sikkim

  1. Sikkim, India’s Himalayan state is geographically sandwiched between countries like Nepal, China, Bhutan and Indian state of West Bengal.
  2. Therefore whatever happens in any of these areas directly or indirectly impacts the state.
  3. Sikkim is already deprived of industries and other major means of economic development and is largely dependent on tourism. And any misadventure of any of it’s neighboring areas eats away the touristic advantages with the state as well.
  4. The face off between India and China in Dokolam in the east of Sikkim impacted the tourism in the state as tourist prefer not to visit places of conflict with the fear of further escalation of tensions and being stranded in the worst case.
  5. To the south of Sikkim lies West Bengal whose darjeeling district has been burning since decades due to the demand of a separate state, Gorkhaland.
  6. As a result of the increasing demand in the recent times there has been continuous bandhs, hartals, closures, violence, rallies all of which lead to shutting of the economic activities such as trade, transportation etc.
  7. Since West Bengal is the only Indian state Sikkim is connected to, such happenings in West Bengal directly affects Sikkim and the state is already occuring huge losses. There have been instances of attacks on trucks going to Sikkim via Siliguri.
  8. As a result of this, Sikkim has sued West Bengal for Rupees 60,000 crore in the supreme court!
  9. This is probably first instance of such litigation where a state is suing the other accusing it for economic losses.
  10. Sikkim grievance has two faces. One is of course economic and the other is political.
  11. First of all, it is not the West Bengal government who has led the Gorkhaland agitation. It is the people of the region to which the state has no support.
  12. Therefore the case against the WB government seems largely political as a case between NDA and TMC or directly Mamata Banerjee as Sikkim is a NDA ally Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) ruled state and WB is led by it’s bitter ally Trinamool congress(TMC).
  13. Bimal gurung of Gorkhaland Territorial administration (GTA) also is an NDA ally and so the Mamata is facing challenges from SDF-GTA-BJP mixed unit.
  14. In between this politics, it is the people who are the worst sufferers. The locals loose income and the tourists face hassles.
  15. The need of the hour rise above party politics and to build unity for mutual development because if states weaken, country looses and China is already waiting across the border for this to happen.