Tashi Namgyal


Tashi Namgyal
Tashi Namgyal in 1938

Tashi Namgyal (Sikkimese: བཀྲ་ཤིས་རྣམ་རྒྱལ་; Wylie: Bkra-shis Rnam-rgyal) (October 26, 1893 – December 2, 1963) was the ruling Chogyal (King) of Sikkim from 1914 to 1963. He was the son of Thutob Namgyal.

Namgyal was the 11th ruler of the Namgyal dynasty of Sikkim, succeeding his half brother Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal, who had ruled from February to December in 1914, till his death from heart failure. Born in Tibet and crowned by the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, he was a strong advocate for closer links with India.

He was married in October 1918 to Kunzang Dechen, and they had 3 sons and 3 daughters. The eldest son died in a plane crash during World War Two.[1] On his death he was succeeded as Chogyal by his second son Palden Thondup Namgyal.

During his reign, he acquiesced to popular demands for land reform and free elections.[2] He also favoured closer links between Sikkim, India and Tibet. Although some conspiracy theorists attribute his death to Indian agents,[3] such theories are widely discounted by most historians due to his excellent relations with India.

About a decade after his death, his son Palden Thondup Namgyal, the incumbent hereditary Chogyal was formally deposed by the people of Sikkim who voted in a referendum (by a majority of 97%) to join the Indian Union. Palden Thondup Namgyal was widely unpopular among his people and the then democratically elected Prime Minister Lendup Dorji appealed to India to change the status of Sikkim from protectorate to statehood. On May 16, 1975, Sikkim was officially made the 22nd state of the Indian Union, thus ending the era of the Chogyal monarchy.

Titles

  • 1893-1914: Prince Tashi Namgyal
  • 1914-1918: His Highness Sri Panch Maharaja Tashi Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim
  • 1918-1923: His Highness Sri Panch Maharaja Tashi Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim, CIE
  • 1923-1939: His Highness Sri Panch Maharaja Sir Tashi Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim, KCIE
  • 1939-1963: His Highness Sri Panch Maharaja Sir Tashi Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim, KCSI, KCIE

Honours

See also

References

  1. ^ Sack, John (1959). Report from Practically Nowhere. New York: Curtis Publishing Company. p. 221. 
  2. ^ Sack, John (1959). Report from Practically Nowhere. New York: Curtis Publishing Company. pp. 221–222. 
  3. ^ History and genealogy of the Namgyal dynasty
Tashi Namgyal
Born: 26 October 1893 Died: 2 December 1963
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal
Chogyal of Sikkim
1914–1963
Succeeded by
Palden Thondup Namgyal

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