Let's discuss Article 371F this R-Day
Sixty eight years ago on this day, India celebrated its first Republic Day, the day on which the Constitution of India came into effect. For Sikkim, however, this will be the 41st Republic Day celebration since it became a part of the Indian Union in May 1975. The Constitution of India holds significance for the State in slightly different terms than the rest of the country. The fervour with which the day was celebrated in 1950 is something that the Sikkimese did not witness or experience. The day's significance, however, is not lost on us.
As the kingdom of Sikkim became the 22nd state of the country, special provisions were laid down in the Constitution under Article 371F to protect the already existing laws of the state to help it transition gradually into a full-fledged state of the Indian Union while keeping its unique identity intact. This special status accorded to Sikkim is often invoked but seldom explained. As we celebrate the coming into being of the great document that is the Constitution of India, this could also be a time to discuss and debate the provisions that brought Sikkim into the fold of the largest democracy of the world.