Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama celebrated his 85th birthday on July 6 and given the border dispute with China; proposals for him to be conferred the Bharat Ratna started pouring in. In the tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim too, the demand is picking up.
Although Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal and the state of Sikkim have been projected predominantly as tourist sites, the mainstay of the rural population continues to be agriculture. According to Census 2011, the majority of the population here are rural (60.58% in Darjeeling-Kalimpong & 75.03% in Sikkim) and agriculture is the main occupation. Here farming communities depend on wage labour, small businesses and tourism (homestays) to augment their income from agriculture and all these were also closed during the lockdown period.
Having spent half of his life as a drug addict, Bashu Isaiah Rai Lorung from Darjeeling decided after 15-16 years of drug abuse that being clean and sober had become a matter of life and death. So, Rai who was working for H.P Invent, one of the best corporate sector company in the business decided to dedicate his entire life helping those who have gone through the same phase as him.
What is most baffling is the timing of this controversy. The recent skirmish between Indian and Chinese forces in Naku La and Ladakh region cannot be forgotten. More importantly, the recent publication of a ‘New Map’ by Nepal at the behest of China aimed at ruffling Indian Government cannot be ignored too. With attempts at terrorist incursions by Pakistan at its peak and repeated references to sabotaging the “Chicken Neck” region by anti-national forces, this fresh attempt to bring the contentious Sikkim Subject issue does raise certain concerns.
A small state like Sikkim can turn dictatorial very fast, we know, as we have lived under semi-dictatorship for decades. In the past 30 years or so multiple newspapers have been banned in our Darjeeling hills – Sunchari was banned, later Aja Bholi, later Himalaya Darpan – all because the ruling dispensation wasn’t pleased with what was written. Even today, in their desperate bid to shut us up or shut us down, the powers that be have filed against TheDC too over concocted charges , but irrespective of it all, we will continue to write the truth, because Freedom is worth taking a stand for.
A recent report in a newspaper concerning the efficient handling of COVID19 by Sikkim inspired me to share my thoughts on the subject. Rightly so, the state has been lauded for its efficient handling of COVID19 from many ends. Sikkim and Nagaland are officially the only states in the country to maintain zero COVID19 cases inside their administrative boundaries, so far. Two Union Territories — Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep — have also maintained zero COVID19 cases so far.
We are students, we come from a diverse background. We have friends who have almost everything which one can buy, but we also have friends who do their livelihood on their own. Though, we never complained because we believed that our day may come, as said: “if you are born poor it is not your fault, but if you die poor it is.”
It’s Sunday. Doesn’t feel like one though. Being a late riser I rose to hymns and choir of the St.Pauls Church in 5th Mile. The church is Silent. No hymns no bells. Easters too passed the same way. Well, must be same for everyone living beside Temples, Gurudwaras and mosques. It’s not the same world anymore. But it’s good too. I now wake up to calls of the Magpie Robin and sparrow chirps. The sweet bird calls were overpowered by the unpleasant noise of the trucks and vehicles.
The role of education is not only to train the students for a living but for life. For years, education has only been used as a standardizing factor and not as a factor for liberating the self. This COVID19 pandemic has shaken the entire globe and we have been seeing the repercussions of lockdown in every sector including education. All sectors are trying their best to stay afloat and digital platform has acted as an oar to help row in this chaotic storm of events.
The corona outbreak has landed us in a chaotic situation along a lot of fronts. But we wish that the fear of getting infected by…