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Of national dreams and aspirations

In a welfare society like ours, services like health, education, and agriculture, all provided free by the state, need to be understood in a more sensible term.

His Majesty’s address at the National Day in Haa set the tone. We may be a small society in between large neighbours, but are we using our capacity to the full?

Bhutan has arrived at the point when it must compare not with the image that we create about ourselves. As His Majesty said, there are factors internal and external that will ultimately define our sovereignty.

But the depth of His Majesty’s message must not be lost, for it gave us the true picture of where we are and where we must head to. Nation building is a difficult process. It is a serious responsibility.

At a time when our young people are increasingly facing the situation of joblessness, there is a need to think about unemployment in a broader perspective. As His Majesty said, our young people need to be more enterprising. Dependence is a disease.

But this brings us to different and very disturbing blessings of affluence. At one point of time, we thought we were riding on the national vision of rural prosperity and urban well-being. But then, our farmers are still the most unhappy lot although the overall happiness level of the Bhutanese has increased.

Sunday past, when the nation celebrated its 110th National Day in Haa, some priorities came to the fore through His Majesty’s message. Media have been responsible in bringing the issues to the front and centre of national debate. This day in our national life, free and accessible healthcare and robust agriculture tradition are more than just important. These things seriously considered, we have taken care of the most urgent problems facing the nation today – youth unemployment and rural-urban migration.

Some thoughtless initiatives have gone on to make headlines in the media, but we aren’t thinking deeply about our national sovereignty. We aren’t thinking seriously about our common goals and aspirations.

His Majesty’s recognition of outstanding contributions in health and agriculture sectors is an important message. Every Bhutanese has the right to free health and medical services. That’s why our health professionals should be given special recognition that they deserve. But, most of the problems facing the nation today are due to less regard and investment in agriculture. That’s why His Majesty’s national day address in Haa is more than just a speech. It sets a tenor for the plans and planners ahead.

National dreams are sacred. Each and every Bhutanese, more importantly the government, should work to make them true. That is making Bhutan, a proud and forward-looking nation.

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