Palden Thondup Namgyal
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Palden Thondup Namgyal

Palden Thondup Namgyal
The 12th Chogyal
Palden Thondup Namgyal.jpg
Palden Thondup Namgyal in 1971
Chogyal of Sikkim
Reign
Coronation4 April 1965
PredecessorTashi Namgyal
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Born(1923-05-23)23 May 1923
Gangtok, Kingdom of Sikkim
Died29 January 1982(1982-01-29) (aged 58)
New York City, New York, U.S.
SpouseSamyo Kushoe Sangideki (1950-1957)
Hope Cooke (1963-1980)
IssuePrince Tenzing Kunzang Jigme Namgyal
Prince Tobgyal Wangchuk Tenzing Namgyal
Princess Yangchen Dolma Namgyal
Prince Palden Gyurmed Namgyal
Princess Hope Leezum Namgyal Tobden
A son
Omo
HouseNamgyal
FatherTashi Namgyal
MotherKunzang Dechen
ReligionBuddhism

Palden Thondup Namgyal (Sikkimese: ?; Wylie: dpal-ldan don-grub rnam-rgyal) (23 May 1923 - 29 January 1982) was the 12th and last Chogyal (king) of the Kingdom of Sikkim.

Biography

Palden thondup Namgyal was born on 23 May 1923 at the Royal Palace, Park Ridge, Gangtok.[1]

At six, he became a student at St. Joseph's Convent in Kalimpong,[2] but had to terminate his studies due to attacks of malaria.[3][4] From age eight to eleven he studied under his uncle, Rimpoche Lhatsun, in order to be ordained a Buddhist monk; he was subsequently recognised as the reincarnated leader of both Phodong and Rumtek monasteries.[5] He later continued his studies at St. Joseph's College in Darjeeling and finally graduated from Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, in 1941.[6] His plans to study science at Cambridge were dashed when his elder brother, the crown prince, a member of the Indian Air Force was killed in a plane crash in 1941.[7] He underwent training for Indian Civil Service at Dehradun I.C.S. Camp.[8]

Namgyal served as adviser for internal affairs for his father, Sir Tashi Namgyal, the 11th Chogyal, and led the negotiating team which established Sikkim's relationship to India after independence in 1949.[9] He married Samyo Kushoe Sangideki in 1950, a daughter of an important Tibetan family of Lhasa,[10] and together they had two sons and a daughter. Samyo Kushoe Sangideki died in 1957.[11]

King and Queen of Sikkim, 1966

In 1963, Namgyal married Hope Cooke, a 22-year-old American socialite from New York City;[12] she was a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers in the state of New York.[13][14] The marriage brought worldwide media attention to Sikkim. The couple, who had two children, divorced in 1980.[15]

Shortly after Namgyal's marriage, his father died and he was crowned the new Chogyal on an astrologically favourable date in 1965.[16] In 1975[further explanation needed], the Prime Minister of Sikkim appealed to the Indian Parliament for Sikkim to become a state of India. In April of that year, the Indian Army took over the city of Gangtok and disarmed the Chogyal's palace guards. Namgyal was deposed after a referendum on 14 April 1975 resulted in the abolition of the monarchy and Sikkim becoming a state of India.[17] Namgyal was placed under house arrest.[18]

In November 1976, Namgyal allegedly attempted suicide by consuming barbiturates and was airlifted to IPGMER and SSKM Hospital.[19] He was successfully treated by Professor Dr. Amal Kumar Bose, Head of the Department of Anesthesia and Respiratory Care Unit at the SSKM hospital.[20]

Namgyal died of cancer at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, United States on 29 January 1982. He was 58 years old at the time of his death.[21][22] Upon his death, 31 members of the State Legislative Assembly offered khadas to the Chogyal as a mark of respect.

Other interests

King and Queen of Sikkim and their daughter watch birthday celebrations, Gangtok, Sikkim in May 1971

Namgyal was an amateur radio operator, call-sign AC3PT, and was a highly sought after contact on the airwaves.[23][24][25][26] The international callbook listed his address as: P.T. Namgyal, The Palace, Gangtok, Sikkim.[27]

He financed the documentary Sikkim (1971) by Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray.[28]

Legacy

Namgyal shaped a "model Asian state" where the literacy rate and per capita income were twice as high as neighbours Nepal, Bhutan and India.[29][unreliable source?]

His first son, the former crown prince Tenzing Kunzang Jigme Namgyal, died in 1978 in a car accident.[30] His second son from his first marriage, Tobgyal Wangchuk Tenzing Namgyal, was named the 13th Chogyal, but the position no longer confers any official authority.

Titles

  • 1923-1941: Prince Palden Thondup Namgyal.
  • 1941-1947: Maharajkumar Sri Panch Palden Thondup Namgyal.
  • 1947-1953: Maharajkumar Sri Panch Palden Thondup Namgyal, OBE.
  • 1953-1963: Lieutenant-Colonel Maharajkumar Sri Panch Palden Thondup Namgyal, OBE.[31][32]
  • 1963-1965: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Muwong Chogyal Sri Panch Chempo Palden Thondup Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim, OBE.
  • 1965-1982: Major-General His Highness Muwong Chogyal Sri Panch Chempo Palden Thondup Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim, OBE.

Honours

(ribbon bar, as it would look today)

Order of the Precious Jewel of the Heart of Sikkim.gif Order BritEmp (civil) rib.PNG Padma Vibhushan Ribbon.svg Indian Independence medal 1947.svg
Ordre de l'Etoile Noire Commandeur ribbon.svg King Mahendra Investiture Medal 1956.gif King Jigme Singye Investiture Medal 1974.gif King Birendra Investiture Medal 1975.png
  •  Kingdom of Sikkim:
    • Order of the Precious Jewel of the Heart of Sikkim.gif Order of the Precious Jewel of the Heart of Sikkim (Founder), September 1972
  •    Nepal
    • King Mahendra Investiture Medal 1956.gif King Mahendra Investiture Medal, 2 May 1956
    • King Birendra Investiture Medal 1975.png King Birendra Investiture Medal, 24 February 1975
  •  Bhutan
    • King Jigme Singye Investiture Medal 1974.gif King Jigme Singye Investiture Medal, 2 June 1974[35]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Notice from Lobzang Choden Kazi announcing the birth of Palden Thondup Namgyal, 04 Jun 1923". Birth of Palden Thondup Namgyal (Chogyal r.1965-1982), British Library, EAP 880/1/5/12 (in Tibetan). Gangtok. 1923. p. 43. Retrieved 2022.
  2. ^ "Letter from Mother Clare, Superioress of St. Joseph's Convent (Kalimpong) to Princess Choni Wangmo Namgyal regarding the admission of Crown Prince Kunzang Paljor Namgyal, Palden Thondup Namgyal and Princess Pema Tsedeun Namgyal, 23 Sep 1930". Correspondence and reports regarding the education of the Princes and Princesses in Kalimpong, British Library, EAP 880/1/5/30. Gangtok. 1930. p. 41. Retrieved 2022.
  3. ^ "Letter from Mother Clare, Superioress of St. Joseph's Convent (Kalimpong) to the Private Secretary regarding the withdrawal of Palden Thondup Namgyal from the school, 14 Nov 1931". Correspondence and reports regarding the education of the Princes and Princesses in Kalimpong, British Library, EAP880/1/5/30. Gangtok. 1931. p. 343. Retrieved 2022.
  4. ^ "Letter from Mother Clare, Superioress of St. Joseph's Convent (Kalimpong) to the Private Secretary regarding the health of Crown Prince Kunzang Paljor Namgyal, Palden Thondup Namgyal and Princess Pema Tsedeun Namgyal, 26 Nov 1931". Correspondence and reports regarding the education of the Princes and Princesses in Kalimpong, British Library, EAP 880/1/5/30,. Gangtok. 1931. pp. 348-349. Retrieved 2022. I heard from out doctor that they had terrible cases of malignant malaria from Rangpo in the hospital the whole year round
  5. ^ "List of Chiefs and leading families in Sikkim: Sikkim Part I". List of Chief and leading families in Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet. New Delhi: Political Branch, Sikkim Agency Office. 1939. p. 23. Retrieved 2022 – via National Archives of India. He is the abbot of the Phodang monastery and has received religious teaching from Lhatsun Rimpoche.
  6. ^ "Report cards of Palden Thondup Namgyal and Prince Jigdal Tsewang Namgyal, 13 Jun 1940". Personal correspondence of Tashi Namgyal (Chogyal r.1914-1963) and his sons in Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, British Library, EAP 880/1/5/32. Gangtok. p. 199. Retrieved 2022.
  7. ^ Progress Report of Maharaja Kunwar Paljor Namgyal, Eldest Son of the Maharaja of Sikkim under Training in the Air Force. Report of His Death in an Air Accident in Peshawar. New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs, Branch 'X'. 1941. Retrieved 2022 – via National Archives of India.
  8. ^ Rustomji, Nari K. (1971). "First Contacts with Sikkim and Bhutan". Enchanted Frontiers: Sikkim, Bhutan and India's North-Eastern Frontiers. Bombay: Oxford University Press. pp. 19-21. Retrieved 2022.
  9. ^ History of Sikkim and its rulers, British Library, EAP 880/1/6/22. Gangtok. 1967. p. 16. Retrieved 2022.
  10. ^ "Itinerary for the marriage ceremony of Palden Thondup Namgyal to Princess Sangay Deki Namgyal, 1950". Marriage of Palden Thondup Namgyal (Chogyal r.1965-1982) to Princess Sangay Deki Namgyal, British Library, EAP 880/1/5/72. Gangtok: Sikkim Government Press. 1950. p. 3. Retrieved 2022.
  11. ^ Namgyal, Palden Thondup (1957). "Wireless message to Samdruphodrang in Tibet, 1957". Death of Princess Sangay Deki Namgyal, British Library, EAP 880/1/5/1. Gangtok. p. 7. Retrieved 2022.
  12. ^ "Invitation card for the marriage of Palden Thondup Namgyal and Hope Cooke Namgyal (Gyalmo), 20 Mar 1963". Marriage of Palden Thondup Namgyal and Hope Cooke Namgyal (Gyalmo), British Library, EAP 880/1/5/52. Gangtok. 1963. p. 39. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  13. ^ "Television interview of Palden Thondup Namgyal and Hope Cooke Namgyal (Gyalmo) in WNEW-TV's "Under Discussion"". The King and Queen of Sikkim, an interview by Joshep Newman, British Library, EAP 880/1/1/301. Gangtok. 1964. p. 20. Retrieved 2022. Princess Hope, would you be very much surprised to hear that one of your professors said, before you graduated from Sarah Lawrence, that you had become a very distinguished authority on Buddhism.
  14. ^ Cooke, Hope (1980). Time Change: An Autobiography. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 52-60, 73-81. Retrieved 2022.
  15. ^ "Former Queen of Sikkim seeks divorce". The Straits Times. 4 July 1980. p. 2. Retrieved 2022.
  16. ^ "Notes on the official coronation ceremony of Palden Thondup Namgyal as the twelfth ruler ascending the throne". Coronation of Palden Thondup Namgyal (Chogyal r.1965-1982), British Library, EAP 880/1/5/165. Gangtok. 1965. pp. 1, 3-8. Retrieved 2022.
  17. ^ G. T. (1 March 1975), "Trouble in Sikkim", Index on Censorship, 4: 68-69, doi:10.1080/03064227508532403, S2CID 220927214
  18. ^ Kumari, Bhuvanesh (1977). "Draft letter from Bhuvanesh Kumari to Morarji Desai regarding the house arrest of Palden Thondup Namgyal". Correspondence of Palden Thondup Namgyal (Chogyal r.1965-1982) with Indian officials, British Library, EAP 880/1/5/170. Gangtok. p. 111. Retrieved 2022.
  19. ^ Krebs, Albin (30 January 1982). "Palden Thondup Namgyal, Deposed Sikkim King, Dies". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "Sikkim: Chogyal's waning hope".
  21. ^ "Palden Thondup Namgyal, Deposed Sikkim King, Dies". New York Times. 30 January 1982. Retrieved 2014. The deposed King of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal, who had been undergoing treatment for cancer in New York, died last night from complications following an operation at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He was 58 years old. A family spokesman said his body was to be flown home to Sikkim for the funeral. ...
  22. ^ Densapa, J. T. (1982). "Notification on Palden Thondup Namgyal's death". Sikkim Durbar Gazette, British Library, EAP 880/1/6/39. Gangtok: Sikkim Government Press. p. 1. Retrieved 2022.
  23. ^ Schenck, Bob (December 2020). "AC3PT Sikkim 1974- Amateur Radio's role in a World Event" (PDF). CQ Amateur Radio: 92-95. Retrieved 2022.
  24. ^ Essery, E. P. (June 1975). "Communication and DX News" (PDF). The Short Wave Magazine. 33 (4): 200. Retrieved 2022.
  25. ^ Geerken, Horst H. "Our Second House and Ham Radio Experiences". Der Ruf des Geckos: 18 erlebnisreiche Jahre in Indonesien [A Gecko for Luck: 18 Years in Indonesia]. Translated by McCann, Bill. A BukitCinta Book. pp. 288-295. Retrieved 2022.
  26. ^ "List of items shipped by Ack Radio Company, U.S.A. to Palden Thondup Namgyal, 15 Nov 1963". Telecommunications device gifted to Palden Thondup Namgyal (Chogyal r.1965-1982), British Library, EAP 880/1/5/40. Gangtok. 1963. p. 30. Retrieved 2022.
  27. ^ Dutta-Ray, Sunanda K. (1984). "Thumb Impression". Smash and Grab: The Annexation of Sikkim. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. p. 298. Retrieved 2022.
  28. ^ Robinson, Andrew (1989). "26 Documentaries". Satyajit Ray: the inner eye. University of California Press. p. 275. ISBN 0-520-06946-3. Sikkim documentary -inpublisher:icon.
  29. ^ Gray, Francine Du Plessix (8 March 1981). "The Fairy Tale That Turned Nightmare?". The New York Times.
  30. ^ "Tenzing Namgyal, Prince of Sikkim". The New York Times. 14 March 1978.
  31. ^ Kamath, N. J. (15 August 1953). "Notifications regarding Appointments, Promotions, Leave, etc., of Officers issued by the Ministry of Defence" (PDF). Gazette of India. Department of Publication, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (33): 185. Retrieved 2022.
  32. ^ Kapur, Balraj Krishna (1953). Conferment of a Military rank on Maharaj Kumar P.T. Namgyal, OBE of Sikkim. New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs. p. 17. Retrieved 2022 – via National Archives of India.
  33. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 October 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  34. ^ Conferment of a Military rank on Maharaj Kumar P.T. Namgyal, OBE of Sikkim. New Delhi: Press Information Bureau. 1954. p. 7. Retrieved 2022 – via National Archives of India.
  35. ^ Final Programmes for The Coronation and The Silver Jubilee Celebration

External links

Palden Thondup Namgyal
Born: 23 May 1923 Died: 29 January 1982
Regnal titles
Preceded by Chogyal of Sikkim
2 December 1963 - 10 April 1975
Title abolished
Sikkim accession to India
Titles in pretence
New title -- TITULAR --
Chogyal of Sikkim
10 April 1975 - 29 January 1982
Reason for succession failure:
Sikkim accession to India
Succeeded by

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