Chief Minister PS Tamang on Saturday, May 28, inaugurated the Paruhang Sapten Manghkhim/International Kirat Rai Linguistic Cultural Research Centre at Rai Gaon, Ranka about 13 km away from Gangtok.
Numerous people and representatives of the Rai community from Sikkim, Darjeeling, Nepal, Manipur, Assam etc., attended the inauguration ceremony. It was also attended by members of other communities, cabinet ministers, and invited guests. In his inaugural address, the Chief Minister celebrated the establishment of Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim as a historical event.
He expressed that the religious infrastructure should be a platform to serve the linguistic and cultural aspirations of the global Rai community. “Establishment of religious and cultural infrastructure play an enormous role for protection and propagation of culture, traditions and language of different communities”, the CM said.
He also suggested that Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim could be promoted as a place of pilgrimage tourism in the State.
Tamang also expressed his gratitude to former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling under whose tenure, the foundation stone for the ambitious Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim was laid. The former Chief Minister deserves a special thank as the project of Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim was started in his tenure, he said.
The Chief Minister shared that Paruhang Sapten Magkhim construction work was in shambles since a decade or so and the SKM government revived the project to ensure its completion. He mentioned that all the incomplete projects started under the previous government will be completed by the SKM government gradually.
Taking a slight jab at his political opponent he said, “The infrastructure left incomplete by Pawan Chamling has been completed by our government. He is like my elder brother. He could not finish the construction work despite taking a long time and now his brother has completed the project within three years of coming to government. Do not be concerned that there is no elected public representative of the Rai community, I will preserve the language, culture and tradition of the Rai community.”
Pitching for communal unity, Tamang expressed that unity and communal harmony are key to development and prosperity of any State. He reiterated that SKM party would not encourage political interference in religious and social aspirations of any community.
On the occasion, the inauguration committee felicitated the Chief Minister and others for their valuable contributions towards the Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim project.
Chief Minister’s political secretary Jacob Khaling, also the chief patron of the inauguration organisation committee, mentioned that Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim is a historical and heritage site not only for the Sikkimese Rai community but for Rai community scattered all over the globe. He added that Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim should be a greater platform to serve the religious and cultural interests of Rai community. Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim Committee president Mohan Dungmali presented the Mangkhim construction report.
The Paruhang Sapten Mangkhim complex is spread around 1.5 acre with the Mangkhim built at the top. The complex has a library with over 3000 books related with the Rai community, an open-air amphitheatre, statues/murals of Rai deities and legends and modern amenities like reception floors, conference hall, restaurant and resting points at different floors. The connection with Mundum, folklore of the Rai community, is visible at each block of the Mangkhim.