A Handwritten Sikkim Herald- The oldest Surviving Newspaper of Sikkim

The publication of Sikkim Herald was started in 1956 during the reign of Maharaja Sir Tashi Namgyal to inform his subjects about the developments brought about by the Government. The initial format of Sikkim Herald was a magazine and it used to get publish every months. Prior to 1962, the Sikkim Herald Magazine was brought out in English only and later sometime in 1962, editions were brought out in Bhutia and Nepali languages as well.
The Handwritten Sikkim Herald in Nepali preserved at Ramgauri Sangrahalaya 
The picture with today’s post is also of this oldest newspaper of Sikkim in Nepali Language. The remarkable attribute of this publication of 1967 (6th Year Issue 21) is that it is a handwritten newspaper which was published on Thursday 16th February 1967. It is possibly a first of its kind in the history of journalism in Sikkim. The Top Headline of this issue deals with the suspension of the Sikkim Executive Council in the said year. It states “As per the Government Report published by the Chief Secretary Government of Sikkim Mr. T.S Gyaltsen, the Maharaja has unleashed the Councillors from their posts on 15th of February 1967 as they were busy in campaigning for the forthcoming election. Henceforth, the subjects are informed that their applications related to various concerns are to be sent to the concerned Head of the Departments for necessary action”.
The Second Headline of the Newspaper deals with the resistance techniques to be adopted to protect an individual from “Mai” influenza. The Herald has informed about the suspension of classes from all the schools for 15 days surrounding Gangtok to prevent from its further transmission. Further, this handwritten issue of Sikkim Herald has also informed the public about the date and venue as well as necessary requirements to sit for the written examination of a stipend for the year 1966-67, granted to the Sikkimese Students by the Government of India.
The Last News is an obituary on the demise of Mukhtiyar Palden Dorjee. The Sikkim Herald is now a daily publication brought out by the Information and Public Relations Department (IPR), Government of Sikkim, containing news and information on the developments and the programmes of the Government as well as notices regarding tenders and other important government notifications. One can find Sikkim herald in all the major languages spoken in Sikkim like Bhutia, Lepcha, Nepali, English and Limboo.
The only piece of this Handwritten Sikkim Herald is preserved by Shree Ganesh Pradhan of Ramgauri Museum Rhenock East Sikkim. I am greatly indebted to him for sharing this priceless document with me.