Priyanka Chopra
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Priyanka's Sikkim comment hurt people of state: Bhaichung

By HT

Actor Priyanka Chopra’s statement at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that Sikkim is a state “troubled by insurgency” is shocking and untrue. 
 
It has deeply hurt the sentiments of the people in the state. I am surprised that Priyanka made this comment because she is one of the best and intellectually sharpest actresses, and she speaks sensibly. It could be that someone fed her with wrong information about the state. In fact, I am doing a cameo in her new movie, Pahuna, which got standing ovation at TIFF.
 
Sikkim is one of the most politically peaceful states of the country and the credit for it goes to the people of the state. Sikkim became a part of India in 1975. My father was born much before that and his generation was emotional about the annexation. But then to the credit of his generation, they did not make it a festering political issue though such things have happened elsewhere in the world. Look at the protests in Hong Kong today.
 
When I went on to captain India and it was seen as a great honour. Today every Sikkimese genuinely feels that they are part of India. Other than being politically peaceful, Sikkim is also one of the greenest states of the country and the people across the board are hospitable.
 
It is true that parts of Northeast is violence-hit but all states are not. One of the main reasons why people from ‘mainland’ India tend to lump all states together is because of a lack of awareness towards the region. But the situation is improving because more and more young people from the region are going to other parts of India to work, study and people-to-people contact is increasing.
 
Bhaichung Bhutia is former Indian football captain