Guru T Ladakhi
“Amidst the talk of El Nino and global warming
a Sikkimese man sticks his tongue out
in a token grimace of fear.”
- the Sikkimese
After the cable news withdraw their spotlight from Sikkim to chase other ‘breaking news”, we shall once again be relegated to the back-of-beyond on the national conscience, living as it were on the margins of a nation’s memory. Sometimes, it takes a disaster to remind the rest of the country that an India exists that defies the general image -- we look different, speak broken Hindi and our landscapes are crested. For those who have been guest to our part of the world you must fetch a reality that is beyond the picture postcards.
Nevertheless, lessons will not be learned, we will continue to break rules, build badly designed infrastructure, and live on dole from Delhi. We make token gestures because of recent devastation, but our public memory is short and therefore our vision stunted.
Imagine, a capital of a state serviced by only a single highway. After more than 35 years of being part of India, one greenfield civil airport is finally under construction and no railways yet. We can’t help but look over our shoulder and see the kingdom of Bhutan doing exceptionally well for itself, commended for being one of the least corrupt countries in South Asia and having a much higher standard of living. The irony is that Bhutan used to look up to Sikkim as a model for development during the heyday of Sikkim’s monarchy.
We are done with revolution and hunger strikes, what we really require is change of mindset in the little things we do. To inform ourselves to choose right, be mindful of our actions and, as long as we worship mediocrity, hope will be the first casualty and change will only mean diminishing returns.
Guru T Ladakhi is a Sikkimese entrepreneur and sometime poet. He lives in Gangtok with his wife and two daughters
Prem Panicker, Managing Editor, Yahoo! India
Journalist. Loves reading, writing; hates 'rithmetic.