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I tried to keep track of the goings on in the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Foreign Secretary had


spoken to me about his visit to Sikkim. But I have long felt that we really have no policy in regard to
Sikkim except to wait upon Chogyal’s varying moods. The Foreign Secretary says that he found the
Chogyal ‘ready and willing’ and that he found him ‘in a chastened mood’. With great respect, this makes
no sense to me.

There was a time in 1947 when people of Sikkim were with India. Thereafter, we developed
great fondness for the Sikkim Durbar and now we wait on his frowns and on his smiles.

I tried at one stage to organize some serious thinking about our policy towards Sikkim. Nothing
came out of it. The basic question is: what are the sanctions behind “Permanent Association” or
“Protectorate” or anything else? In this latter half of the twentieth century, a sanction behind any
political framework has to be people if that framework is to prove durable. And we have totally
alienated the people of Sikkim [. . .]

[. . .] We must not delude ourselves. The Chogyal wants independence, a membership of the
United Nations and is gradually eroding our will [. . .]

[. . .] My own view is that until such time as P.M. has made up her mind, she should not see the
Chogyal in order to put a seal to the so called “Permanent Association”. In my view, we are not so
utterly helpless. We can make a new beginning. We can establish contact with the people of Sikkim,
develop relationship and earn their goodwill and use that as the real lever against the vagaries of
Chogyal. If we decide on such a policy, I have no doubt that in the space of two years we shall get
Chogyal running to us for protection against his own people. Otherwise, he will be taking us out for a
ride all the time.