Na­tion cel­e­brates Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s 61 birth­day

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

Bhutan came to­gether to cel­e­brate the 61st birth an­niver­sary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on 11 Novem­ber.

Through­out the na­tion, cel­e­bra­tions took place in schools, in­sti­tu­tions, monas­ter­ies, and armed forces com­pounds with en­ter­tain­ment pro­grams in­clud­ing tra­di­tional, cul­ture shows.

In Thim­phu, thou­sands turned up at Changlingmithang to cel­e­brate His Majesty’s birth­day.

His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck was born to Third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Her Majesty Gya­lyum Ke­sang Choe­den Wangchuck at Dechen­chol­ing Palace on 11 Novem­ber, 1955.

Dur­ing his 34 years of reign, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo de­voted him­self to im­prove the liveli­hood of the peo­ple.

Druk­gyal Zhipa stressed the need to at­tain self-re­liance and pre­serve Bhutan’s sovereignty and in­de­pen­dence. He also stressed that any devel­op­ment un­der­tak­ing should be a gen­uine col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the peo­ple and the gov­ern­ment.

Be­sides, health ser­vices, safe drink­ing water and bet­ter nu­tri­tion have led to the in­crease in life ex­pectancy to 66 years. The ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity rate dropped from 7.7 per­cent in 1985 to 2.6 per­cent in 2006.

The change has its roots in the es­tab­lish­ment of the Dzongkhag Yar­gye Tshog­due in 1981 and the Ge­wog Yar­gye Tshogchung in 1991 fol­lowed by the sub­se­quent de­cen­tral­iza­tion of power to elected peo­ple.

Un­der the Fourth King’s reign, the so­ci­ety also re­mained co­he­sive be­cause of the pro­mo­tion of cul­tural iden­ti­ties in­clud­ing lo­cal lan­guages, knowl­edge, be­liefs, cus­toms, skills, trades and in­stitu- tions, and even crops and plants.

His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo per­son­i­fies Bhutan’s devel­op­ment of Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness (GNH). Bhutan’s devel­op­ment is to­day guided by the phi­los­o­phy of GNH.

Among his many achieve­ments are en­vi­ron­men­tal preser­va­tion, strength­en­ing of the ju­di­ciary, de­cen­tral­iza­tion, and diplo­matic ex­pan­sion, draft­ing of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Bhutan, and in­tro­duc­tion of par­lia­men­tary form of democ­racy be­fore his ab­di­ca­tion.

In less than three dec- ades since he as­cended the Throne at a young age of 17, the Druk Gyalpo steered the country through an era of un­prece­dented change, with­out com­pro­mis­ing the bal­ance be­tween tradition and modernity.

By the time he handed over the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to His Majesty the King in 2006, the Druk Gyalpo had en­sured that the stage was set and the se­cu­rity of the country was en­sured.

The country found peace and sta­bil­ity where the re­la­tions with its devel­op­ment part­ners were at its best, and ties with its clos- est neigh­bor had reached new heights.

In a re­mark­able show of ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in 2003 per­son­ally led the mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion in the south­ern part of the country and flushed the In­dian mil­i­tants out in three days.

His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo will be re­mem­bered for many pro­found vi­sions. His Majesty the King said, “In the his­tory of Bhutan, no King like him was ever born, and none like him will ever be born in the fu­ture.”

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