The National Day signifies the beginning of a most important era in the country’s history. It marks an era of unprecedented peace and tranquillity, which came with the birth of the institution of Monarchy.
This day 110 years ago, the people of Bhutan entrusted their destiny and well-being of the nation to the Wangchuck Dynasty. It heralded the kingdom’s journey towards unity, progress,and sovereignty.
His Majesty’s address to the people from the revered halls of the Lhakhang Karpo in Haa reminded the country about the factors national sovereignty and security hinge on. Bhutan may be susceptible to external threats, but its security is more vulnerable to internal instability. His Majesty called on the people to be wary of the external threats and reminded them that Bhutan has remained resilient because her people are bonded by the values of tha damtshi, loyalty and dedication.
The people are at the core of Bhutan’s nation-building process and all significant changes the country has witnessed have been initiated from the Throne. The establishment of the National Assembly, the introduction of land reforms and abolishment of serfdom, the separation of the judiciary from the executive to the concept of decentralisation and democracy are among the many changes that have shaped Bhutan’s emergence and development.
Haa, where the nation witnessed the convergence of the past, present and the future as three generations of the Wangchuck dynasty graced the national day celebrations is home to the country’s first school. The school that began with 46 boys marked the beginning of modern education, which has today transformed the country and its people.
His Majesty honouring the contributions of civil and public servants in the valley that housed the first school is a grave moment. The honours are both recognition of service to the nation and a responsibility. As a landlocked country between two big neighbours with a large population, Bhutanese, His Majesty said, have no choice but to work harder and become more capable.
In the youth and children lies the country’s hope and empowering with them values that have shaped the identity of the Bhutanese people is a responsibility. It is a call for a national consensus to bring up the next generation who will take Bhutan forward. This responsibility of nation building falls on us all, parents, teachers and policy makers.
Through the historical change Bhutan has gone through, the royal message to the Bhutanese people remains constant. We are different. We must celebrate that distinctiveness which gives us our identity. We must safe guard the integrity and bonds of our relationships. We must value values. The people must preserve such a legacy, not just for Bhutan, but for humanity.