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Up, up & away
Bhutan has a lesson for world

The lost kingdom of Shangri La, that is Bhutan, is slowly but steadily developing an interface with the modern world. Officially categorising ‘Gross National Happiness’ as their topmost priority, the Kingdom has started walking towards the parliamentary and representative form of governance and also endeavoured to develop a modern interface with the outside world. Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the “Druk Gyalpo” (Dragon King), has continued the policy of modernisation in his country.

Giving up the monarch’s absolute powers in 1998, the King has been instrumental in bringing the elements of democracy in the Himalayan Kingdom. The draft constitution provides the legal framework for a democratic political system. It has been stated in the First Article itself that the boundary of Bhutan is inviolable, an obvious rebuff to the Chinese. Incidentally, the Chinese soldiers marched into the Bhutanese territory on November 2005 on dubious pretext, and since then, have been building roads in those areas totally ignoring the Official Bhutanese protests. Increasing military garrison in the region can be read as another Chinese endeavour to do another ‘Tibet’ in the region.

Unlike the power hungry counterparts in neighbouring Nepal, the monarchy here has been officially labelled as the ‘friend of the people’, meant to satisfy the genuine aspirations of people. These steady transitions, minus the usual ‘revolution’, has almost been an unheard thing in modern geo-political history. The world, indeed, needs to learn, even if from the tiny-tots in the international arena.

By:- BE Edit Bureau

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