Around the same time 11 years ago, we saw history in the making as His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was officially crowned as the fifth hereditary King of Bhutan.
The sacrosanct ceremony where His Majesty received the sacred Dhar or scarf as per tradition in Punakha Dzong was held on November 1, 2008, an auspicious year that marked 100 years of Monarchy in Bhutan.
However, what still reverberates in the hearts of many who have been witnesses to the coronation celebration is His Majesty’s coronation address, where His Majesty said, “Throughout my reign I will never rule you as a King. I will protect you as a parent, care for you as a brother and serve you as a son. I shall give you everything and keep nothing; I shall live such a life as a good human being that you may find it worthy to serve as an example for your children; I have no personal goals other than to fulfil your hopes and aspirations. I shall always serve you, day and night, in the spirit of kindness, justice and equality… This is how I shall serve you as King.”
And as we look back at His Majesty’s journey of the past 11 years, His Majesty has indubitably lived up to what His Majesty promised his subjects back then or it would be even beyond more than what was declared.
There has not been a time in the past 11 years when we have not been touched by His Majesty’s kindness and care for his subjects. There has not been a time when we have not been awed by His Majesty’s humility, benevolence and compassion.
During the last 11 years, we have seen our country make full transition to parliamentary democracy. Despite being new, we have not seen the sorts of negativities in democracy that are apparent in some of our neighbouring countries. If we have a strengthened parliamentary democracy in the country today, it has been possible because of the guidance and wisdom of His Majesty.
During the same time, we have also seen many long-standing land issues of excess land being resolved and landless farmers getting land around the country. Similarly, citizenship Kidu has been granted to nearly 10,000 individuals as of July 2018. This has not only given the people a purpose and source of livelihood, but also a sense of belonging and identity.
Further, whenever there has been a tragedy or a calamity, His Majesty has always been there – ready to help the affected. As King, His Majesty has always been there for the people, during good and bad times, happy and sad moments. His Majesty has been there personally lifting those in grief, despair and distress.
We as Bhutanese are proud to have a leader in His Majesty The King, who as the beacon of our hope and inspiration, continues to serve the people in the most loving way. As we look back, we are only inspired by His Majesty’s benevolence and service to the people and grateful for the unprecedented peace and happiness in the country.