The State in the Colonial Periphery: A Study on Sikkim’S Relation with Great Britain

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Partridge Publishing, Aug 5, 2015 - Political Science - 260 pages
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The State in the Colonial Periphery: A Study on Sikkims Relation with Great Britain, as the preliminary title of the book indicates; it uncovers the relation between Sikkim and Great Britain, from the beginning of the relationship in the early nineteenth century, till the end of the British Colonial rule in India. This book expands upon the existing literature by uncovering the British influence in the region and its impact in determining the politics of the region. This work connotes Sikkim with the term colonial periphery which is neither a state under colonialism, nor outside the zone of influence of colonialism and predominantly acts according to the aspirations of the colonizer. After the end of British paramountcy in India, a delegation headed by Crowned Prince, Thondup Namgyal went to Delhi to discuss the matters relating to Sikkim with the British Officials. But since, the paramountcy had already been lapsed, they urged Sikkims delegation to discuss the matter with independent India. Independent India didnt define the status of Sikkim, eventually India signed a Standstill Agreement (1948), to discuss the future and position of Sikkim in open. The Treaty of 1950 confirmed the sovereignty of Sikkim and Sikkim became the protectorate state of India, as it was of Britain. The international implication and the demands for the larger democracy in Sikkim, led to the merger, a peripheral state became the part of India. The contact with the British transformed the traditional monastic state with cultural, political and religious affinities with Tibet, into a modern state. Sikkim is still to some extent a virgin territory for the researchers, much work remains to be done on the period of British influence in the region; perhaps this is the first on the said theme. This work has made an attempt towards contributing to the fulfilment of this need. This work attempts to provide some answers to the question of British influence in shaping the politics of the region and its impact on the state of Sikkim. Overall, this study makes the conclusion that the regional, political, economic and strategic interests of British colonialism played a key role in determining the political developments and present political situation in Sikkim.
 

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Contents

Foreword
iv The Importance of Sikkim in the Power Politics in the Eastern
v Survey of Literature
vi The Rationale and Scope of the Study
iii The Third Phase of AngloSikkimese Relationship 18351861
iv The Fourth Phase of AngloSikkimese Relationship 1861
Impact of the End of British Paramountcy in South
ii Political Activities in Sikkim
Sikkim as an Indian Protectorate
v Conclusion
Annexures
Annexure III Treaty Of Tumlong 1861
Annexure IV Convention Of 4 March 17th 1890 Between Great
Convention Between Great Britain And China
Deed Ceding Darjeeling To The English 1 February
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About the author (2015)

I was enthused by the idea of writing something remarkable, but I never envisioned about writing a book, since it was beyond my grasp. But Partridge India showed the complaisance or the conviction that I can write a book and publish it, for which I shall remain obliged hereafter. My opportunity arrived when I was writing my MPhil dissertation, since it’s been told that – the past is an explanation of the present – My research is of same kind, this book is an attempt to add knowledge to the existing knowledge pool. While important inroads have been made in recent years by local and foreign researchers, Sikkim is still to some extent a virgin territory for the researchers, only the initial questions of the state formation, seventeenth century religious history and some aspects of the British and Indian periods have been addressed, much work remains to be done on the period of British influence in the region, using both sources in local languages and British archival materials. This book attempts towards contributing to the fulfilment of this need. Right now I am pursuing my PhD from Sikkim University, Gangtok, India, in the Department of International Relations. My area of research is the effects of colonialism in South Asia; its implications on the region and the dynamics of colonial influence on the states, especially Sikkim. There is a history of meddling of the British in the affairs of Eastern Himalayan states, which led to the synthesis between the three major ethnic communities in the region; the Lepchas, Bhutias, and the Gorkhalis. As the numerical majority, Nepali-speaking Gorkhali community plays an important role in shaping the politics of the region. By writing this book although, I have been able to fill up some of the important knowledge gaps in the region, but still works remains to be done. Dr. Alex McKay, talks about the East India Company Archives in Rangpur, Bangladesh which could cover the period between 1750 - 1850, and which has not yet been looked by any academicians/researchers till now. He says, “Good to hear that you are working on this subject; there is much to be done, particularly on the early period (esp 1770-1815 and even to 1888), and I think you can contribute here”, when British had significant influence over the region and these materials have not yet been looked by any academicians/researchers, till now. So, there is a lot of scope in carrying out this research, by using sources held at Sikkim, London, Rangpur, and National Archives of India, New Delhi. I was born and raised and I did my schooling in Sikkim. I did my graduation from Darjeeling, and return back again for the higher studies in Sikkim. The kind of research I am doing, this place would be an ideal place, which is the reason why I am doing my study from this University. Now I am pursuing my PhD, and when I finish my PhD, what would be the prospect for me, that have to be seen.

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