The birth centennial celebration of Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, starts with a series of remarkable events and programs. Among the highlights was the Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal Memorial Lecture, held today at the Conference Hall of the esteemed Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
The memorial lecture, a significant part of the commemorative activities, was attended by distinguished guests and esteemed personalities. Gracing the occasion were Chogyal Wangchuk Namgyal, son of Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, as well as Prince Gyalsey Palden Gyurmed Namgyal and Princess Semo Hope Leezum Namgyal.
The morning session of the lecture featured esteemed speakers who shared their personal experiences and insights about Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal’s remarkable contributions to the welfare of Sikkim and its people. Notable speakers included G.S. Lama, Padmasree awardee and renowned litterateur and social worker, P.T. Gyamtso, a former Member of Parliament, Lhendup Dorjee Lepcha, retired government bureaucrat, S.K. Sarda, President of Sikkim Chamber of Commerce and General Secretary of Chinmaya Mission, Sikkim, and P.K. Pradhan, former Chief Secretary.
The speakers shared fond memories of their interactions with Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal. Lhendup Dorjee praised his Chogyal’s ability to bridge the gap and connect with the common people. P.K. Pradhan expressed his enduring gratitude, stating, “Even after 30 years of retirement from my service, I still remember the advice given by the Chogyal.” The speakers also highlighted the development of public relations during Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal’s reign as king.
In the afternoon session, speakers took the stage, including Samso Subba, advocate and social activist, Pema Wangchuk Dorjee, a consulting editor at Summit Times, Dr. Jigme Wangchuk Bhutia, Head of Department at Sikkim Institute of Higher Nyingma Studies (Sheda), and Kishan Dahal, award-winning poet recognized internationally for his work in European, American, and African poetry publications.
The afternoon speakers also shared their personal encounters with Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal and emphasized his enduring impact on Sikkim and its people. The lecture drew an enthusiastic audience, including students from various educational institutions in Sikkim such as Nar Bahadur Bhandari College, Tadong, Sikkim Govt. College, Burtuk, Sikkim Govt. Law College Gangtok, Deorali Govt. Girls’ Senior Secondary School, and Tathangchen Secondary School, Gangtok.
Addressing the media after the event, Pema Wangyal Rinzing, the Secretary of the National Institute of Tibetology (NIT) stated that institute’s has deep respect for Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal. “NIT saw this as an opportune moment to honor Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, as it was under his guidance that the institution was established in honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal also served as the Institute’s President for a remarkable 18 years until 1975.” He said
Chogyal Prince Wangchuk Namgyal, addressing the gathering, highlighted progress Sikkim experienced during the reign of Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal. The development encompassed various sectors, including education, infrastructure, and equal opportunities for all. He further emphasized that the lecture provided the current generation with a glimpse into the past and a guiding vision for what Sikkim could achieve in terms of harmony and prosperity. He encouraged active participation in the democratic process, emphasizing the importance of exercising voting rights and the crucial role played by engaged citizens in a functioning political system.
The memorial lecture is beginning of a three-day eventful program that will culminate on May 22 on Lt. Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal’s birthday. The event on May 22 will be held in Botanical garden marking the end of the celebration of the Birth centennial of His Excellency
By Lakshashree Pradhan. The author is a student of Department of Mass Communication, Symbiosis Centre, Pune. She can be contacted at email@example.com