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A farmer-poet to India’s longest serving Chief Minister: Pawan Chamling


The most happening personality in Indian leadership history, who owes the most eminent figure and prestigious luminary, Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling alias Pawan Chamling. In every stage of advancing Sikkim to the utmost extent possible, he strove for the stars, knitting together modernization and unity of people’s perception, maintaining a robust devotion that victory certainly bestows committers. 

Image by The Better India 

Pawan Kumar Chamling of the Sikkim Democratic Front was the longest serving Chief Minister of Sikkim from 1994-2019 

A rancher lauding from a peripheral town, five-time Sikkim Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling never looked back ever since he began his political career from the grass-root level. Being in force for more than two decades, the 71-year-old Chamling’s Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) had efficaciously quelled anti-incumbency and the ‘Parivartan’ (change) bawl of the opposition by harping on harmony and sustainable development. 

Image by The Sentinel 

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling received the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award from its Deputy Director Maria Helena Semedo, who commended the Himalayan state for setting an example to the world by becoming first totally organic state. 

Renowned for his devotion for the enviro, he’s often titled as the “Greenest Chief Minister of India’’. Under his governance, Sikkim became the first state in India to initiate a green mission, managed to enhance its vegetation cover and became India’s first organic state. 

Along with solid love for environment, his hefty determination on way to outpace the late communist patriarch Jyoti Basu’s log as the longest consecutive serving Chief Minister, he commenced his life as a farmer and then a contractor. Cos of his efforts in rustic provinces, he drew close to the people and was elected the President of Yangang Gram Panchayat with no resistance in 1982. 

Shortly afterward, Chamling was voted as an MLA on a ticket by Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP) but also enlisted into the Nar Bahadur Bhandari Cabinet. It was all his influence in 1989, that he garnered a staggering 96 percent of the vote in the Damthang Assembly Constituency. 

Over time, Chamling’s ties with Bhandari deteriorated, and in 1992, he publicly labelled the administration “autocratic,” causing upheaval in the Assembly. A year after, the SDF was established, a party of his own and he secured a majority in the Assembly in the 1994. 

Image by The Hindu 

Pawan Kumar Chamling taking oath as Sikkim’s CM for 5th consecutive term. 

He never looked back then, with the party winning the state Assembly polls in 2004, 2009, and 2014. The outgoing Assembly was exceptional in that business, was transacted in a couple of minutes due to the sheer dearth of any opposition, with the SDF having all the 32 seats. 

Later, however, Prem Singh Tamang, known colloquially as Golay, a renegade MLA, launched SKM, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, and debuted with 10 seats and the Chamling reign was then at the verge of end with the longest-serving Chief Minister for any Indian State after independence. 

Image and caption by Sikkim Express 

Chamling investing his lockdown days in literature. 

Politics was unequivocally not the only arena of interest as the literature relics in Sikkim knew their Chief Minister as Pawan Chamling Kiran — his pen name, for his immense contribution towards the literature. After his first poem Bir Ko Parichay in 1967, he had authored three collections of poems — Antahin Sapana Mero Bipana, Mo Ko Hun and Praramvik Kavita Haroo. 

A publisher moreover an author of various books in Nepali, English, and Hindi. Chamling’s Nirman Publication, has published 100 books by 55 new and renowned authors. 

Chamling’s writings were also put on a pedestal as the Sikkim Sahitya Parishad bestowed him with two awards: the Chintan Puraskar in 1987 for finest poem and the Bhanu Puraskar in 2010. Not to miss the year 2001, as he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kolkata Poets Foundation.