

A Rare Picture of Her Highness Hope Namgyal in Nepali Attire

Monday, May. 05, 1975 

Ten years ago, when Prince Palden Thondup Namygal was crowned Chogyal (King) of Sikkim, his young wife, Sarah Lawrence Graduate Hope Cooke, became "Queen of the Happy Valley" and "Consort of Deities." Together they pledged to make the tiny storybook kingdom "a paradise on earth." They also hoped to make Sikkim, an Indian protectorate since 1950, more economically and politically independent. That was a fairy tale not to be. Last week India's Parliament voted to make Sikkim India's 22nd state. It was the last act of a sequence that saw Sikkim's 300-year-old monarchy abolished, and the once internationally glamorous King and Queen of Sikkim become Mr. and Mrs. Namygal, citizens of India. 

The process of annexation actually began in April 1973, when the Chogyal asked Indian troops to help control demonstrators who were threatening to storm his palace in Gangtok. The riots stemmed from a controversy over the nation's electoral procedures—a system that inadequately represented the settlers from neighboring Nepal, who make up 75% of Sikkim's population of 210,000. India subdued the demonstrators —whom they may have instigated in the first place—and then pressured the Chogyal into accepting a constitutional agreement that virtually stripped him of all power. 

In elections supervised by India in April 1974, candidates from the anti-Chogyal, pro-India Sikkim National Congress party won 30 of 32 seats in the new Sikkim Assembly. According to the Indian tally, even areas that had solidly supported the Chogyal a year earlier voted overwhelmingly for his opposition. The newly elected Assembly's first act was to submit a resolution calling for closer ties with New Delhi. Three weeks ago, the Assembly voted to abolish the monarchy and merge completely with India. The Assembly hastily organized a referendum and within 72 hours announced that the people of Sikkim had voted to relinquish their sovereignty by the suspiciously top-heavy margin of 59,637 to 1,496. Although there was little debate before the act of union was rushed through India's Parliament last week, one opponent of the bill did charge India's Foreign Minister Y.B. Chavan with behaving like "a very apt pupil of the British." 
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who has repeatedly excoriated other nations for similar interventions, explained the annexation by simply observing that the people of Sikkim want it that way. Some observers argue, however, that New Delhi simply wanted to tighten its grip on an area it feels crucial to its defense. Sikkim is a buffer between India and Chinese-controlled Tibet. 
The final humiliation came to the former Chogyal, who is under house arrest, when security police searched his palace last week and confiscated his ham radio on the grounds that he was operating it without a license. Hope Namygal, who took refuge in Manhattan shortly after the 1973 uprising, says that she is "gravely concerned about the safety of the Chogyal and the many Sikkimese nationals who have tried to save their country's identity".

(The above article was published by time magazine on Monday, May. 05, 1975)

Pem Dorjee:- First Sikkimese to become Indian Football Captain

Pem Dorjee is the first Sikkimese football player who has represented India as its captain in several National as well as International matches. He was born on July 12th 1958 at Ben in South Sikkim. Pem Dorjee took his formal education at Kalimpong and Pelling. From his school days he had fervor to play football and with the completion of his studies he switched his passion into his profession.
Pem Dorjee received national concentration during National Championship at Coimbatore. His passage in the world of football was actually started after that match. From  1980, he started to play from Mohammadan Sporting, the renowned football club of India. In 1982, he was selected as an Indian football team member for pre-Olympic tournament. Though, India was defeated by Malaysia in that match, but, the national newspapers held the injuries of Pem Dorjee responsible for the defeat of India. In precise, if Pem had not been injured during the match India could have defeated Malaysia. 

Pem Dorjee represented India at The Chinese Great Wall Cup in 1984 and had been able to achieve a medal for India. He also got a privilege to represent the Indian Football Team at South Asian Federation Games. Further, he played the famous Asia Cup at Abu Dhabi in 1988.
He got married to a beautiful lady from Gyalshing named Pushpa in 1987. They have two children Jenila and Marco Bhutia. But, most unfortunately, at an early age, Pushpa had to become a widow of Pem Dorjee. This shinning star of the Indian Football Team died in 2001 at the age of 43 due to cancer. The present Indian Football Captain Bhaichung Bhutia gathered assets from his matches to save Pem Dorjee. But, all the efforts made by his well wishers proved to be futile as he was suffering from an incurable disease.

Sikkim is always proud of Pem Dorjee!!! 

(Picture above Pem Dorjee receiving BEST PLAYER from the then Governor of Sikkim J.H. Taliyarkhan.
Picture Below The Indian Football Captain playing) 

Ganju Lama- A Gallant from Sikkim

Rifleman Ganju Lama was born on 8th May 1923 at Sangmo village in Southern Sikkim. His father Late Kinchok Bhutia was a Mandal of the village and his mother Ninzem Bhutia was a pious Buddhist. The real name of Ganju Lama was Gyamtso.
Since his childhood Ganju wanted to join army. He was greatly inspired from his elder brother who was also an army in British India. When young Ganju joined the British army the Second World was at its pinnacle. The Great War had invited a huge devastation to the British Empire as well. To tackle the situation of scarcity in the British force, the British Indian Government appointed officials known as Gallawals in various parts of Sikkim. The main task of these Gallawals was to provide eligible people for the British army.
Young Ganju Lama was then at Singtam Bazar when he met a Gallawal named Jit Man Limbu. It was the latter who took Ganju to Ghoom at Darjeeling from where he was appointed as a rifleman in 7th GR on 27th July 1942.
Rifleman Ganju Lama was a proficient in handling anti-tank PIAT gun. It was in the scuffle against the Japanese on 17th May 1944 which is also known as Battle of Imphal-Tediem Road, he had been able to demolish a Japanese tank from a distance of 60 feet.
On 12th June 1944, when the Company of Ganju Lama was at a place called Ninthokhong (Burma) a fierce battle took place between the British and the Japanese. It was in this battle the Sikkimese son Ganju showed his real courage and reached the foe’s area amidst to the frequent bombard from the opposition. While heading towards his enemies side he was sternly wounded and had broken his left wrist. But, without caring much about his life and his wounds Ganju knock down inestimable tanks with hand grenades.

For the heroism that he had shown in the battle of Ninthokhong Rifleman Ganju Lama was awarded with Victoria Cross, the highest Gallantry Medal of the British Force. The declaration of the British Government about the event was published in the London Gazette on 5th September 1944. The summary of the Declaration is as under:-
"The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of Victoria Cross to No.78763 Rifleman Ganju Lama, 7th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army".  

Sikkim is always proud of You…..!!!!

Certificate to Ganju Lama From Sikkim Palace

Pema Dorjee the highest Civilian Award of Independent Sikkim to Ganju Lama by the Last Chogyal of Sikkim Palden Thondup Namgyal.