Within the folds of Eastern Himalayas, lies the tiny nation, with a unique history to share. As far as my knowledge is concerned, it is unknown how humans evolved and civilized in Bhutan but it is said that stone tools, weapons, elephants and remnants of large stone structures provide evidence that Bhutan was inhabited as early as 2000 BC.
More vividly, history of Bhutan reveals Five major landmarks in her path towards modernity.
- The visit of Guru Padma Sambhava and the advent of Buddhism in the 8th century A.D (746 A.D).
- The establishment of Drukpa Kagyud sect by Phajo Drugom Zhipo in the thirteenth century A.D (1220 A.D).
- The unification of Bhutan under one central authority (Choe-dsid Nyeden or "Dual System of Government" which split control between a civil administrative leader, the Druk Desi, or "Deb Raja" and a religious leader, the Je Khenpo) by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namygal in the 17th century A.D (1616 A).
- The establishment of a hereditary monarchy with the enthronement of first king, Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck in 20th century A.D (1907 A.D).
- And finally the establishment of Constitutional Monarchy giving way to democracy in the 21st century (2008) becoming the youngest democracy in the world.
Though split into small regions headed by the petty leaders, Bhutan has maintained her sovereignty intact while facing the external threats and invasions. The country being torn by the worthless disputes among the petty rulers, there wasn’t a dynamic leader to settle the clash until the undisputed Trongsa Penlop Ugyen Wangchuck intervened the battle of Chaglimithang (1885), and thus putting an end to the political turmoil in the land of Drukyul. 17th December 1907 was the day when the entire nation came towards one goal of “Having a Peaceful and Prosperous Living”. Thus on that day the body of monks, Penlops, Dzongpoens of different districts, and peoples representatives unanimously enthroned the Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk as the first hereditary king of Bhutan in the sacred chamber of Punakha Dzong by signing the Oath of Allegiance. The man of vision and seasoned diplomat, the successfully restored peace and tranquillity in our country, and initiated the progress towards development.
Since then a lots have been done by our kings for the welfare of we people so it’s time for us to contribute little of our own efforts, for our mother nation. There is nothing great we should achieve but simply dedicate ourselves to the service of king, country and people. Loyalty should be our inherent thought throughout our life and prepared we should be to face every challenge that impacts the economic development, the security of nation and of course the peace and prosperity among the fellow citizens. As the root of democracy has already taken, we should further strengthen it by playing fair in every endeavour. As stated by his majesty the fifth king, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, corruption cannot be tolerated because it would jeopardise the very success of Bhutan’s effort.
With common goal, the goal towards achieving Gross National Happiness, united we should stand and pay our tribute to the motherland and fatherly Kings. On this joyous and solemn occasion of the 104th National Day, I pledge to uphold the sacred values of my country. I pray that our enlightened kings will continue to guide us into the future with the same wisdom and benevolence, so that the sun of everlasting peace and prosperity will shine in the tiny Druk Yul until eternity.
Pelden Drukpa Gyalo!