Of the several milestone undertakings that commenced during the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s two-day state visit, Bhutanese youth was a major focus of the visit.
Addressing the students of the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) yesterday, Prime Minister Modi said, “There is no better time to be young than now.”
Recognising the importance of youth, PM Modi said that the world today offers more opportunities than ever before. “You have the power and potential to do extra-ordinary things, which will impact generations to come,” he said. “Find your real calling and pursue it with full passion.”
Speaking at the RUB convention hall filled with avid minds from across colleges and schools in the country, PM Modi stressed on the role of youth in capitalising on the emerging technologies to help the country develop.
“Today, I stand here among the best and brightest youth of Bhutan,” he said. “His Majesty told me yesterday that he interacts with you regularly and had addressed the last convocation. It is from you all that Bhutan’s future leaders, innovators, business persons, sports persons, artists and scientists will emerge.”
As all tasks would be laden with challenges, he said that the young minds have to find innovative solutions to overcome them. “Let no limitation constrain you.”
Observing the dynamism and the energy radiating from the youth present at the hall, PM Modi said that he was confident that the youth would shape the future of Bhutan and its citizens. “Whether I look at Bhutan’s past, present or future, the common and constant threads are – deep spirituality, and youthful vigour. These are also the strengths of our bilateral relationship.”
PM Modi lauded Bhutan’s efforts to harness the benefits of technology in various sectors and reassured his support to help continue the progress.
He said that going beyond the traditional sector of cooperation, Bhutan and India are seeking to cooperate extensively in new frontiers – from schools to space and digital payments to disaster management. “Our cooperation in all these sectors will have a direct impact on young friends like you.”
In the age of globalisation, PM Modi said that it is crucial to connect scholars and academics beyond borders, to share creativity and talent of students and to bring them at par with the best in the world.
He said, “As Bhutan soars high in these endeavours, your 1.3 billion Indian friends will not only just look on and cheer you with pride and happiness, but also they will partner you, share with you and learn from you.”
PM Modi went on to say that it is the positive relationship between the people of the two countries that has stood the test of time. “India-Bhutan cooperation in hydro-power and energy is exemplary. But the real source of power and energy of this relationship are our people. So, it is people first, and people will always be at the centre of this relationship.”
He added that no other two countries in the world understand each other so well or share so much. And no two countries are such natural partners in bringing prosperity to their people.
“It is natural that the people of Bhutan and India experience great attachment to each other. After all, we are close not just due to our geography. Our history, culture and spiritual traditions have created unique and deep bonds between our peoples and nations.”
Known to the world as one of the happiest countries, PM Modi also commended Bhutan’s developmental concept of Gross National Happiness. “Bhutan has understood the essence of happiness. Bhutan has understood the spirit of harmony, togetherness and compassion. This very spirit radiates from the adorable children who lined the streets to welcome me yesterday. I will always remember their smiles.”
He added that Bhutan’s message to humanity is happiness. “I go back with a lot of happiness and positive energy from you all.”