A moment to reflect

The majestic Pungthang Dewachenpoi Phodrang will come alive tomorrow as it welcomes the lineage of the Wangchuck Dynasty that the Palace of Bliss, 113 years ago, stood witness to the installation of this great dynasty.

It was in the sacred Kuenrey or congregation hall of the dzong that representatives of the people, the clergy and the officials installed Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan. The celebrations, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic will be quieter this year, but not in terms of significance.

In celebrating the National Day this year, the Pungthang Dewachenpoi Phodrang will witness the presence of three generations of the Wangchuck Dynasty. His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty The King and His Royal Highness the Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck together with the royal family will grace the National Day making it yet another significant national event.

The celebration in the dzong is significant as it stands witness to the success of the endorsement of a leader 113 years ago. In the last 113 years we saw how we have transformed and how we have grown as a unique nation that we are today. We saw how our great nation changed under the successive monarchs who personify selfless leadership and placed the interest of the nation and people above all. Every year we celebrate the National Day. We celebrate the great journey we made under the wise and benevolent leadership of our Kings.

The National Day is also an occasion to come together and celebrate the blessings and achievements of the past as we anticipate the future and rededicate ourselves to the service of the Tsawa Sum. The lottery draws, the entertainments and the opportunity to see their King up close makes it a special day.

For many, it is not the colours or the festive mood that make them wait for the special Day. It is the Royal Address of His Majesty The King to the nation.

His Majesty The King, through the National Day addresses had been providing the guidance, both in a broad perspective that helps prioritise national governance and specific ideas to provide clear direction. It is becoming more profound and pronounced as many of us tend to miss the nuances or are not being able to understand or appreciate the full significance of the royal advice.

In the last many years, the royal addresses established a clear path for the future of Bhutan and the Bhutanese. From the role of civil servants, the need of an economic road map to leveraging technology to harnessing the energy of the young population, His Majesty The King had been charting out the path with utmost clarity.

At a time when short-term populist decisions blur longer-term vision, the royal address once a year on the National Day becomes the guiding principle. Those who can grasp the significance are convinced that we need one royal address to chart out the long-term priorities for the people and the country.

Fortunately, even if the celebrations are confined inside the walls of the Punakha Dzong, His Majesty will address the nation. The wisdom will reach out to those in power, to the bureaucracy, the business community, and the general population. How much we comprehend and follow the wisdom will determine how we progress as a nation.

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