The political void of early 60’s and letter of Late Kazini Eliza Maria to Late Brihaspati Parsai

The early 60’s of the last century can be considered as the concluding segment of the tug of war that was prevalent between the political parties of Sikkim and the Sikkim Durbar. It can be articulated that, the period had accurately witnessed “King can do no wrong” as far as the Sikkimese administration was concerned. The Executive Councillors had served for seven years without any break. However, as per the provision, there had to be an election in 1962; but, was postponed for an indefinite period due to the “Chinese encroachments”. From the study it appears that, there was no political party except the Sikkim National Congress of Kazi Lhendup Dorjee which repeatedly clamoured for the political reforms. The political situation of the erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom was thence standing on the edge which is evident from the reports of Kanchenjunga. The monthly Nepali news based journal states:

“…The Chogyal had in accordance to the advice rendered by different political parties, said that political reforms will be carried out or else like 1958’s law of election will be conducted....while looking at the demands of the political parties, all the parties are unanimous in one matter of election which was to be conducted in 1961 and was not be postponed further.....but, when it comes to the formation of the Council, rules regulating election, administration etc., the parties are not unanimous. If the ruler and the different parties do not listen to each other this critical situation will definitely harm the multi-faceted progress of the country” [i]

Though, Kanchenjunga [ii] blamed Sikkim National Congress along with other political parties for maintaining silence against the introduction of reservation on the basis of caste and race, it appears that, the Sikkim National Congress had made some clatters. But, as usual their opposition went unheard as the other two parties namely Sikkim National Party and Sikkim State Congress remained hushed and muted and were busy in proving them as  good and obedient parties to the Durbar.

The photograph attached with this post is a letter from Kazini Eliza Maria of Chakhung to late Mr. Brihaspati Parsai of Namli village East Sikkim. The latter was one of the founding members of Sikkim State Congress founded in December 1947 with a purpose of liquidating feudalism from the very root of Sikkim. It is evident from the letter that late Brihaspati Parsai had invited the Kazi couple for the marriage of their son to his residence at Namli village. However, the Kazini was unable to make her presence with her husband due to ‘ridiculous attitude of Sikkim Durbar’. It is interesting to note that the letter was dispatched from Chakhung House Kalimpong; the unofficial headquarter of Sikkim National Congress. It indicates that the entry of the Kazi couple to Sikkim was banned at that juncture for some unknown reasons and she is hopeful to meet her relations in Sikkim after the riddance of “nonsense”.  

I am quite sure that the Kazi couple was not allowed in getting into Sikkim after the publication of Bulletin No.2 of 26th January 1972 through which the Sikkim National Congress had a mocking criticism against the Chogyal and the Sikkimese administration. A line published in Bulletin No.2 of the Sikkim National Congress says:

“It should always be borne in mind that there can be no King without people, but conversely there are many countries today which have people without Kings”.[iii]
Document acquired from Mr. N.B. Parsai of Namin village East Sikkim
The line quoted above from Bulletin No. 2 was more than adequate to get exiled in a monarchical set up. However, it materializes that the earlier banishment, indicated in this letter was certainly for raising the voices of the majority, where the Kazi probably was reluctant to accept the Durbar diversion of “divide and rule”. Probably he could sniff the tang of prejudice in the approaches of the palace and remained unbending with his democratic ethos and in all probabilities his democratic values were responsible for ‘ridiculous attitude of Sikkim Durbar’.

[i] Kanchenjunga, Vol.6 No.26 15th November 1965 Editorial page of the Journal
[ii] Kanchenjunga  Vol.6, No.9 15th January 1966 pp120-121
[iii] Kazi, L.D. Sikkim at the Crossroads’, (A Party Bulletin) Published by Sikkim National Congress, Bulletin No.2/1972, 26th January 1972, Gangtok p2