Today, on 16th May 1975, Sikkim became the part of Republic India.
During the British rule in India, the kingdom of Sikkim enjoyed a ‘sovereign’ status with “British protectorate” against the neighbouring Nepal and China. This ‘subordinate alliance’ with the British was carried on by the newly formed Indian government after 1947.
The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, signed an agreement with Sikkim's ruler, Chogyal Tashi Namgyal which stated that Sikkim was to be treated as a “tributary of India,” in which India would manage its foreign affairs, communication and defense, while it remained an independent monarchy. This arrangement worked well, until the Indo-China War in 1962.
After the War, Sikkim faced changes in government as well as in the mindset of public who wanted the kingdom to be a part of the Indian democracy. Between 1973 and 1975, the “anti-monarchical voice” became stronger not only in Sikkim but even internationally. Owing to protests and demonstrations, the anti-Chogyal government led by Lhendup Dorjee, sought India for a ‘deeper’ democratic association.
India rushed into organizing a referendum to ‘absorb’ Sikkim which was passed with the support of 97.5% support. Hereafter, the Chogyal dynasty was abolished and Sikkim became the 22nd state of India with complete democratic rights and privileges.
The coin shown above is Copper Paisa of Sikkim which depicts the legend “Sri Sri Sri Sikima Sarkar” on the obverse and Sri Sri Sri Sikimapati Maharaj on the reverse with the date at the bottom. These coins are extremely rare and valuable.
Image Courtesy: https://www.todywallaauctions.com