ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Limbu–Tamang Communities of Sikkim

History and Future of Their Demand for Reservation

Since its merger in 1975 with the Indian union, one of the major sociopolitical issues in Sikkim has been the demand for reservation in the state legislative assembly for two communities—Limbu and Tamang. The demand of reservation for the Limbus and Tamangs crystallised in Sikkim when these communities were notifi ed as Scheduled Tribes under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 2002. The history and future of this political demand has been analysed.

The campaign for Limbu (or Limboo)–Tamang reservation in the legislative assembly of Sikkim, though having its roots from the time the kingdom became part of the Union of India in May 1975, has gathered momentum in recent years. Though couch­ed in constitutional terms, the discourse seemed to be unravelling the communal divides that were sought to be pushed under the carpet over the years in the guise of an overarching “Sikkimese identity.” The immediate context is Dilli Ram Thapa, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator1 from Upper Burtuk constituency raising the demand for the Limbu–Tamang reservation in the monsoon session of the legislature in August 2022. The use of the communal card will definitely abet the BJP to expand its ambitions in Sikkim. Indra Hang Subba, the lone Lok Sabha member of Parliament from Sikkim, is expectedly dancing to the tune of the BJP. The existing strange party affiliations in Sikkim, where the main opposition is the BJP and the ruling party also in coalition with the BJP, place the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), the ruling party, in an awkward position.

Ethnicity and Indigeneity

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Updated On : 19th Jan, 2023
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