King Norodom Sihanouk and Indian Kambojas

King Norodom Sihanouk and Indian Kambojas

King-Father Norodom Sihanouk (born October 31, 1922), King of Cambodia until his abdication on October 7, 2004, is now "King-Father (Khmer: Preahmhaviraksat, see Names and titles section below) of Cambodia," a position in which he retains many of his former prerogatives as constitutional king.

The son of King Norodom Suramarit and Queen Sisowath Kossamak, Sihanouk has held so many positions since 1941 that the Guinness Book of World Records identifies him as the politician who has occupied the world's greatest variety of political offices. These included two terms as king, two as sovereign prince, one as president, two as prime minister, and one as Cambodia's non-titled head of state, as well as numerous positions as leader of various governments-in-exile.

Most of these positions were only honorific, including the last position as constitutional king of Cambodia. Norodom Sihanouk's actual period of effective rule over Cambodia was from November 9, 1953 (full independence granted to Cambodia) to March 18, 1970 (Lon Nol and the National Assembly depose Sihanouk).

Nanak Chand Kamboj addressing Prince Norodom Sihanouk and All India Kamboj Maha Sabha, New Delhi

Prince Norodom Sihanouk and Indian Kamboja People

All India Kamboj Mahasabha and The Royal Cambodian Family:

The All India Kamboj Mahasabha meeting held in 1952 was especially attended by Swami Dharam-Wong, the Acharya and Royal Guru of young Cambodian Prince, Norodham Sihanouk. Again, Rajguru Swami Dharama Wong especially visited Punjab to attend the Memorial Fair in honor of Shaheed Udham Singh at Sunam on March 27, 1955.

Kamboja descendent Princes had been ruling Cambodia (Kambojdesha) until recently, and Prince Norodham Sihanouk was the last in the royal chain of Cambodian Kings. This Kambuja (Cambodia) King Norodom Sihanouk visited India in 1955. He was well greeted by the Indian Government of the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Speaking at the luncheon meet hosted by All India Kamboja Maha Sabha in his honor, the prince prided himself on being from Kamboja blood. He was emotionally choked during his address to his Indian Kamboja brotherhood and had stated that he was extremely proud of his ancient Kamboja blood. He was further proud to be amongst his Indian Kamboja brotherhood after a separation of many centuries (Ref: Luncheon Meet address by Prince Norotham Sihanouk, New Delhi, March 1955)

Prince Norodom Sihanouk and All India Kamboj Maha Sabha, New Delhi
The Prince Norodom Sihanouk extended a special invitation to a Delegation of Indian Kambojas on behalf of Cambodian government in 1959. The Kamboj delegate consisted of several prominent Kamboj personages of the day, including Col Lal Singh Thind, a famous landlord of Uttarpardesh, Mr. Himat Singh Thind, Advocate (Saharanpur), S. Hazara Singh Jossan, President, All India Kamboj Mahasabha (Delhi) and Dr Ganga Singh Soni(Khemkaran, Panjab), President, Indo-Cambodian Friendship and Cultural Association etc. The Delgation of Indian Kambojs was headed by Dr Ganga Singh Soni. This Kamboja Delegation was given a rousing and royal treatment in Cambodia by Cambodian Imperial family as well as by the Kambuja (Cambodian) people.(Vishal Kamboj, Uttar Pardesh, p 11; These Kamboj People, 1980, p 160, K. S. Dardi; for further ref: Kamboj History, 1972, by H. S. Thind).

In 1965, a terrible war erupted in Cambodia. In 1970, Kambuja prince was dethroned and exiled. The Government was seized by the Pro-American coterie. Due to unfortunate political disturbances that followed in Cambodian land, further contacts between the Royal family of Cambodia and the Indian Kamboj Mahasabha stopped and still there is no activity on this front as the forces controlling the destiny of Cambodia do not seem to have any interest in Cambodia's past history and its links with Indian Kambojs, mainly due to international political compulsions.

Prince Norodom Sihanouk and All India Kamboj Maha Sabha, New Delhi
Prince Norodom Sihanouk, king of Cambodia visited India in March 1955. The Indian Kambojas organized grand meeting on March 18 in New Delhi where the prince was honored and was presented an Abhinandan Patra on behalf of the 'All India Kamboj Mahasabha, by its President, Dr Ganga Singh Soni. Remarked prince Sihanouk "I am fortunate to be among my Indian Kamboj brethren and am proud of my ancient blood connection with the Indian Kambojas...." . On special invitation from the Cambodian prince, a four member delegation of the Indian Kambojs comprising Dr Ganga Singh Soni, S. Hazara Singh Jossan, Col Lal Singh Turna and S. Himat Singh Thind visited Cambodia on November 13, 1959 to participate in the Jalutsava celebrations which is a national festival of Kambodia. The Kamboj delegation was given a wide publicity and rousing royal reception in Cambodia and its members were treated as special Guests of the State of Cambodia

The Hindu, dated March 21, 1955: Cambodian Prince's tribute

The final success in the achievement of Cambodian independence was due to the "moral support we drew from India," Prince Norodom Sihanouk Varman declared in New Delhi on March 18. The Prince, who was speaking at a reception given to him by the All India Kamboj Mahasabha, said that he could not express in adequate words "our gratitude for this support." He said the Government and the people of Cambodia held in great admiration Prime Minister Nehru for his unstinting efforts to free those Asian and African territories still under colonial rule. Now that Cambodia was free, "we will play our part" in helping to remove the last vestiges of colonialism from the area, he added. He said he was very happy to visit India and renew old contacts.


Cambodia's Foreign Policy

Zoltan M. Szaz Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 24, No. 10 (Oct., 1955), pp. 151-158

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj started and conceptualized the powerful interactive platform - in September 2002, which today is the biggest and most popular online community portal for Kambojas in the world. He was inspired by the social and community work carried out by his father Shri Nanak Chand Kamboj. He has done research on the history, social aspects, political growth and economical situation of the Kamboj community. Deepak Kamboj is an author of various articles about the history of Kamboj community and people.