Nation celebrates Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s 61 birthday
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.”