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The State in the Colonial Periphery
The State in the Colonial Periphery Rajiv Rai

The State in the Colonial Periphery: A Study on Sikkim’s Relation with Great Britain, as the preliminary title of the book indicates; it uncovers the relation between Sikkim and Great Britain, from the beginning of the relationship in the early nineteenth century, till the end of the British Colonial rule in India. This book expands upon the existing literature by uncovering the British influence in the region and its impact in determining the politics of the region. This work connotes Sikkim with the term – colonial periphery – which is neither a state under colonialism, nor outside the zone of influence of colonialism and predominantly acts according to the aspirations of the colonizer. After the end of British paramountcy in India, a delegation headed by Crowned Prince, Thondup Namgyal went to Delhi to discuss the matters relating to Sikkim with the British Officials. But since, the paramountcy had already been lapsed, they urged Sikkim’s delegation to discuss the matter with independent India. Independent India didn’t define the status of Sikkim, eventually India signed a Standstill Agreement (1948), to discuss the future and position of Sikkim in open. The Treaty of 1950 confirmed the sovereignty of Sikkim and Sikkim became the protectorate state of India, as it was of Britain.
The international implication and the demands for the larger democracy in Sikkim, led to the merger, a peripheral state became the part of India. The contact with the British transformed the traditional monastic state with cultural, political and religious affinities with Tibet, into a modern state. Sikkim is still to some extent a virgin territory for the researchers, much work remains to be done on the period of British influence in the region; perhaps this is the first on the said theme.
This work has made an attempt towards contributing to the fulfilment of this need. This work attempts to provide some answers to the question of British influence in shaping the politics of the region and its impact on the state of Sikkim. Overall, this study makes the conclusion that the regional, political, economic and strategic interests of British colonialism played a key role in determining the political developments and present political situation in Sikkim.