How Sikkim’s Merger With India Came About

NEW DELHI: It’s India’s least populous state but a strategic one that houses the Nathu La pass leading to Tibet. The kingdom wasn’t part of the hundreds of princely states in the sub-continent that merged with India in 1947 after Independence, thanks to the efforts of India’s first Home Minister Sardar Patel. But then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wanted Sikkim out. It remained that way till 1972 when Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi, as Prime Minister, took note of the Sikkim king’s moves that were inimical to India’s security. He was told to relent but he did not. That’s when India launched a 27-month covert intelligence operation, without military intervention or creating a fuss that the world would have taken note of. In this edition of ‘Simply Nitin’, StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale narrates how Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union.