Reiterating his trademark message, His Majesty the King addressed the graduates and audience in general during the 18th Convocation at Royal Institute of Management that, He is taking a coffee in the beautiful mug made in Thailand, Coffee and Milk Powder both manufactured by Nestle and Sugar produced in India. Water is the only component that is the produce of Bhutan.
This article, some might see it more of a report, is solely based on my comprehension of His Majesty’s speech. I am solely liable and responsible for, should there be any misinterpretation of the Royal Address, most of which His Majesty delivered in Dzongkha.
Recognizing the graduates’ accomplishment, His Majesty acknowledged the lecturers of their dedicated service to the Country. Paying tribute to our forefathers – blessed by the Great Buddhist Master Guru Rinpochhe, built by the Great Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and consolidated by the successive Monarchs, Bhutan is uniquely placed in her pursuit of peace and happiness. The unscaled mountains to the North, serene environment - the home for different species of fauna both in the East and West, and beautiful plains in the South with enough potential to have airports and easy access to India, Bhutan have huge opportunities for growth.
Although Bhutan has come by leaps and bounds since the second half of the twentieth century, “We are still the generation of Nation Builders.” From youth unemployment to rural - urban migration and subsequent rural depopulation are the concerns the Country is grappling with. While the massive increase in budget outlay from Nu. 70b in the 9th Five Year Plan (FYP) to Nu. 148b in the 10th and Nu. 213b in the 11th FYP, with major chunk of investment going into Hydropower projects reflected our growth, associated problems such as lack of expertise (human resource and technical know-how), technology and equipment gave way to problems such as rupee shortage.
Making special reference of His Majesty the Fourth King, His Majesty apprised the audience that the Fourth Druk Gyalpo from the very young age of 16 without completing his studies took the reins of the Country and ushered unprecedented reforms in all spheres of Bhutanese lives. The current generation with educational attainment ranging from University Degree to Masters and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is expected to serve the nation with dedication, commitment and fidelity guided by ethics and codes of conduct. Administration and management vis-à-vis leadership is the way forward. “You can write your own destiny”, His Majesty said.
Formulation of National Goals is envisaged as a measure to solve these concerns. Security of the Country’s Independence is crucial for landlocked country, sandwiched between two populous nations of the World – China and India. The tragic and brutal death of Forester Tashi Tsheirng of Phibsoo and similar cases of the past – cross border kidnapping is matter of great concern. Ensuring peace and unity within ourselves transcending regional, religious and socio-economic differences is vitally important for us to say, “We are Bhutanese.” Rule of Law is a cohesive force that would not only help achieve harmony but also lay robust foundation for democracy to build on. Towards that end, as much as good governance, intelligent governance is equally important, if not more. In addition, the goal of achieving self-sufficiency, a certain degree of self-sustaining economy is important though we live in globalized and interdependent world.
Narrating a story of His trip to Manas where His Majesty divided his entourage into two groups – Changaps and Chagzhumi and made them compete in boat race, His Majesty stressed that working with concern is gateway to success. In the said race held twice in two days, on the first day, two groups were made to race and the group that reaches first on the other bank was to be declared winner, while His Majesty accompanied by Gyaltsuen witnessed the race. During the race, there were shouts, arguments and quarrel and worse, both of the boats were carried away by the river. On the second day, His Majesty sent Changaps group with the warning that if Chagzhumi’s group in which His Majesty was also present, happen to get pass them, then all of them will be thrown in the river. While the warning was a joke, as His Majesty clarified, the Changaps organised and handled the race remarkably well as they were too fast to get pass for His Majesty and the Chagzhumi’s group. The difference, His Majesty emphasized is people’s approach to life with or without concern.Perfect was the only superlative that I could think of His Majesty’s Address. Hope! At least half of the 400 or so audience are equally inspired for us to work with the concern at individual level in particular and national level at large for Bhutan to move forward.