Tax Receipts of Feudal Sikkim collected at Chota Singtam



A tax receipt of 1922
A tax receipt after the abolition of Kazi and Thikadarism
Document plays a vital role for the construction of History; devoid of it, history tastes more story than a factual account. While undertaking field survey, I had been able to gather few documents related to the monarchical Sikkim which are not only rare but are atypical in their own ways. These peasant related documents are not available in any of the collections or in achieve of the State of Sikkim. The documents posted here belong to one Nar Dhoj Limboo of Rabitar Namchi, whose family was shifted to Chota Singtam in East Sikkim during pre Second World War period. These days the family of the said person is residing at the same village of Chota Singtam where Nar Dhoj Limboo found asylum against the recurrent feudal pressure. The once exiled family of Namchi has preserved many documents related to the feudal Sikkim that provide a broader space for the peasants’ history of Sikkim to dwell in. The oldest document which is maintained by the family of Mr. Harka Bahadur Limboo aka Khukurey Bajey of Chota Singtam, East Sikkim belonged to the year 1922. This document is a tax receipt paid by his father Nar Dhoj to the Mandal Kul Bahadur Chettri of Sadam Ilakha on 31st December 1922. Likewise, one can notice such proof of payments of the subsequent years till 1936 before they got shifted to Chota Singtam. The striking features of such receipts are the utilization of personal seals of the Thikadars by the village Mandals instead of the Lal Mohur or Royal Seals. The position and status of the Thikadars and the Kazis in the feudalistic Sikkim are evident from the use of such personal Seals. The Thikadar of Sadam Ilakha used to be a Nepali, who was a Newar by caste. Therefore, their seals bear an icon of a half moon (Ardha Chandra) and Nepali remark of Shree. But, there is a gradual change in the use of such seals. In a receipt issued by Mandal Wangdu Lepcha of Sadam village to the same person on 31st December 1932 bears mark of a rubber round seal that inscribes Moti Chand Pradhan, Turuk Ilakha Sikkim. Again, some of the receipts of the 50’s and 60’s have the earlier features.

A receipt of the membership fee of Sikkim State Congress
Tax receipt of 1933 (post World War I and Pre World War II)
The most important document maintained by Mr. Harka Bahadur Limboo is indeed the membership certificate of the Sikkim National Congress. The membership fee to the earliest peasant organization of Sikkim was made by a person named Man Bahadur Limboo, possibly, one of the brothers of Nar Dhoj Limboo. The receipt confirms that the latter made a payment of 50 Paise (Aath Anna) to secure membership of the said organization. It also bears signature of the Joint Secretary of the Sikkim State Congress (probably of Namchi District) Mr. Kali Prasad Rai. Further, many receipts of Kuts and Adhia methods of revenue assessment are also preserved by him.

The information about the family of Nar Dhoj Limboo and the documents were acquired during field survey on 21st January 2012

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