Indrajatra and Newar Language in Sikkim
Some Proposals and Possibilities
Good or bad, Sikkim Newar Guthi was brought back to Gangtok in the year 2010 and many felt relief to the ultimate happened for the better. In the following year Indrajatra was declared as a public holiday by the Government of Sikkim most probably for being a community based state festival. It was a milestone and a challenge as well. That year prominent litterateurs like Lakshman Rajbanshi, Raja Shakya and whole bunch were here invited to participate in solidarity celebrating Indrajatra. Similalry, a host of Newah academicians were in the capital participating in the seminar held on the Newah language, culture and traditions in 2014. Various events were organized from time to time but newly introduced Indrajatra is established as the most popular annual festival. Some wise reminded us that why the Newars are celebrating the day when the pages of history show it as their Black Day. In reply I had written an article published in local newsdailies that we take Indrajatra as the day to unite together and show our solidarity rather than that of our defeat. Now this is not only a challenge to convert it into a source of inspiration and possibilities besides being that of introspection for all of us. Indrajatra has, therefore, been organized not only in Sikkim but in different parts of the world wherever the Newars have migrated and settled down making it a day to express unity and solidarity. This number in increasing day by day. Indrajatra has also given us the opportunity to showcase and display the rich Newar language, religion, art, culture, cuisine, custom, traditions, etc. Thus protecting, preserving and promoting them through our grit and determination to put it before our society, state and country but at the international level as well successfully. As a result, today we find that the Newar community rather civilization is now well known for its civilized social traditions and heritage the world over. This practice is continued further as more and more such celebrations have been organized over the recent years the world over. Added to the list is one being held for the first time ever this year in Baltimore, Maryland on the initiative of no other than the World Newah Organization President Season Shrestha and others like-minded settled there forming a large chunk of population in America. Theyhave plans to celebrate elaborately exact in the manner held back home in Kathmandu.
Year 1982 it was the concept of Sikkim Newar Guthi was propounded by this writer and his like-minded friends Ganesh Kumar Pradhan, Hare Ram Pradhan and Dhan Bahadur Shrestha. Timely proposal that was welcomed by one and all from here, there and everywhere directly or indirectly and prominent among them to name a few, I remember here L. N. Pradhan* and Mitra Kumar Pradhan* besides Shiva Pradhan (Gangtok Publications), Rudra Mani Pradhan (Universal Printers), K. B. Pradhan (Kwality Hotel, Kwality Stationaries and Producer of first Bollywood Film from Sikkim with his actor-son 'Romeo in Sikkim') and Rachna Books Family. In spite of it being a difficult time, their financial support, however small it might be in the present day context, helped us a lot to put across the message to the cross section of the Newar society not only in Sikkim but outside as well. This clarion call carried by the Inland letter sparked a tiny flame of hope somewhere inside our hearts feeling that we were not alone who had been nurturing such an idea within. Faded over time the memory is still lingering in our mind fresh. Timely proposal but not yet ripe for such a thing to happen in the prevailing political scenario in Sikkim.
because you want to say something,
because you have something to say.
F. Scott Fitzgerald