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.
Author, thought leader and one of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Nitin A. Gokhale has forty years of rich and varied experience behind him as a conflict reporter, Editor, author and now a media entrepreneur who owns and curates two important digital platforms, BharatShakti.in and StratNewsGlobal.com focusing on national security, strategic affairs and foreign policy matters. At the beginning of his long and distinguished career, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years, writing and analysing various insurgencies in the region, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 during the India-Pakistan war, and also brought live reports from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009. Author of over a dozen books on wars, insurgencies and conflicts, Gokhale relocated to Delhi in 2006, was Security and Strategic Affairs Editor at NDTV, a leading Indian broadcaster for nine years, before launching in 2015 his own digital properties. An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, South and South-East Asia to speak at various international seminars and conferences. Gokhale also teaches at India’s Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the intelligence schools of both the R&AW and Intelligence Bureau. He tweets at @nitingokhale
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