It Can Happen in India – Sikkim Proves

A letter from Gen Surjit about his recent visit to Gangtok.

Dear Friend,

The first command is like the first love : you can never forget it. In my case, it was an EME Battalion located in Sikkim. The current CO, Col Puneet Kapoor was kind enough to invite us and spent a few days there last month. Whilst nearly everything about Gangtok is exhilarating, what struck me the most was the efficiency of their police. There was not a single pot bellied cop and I was told that it is well nigh impossible to bribe them. As a consequence, their public places are pristine clean. The main market is named after the Father of the Nation, and it is as good as anything which I have seen in any country in the world. Here are some of its features:
  • No vehicle is allowed inside the market during the business hours.
  • Smoking and spitting is strictly prohibited.
  • If you throw litter, you do so at enormous risk.
  • If anyone commits an offence, cops appear at once, and a fine is imposed on the spot. If you try to bribe him, he takes you to the police station and a case is registered.
  • The approach road to the market has footpaths which are protected by railings. The pedestrians are completely safe.
  • Foot bridges are provided for the pedestrians to cross over to the other side.
  • Benches are placed for those who need a little rest.
Sub Dogra, who accompanied us to the market told me, “Yahan horn nahin bajaa sakte. Turant police aa jaayegi, aur jurmaana ho jayega.”  (You cannot honk here. The cops will come immediately and fine you.) He also told me that they have “bandhs” very frequently, to register protest for various things. And he said,

“Sa’ab, poora market band ho jaata hai. Kewal chemists aur liquor shops khuli rahti hain” (Sir, the entire market closes down, but for chemists and liquor shops )

When I tried to find the reason for that, I was told that the Sikkimese believe that “dawaa” (medicines) and “daroo” (alcohol) are essential commodities, which should not be denied to the citizens, even when the market is closed. Or as my friend Inoo (Air Mshl Satish Inamdar) says,
“Drinking is not an offence. Getting drunk is!”
Now, here are a few pictures of the M.G. Market in Gangtok….
You see a foot bridge to cross over. In the distance you see railings to protect pedestrians
Can you spot a cigarette butt or the sign of ‘paan’ spit? Any plastic bag or litter?
Rates of essential commodities are displayed on a board. No haggling.
We also have boards like this here. But in Sikkim, they mean what they say!
The laws in Sikkim are the same. As far as I know, the ‘lokpal’ bill has not been enacted there in any form. Then why can’t we achieve it in the rest of the country???!!!
1) Shared the original Content “as is where is “, Since I was proud of this as Bharateeya. All rights of this content assigned to the Author – General Surjit
2) No copyright violations are intended. In case any of the contents violates anyone’s copyright, please revert.

11 thoughts on “It Can Happen in India – Sikkim Proves

  1. ashthefoodie May 7, 2012 / 11:25 am

    If Sikkim can do it why can’t the rest of the country.Despite our rich culture and history we lack National character.I wish we become responsible.

  2. dipesh pradhan May 7, 2012 / 9:32 pm

    Firstly thank you for the post, a small correction if i may , I think the part on the frequent “bhands” is not correct, in Sikkim a few years back there was a strike after a long period , there is no “bhands” in Sikkim , happens once in decades , on the rarest of blue moon , yes we are affected by the “bhand” else where , also mg marg closes every tuesday as it is done for tax benefits (some thing to do with taxes) , and other areas of Gangtok close accordingly in different days.

  3. Naveen Pawar May 8, 2012 / 12:23 am

    @ Dipesh .. I too do agree with you.. Sikkim has set up an example for the rest of the country..

  4. Spartina May 8, 2012 / 12:49 am

    We are a peace-loving state… do not entertain or indulge in bandhs of any kind. Nonetheless, a BIG thank you to d General for this article. I,for sure, am a proud Gangtokian ((^_^))

  5. Anonymous May 8, 2012 / 11:49 am

    Feels good to c such an amazing feedback fr my hometown:-)

  6. Anonymous May 8, 2012 / 4:20 pm

    Thanx. m totally agreed with Mr. Dipesh….

  7. Sangay May 8, 2012 / 6:30 pm

    After reading this post, feel proud to be born n brought up in Sikkim!!!

  8. sikki765 May 8, 2012 / 9:22 pm

    hypocrisy. i am sure the rest of sikkkim smeels like garbage

  9. Parash May 9, 2012 / 10:14 am

    This is an excellent example for other states

  10. Kiran May 9, 2012 / 7:52 pm

    Yes Sikkim is a huge example for the rest of our country in matters of cleanliness and total and effective ban on the use of plastic bags. However the lokpal or lokayukta is still required in the state for the rampant corruption among the state govt officials and especially the CM. Also if ever the general gets the oppurtunity he must check out the state official calendar and the number of government holidays in the state. It is surprising that the state govt. or state govt. run institution gets any work done.

  11. PRANAY May 14, 2012 / 6:50 pm


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