Dating History - a part
Dreams shattered, not deterred
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
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Yes, like the many aborted projects there was one envisaged for having a Police Training School here in the Black Hill. Had it been materialized it would have been a fitting tribute to the observing the Raising Day of Sikkim Police in Aritar as suggested, not only this year on 120 Years of neglect and disregard to the place where our forefathers had the brilliant idea of having such a much needed security to the society that the Black Hill was then developing well before the advent of The Chandra Nursery in 1910. Such an outfit was felt here a decade or so ahead of The Chandra Nursery and soon after the creation of idealistically located Aritar Bunglow in 1893. By the way, many would be interested to know who was the Head Constable to be the first officer-in-charge of the Sikkim Poilce. Muma well remembers that it was her Rajendra Daju's father, Lal Bahadur Pradhan, who was my Daju Mitra Kumar's grand father a descendant of Taksari Chandrabir Newar. She too recollects that one of the constables was from the Damai community but could not say who was he or other constables in the intially raised force or about their family here. Further, Aritar was then also a much loved destination not only being the place in the Black Hill to pass through the cobbled path for the mules forming what is now much fabled as the Silk Route. Once again, a dream project for all those here in the Black Hill or on the other side much eager to see with much hope and aspiration. With the upgradation from a sub-division of Darjeeling district to the proposed status of a new full-fledged district in itself coming up true with the New Year 2017, this move has received much needed boost. There many who believe that revival of the Silk Route would not only help the sleepy town rising with the economic upliftment brought forward but also to benefit would be the tourism sector in the entire area. Not to be left far behind as people are well-geared to meet the challenge of increased flow of tourists with a number of home-stays have come up all over both side of and along the river Reshi. Recent upgradation works of Reshi-Rhenock-Rongli Highway make a widened make smooth and pleasant journey possible in the area, which has led many to take a pessimistic view of the Silk Route being possible in the Black Hill in not very distant future. In a recent news-report it was emphasized that Kalimpong was made only by Jelepla and still a trace of the Tibet trade could be found in the popular products like khada, prayer-flags, Tibetan costumes, noodles, Buddha statues, religious books and allied things that the place is still producing and well-known for. The Silk Route would now be serviced not by the mules like in the days of yore but by modern vehicles cutting the travel time drastically. It would further be a shorter route than the one we already have for the cross-border trade between the two great nations of the South Asia. Both would, no doubt, be benefitting immensely by thus enhanced trade to bring about and usher in not only progress and prosperity of the people but giving impetus in improving bilateral relationship and rebonding the ties as well. It is a win-win proposition in all respect. So, why the matter is being delayed that makes many here perplexed!
Disclaimer: This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life. Some names (*asterisk for those no more), quotes, places and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached at email@example.com. The Newars World~Wide Connecting the Dots Sikkim is available at the Rachna Books.