Sikkim Since Independence
Sikkim, the twenty second State of the Indian Union (the erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom) offers a singular example of modernization of a backward area within a short span of time. In all spheres of life – political processes, social structure, economy, culture and style of life – this State has witnessed unusual changes. The processes of change, though also in the initial stage were greatly accelerated since its merger with India in 1975. In this context this book reflects the case study of a situation which tells us what happened to its people and society when modern education is introduced in a backward region like Sikkim. This has mainly been focal point of discussion since its merger with India in 1975. This book is the product of the comprehensive study which offers an empirical analysis of the role of education in the emergence of new class and its impact upon the traditional Sikkimese society. In fact, the main contention of the study is that he emergence of new class which has brought about a new dimension in stratification and social change in Sikkim. It is not necessary that the factors contributing to the development of classes should be similar in all societies. They may differ from one society to another. Since no society is static, it changes in course of time. Therefore, there may arise new situation and new factors which would considerably influence over the formation of classes and social change. Taking this view the social scientists and researchers may find the book of special interest. Apart from this, much of the political articulation in North-East India, including Sikkim, can be understood in the context of the ideology of this class. Its members have captured the social and political leadership of the areas. Therefore the programme planners and policy makers may also find the book of special interest. Certainly it does not reveal everything but it gives a prelude which may be helpful in understanding the contemporary situation in Sikkim from different angles.
Dr. Amal Datta (b. 1960) holds an M.A. degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the University of North Bengal. He received his Ph.D. degree from the same University in the same discipline. He was a research fellow of Anthropological Survey of India during 1984-87, and also a short-term doctoral fellow of Indian Council of Social Science Research in 1987. Dr. Datta has to his credit some research papers published in well known journals. He is at present working as Research Associate in an evaluation study of irrigation development project in the Terai region of North Bengal, sponsored by the Netherlands.
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