It was fifty years ago that Bhutan chose to walk out of the shadows of the medieval world. The world was changing and we had to make the right choice. We did. We looked to India for steadfast partnership. The visionary leaders of that time recognised that respectful partnership had by much more to give the two nations than take from each other. India is what it is this day as Bhutan is in the geopolitical atmosphere that is becoming ever more volatile.

Our relationship has stood the test of time.

This day the two nations are celebrating 50 years of fruitful ties by bringing into focus some of the crucial areas of cooperation. It is, the celebration, significant because both the nations are today standing in a new era of diplomacy and cooperation. Our relations were built on solid grounds, and both the nations know that further cementing our relations is before all else important and will prove to be rewarding.

India and Bhutan share many things in common – religion, history, and commerce, to name a few. But our relations transcend beyond these simple and natural linkages. We share a sense of future that beckons the two nations. That is why respect for each other has been at the centre of Bhutan-India relationship for half a century. Balancing the weight could have been challenging at times for both the nations, but we have moved on together to show the world that nations of different size – economy, military, and influence – can work together for the benefit of the citizens.

That is why Bhutan-India relation is unique and exemplary. So it is because at a time when nations are suspicious of their neighbours and building walls along their borders, Bhutan and India is walking shoulder to shoulder as partners to bring peace and stability in the region. We have worked hard to balance this equation of relationship that has done both the nations good. It is upon the leaders of this day and of the future to hold the scale tight.

The celebration of Bhutan-India relation is much more than just sound and colours. It is about deep introspection.