The Prime Minister of India came to Bhutan in the morning of 15th and left in the afternoon of 16th June, 2014. He was welcomed with full ceremonial honours to Tashichhodzong for his audience with His Majesty the King. And the next day, he addressed the Bhutanese Parliament followed by a cultural luncheon hoisted by His Majesty the King and attended by His Majesty the 4th King at Tashichhodzong Dratsang side Courtyard.
The state visit to Bhutan was more like a rehearsal for Narendra Modi’s preparation for state visits to other Nations. I hope the Indian security forces for the Prime Minister found the experience rewarding. The address in Hindi to the Parliament of Bhutan was the first of its kind. The Speaker said that it was the privilege of the Parliament of Bhutan that Prime Minister Modi agreed to address and impart lessons. I always thought that the opportunity for any outsider to address a national legislative body in any Country was actually an honour and privilege to the addressor.
I am most impressed by the vote of thanks speech of the Chairman of National Council Lyonpo Sonam Kinga. The tone, the wordings and the manner of delivery set the highest standard of Parliamentary culture. We do have few people who do not lose their nerves on important occasions.
The visit was too early in the reign of the new Prime Minister to expect any policy change of India for Bhutan. So it was confirmation of the past commitments and dictates. Stay within the armpit of India including the promotion of tourism in conjunction with the North East Frontier States of the Union of India and things will be ok for Bhutanese democratic leadership.
Personally I think it was an opportune moment for their Majesties the Kings to know Narendra Modi better. It may also be the only time that the 4th King will be meeting the new Indian Prime Minister in person.
There were several tale telling signs during the state visit of the Prime Minister of India to the Kingdom of Bhutan. The 1st was the wind blowing away the greeting scarf from the hands of the Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay at Paro Airport. I wish he had let it be after all Modi did not carry a greeting scarf. The next time I think protocol should stick to bouquet of flowers presented by kids and firm handshake between leaders.
The 2nd was the furious rain and wind mini storm before Modi’s reception at Tashichhodzong. It really worried me. India deserves the full fury of the Bhutanese Deities but the ceremonial reception at Tashichhodzong was a Bhutanese national show. It must never be dampened. I prayed hard for the Deities and Dratsang to set the stage right. In the nick of the time the storm subsided and even the sun peeked in at the ceremonial reception. It is I believe a sign of further good fortune for His Majesty the King and the Nation.
I am most happy that both the ceremonial reception and the cultural luncheon the next day at Tashichhodzong Courtyards went off very well. The nation especially the Royal members led by their Majesties the King and the Queen worked so hard to make the preparations. These preparations are issues of national pride and prestige.
The 3rd was the Nepali mood of Indian Prime Minister in the Bhutanese Parliament. I was quite disturbed by Modi’s reference to Bhutan as Nepal where India is said to be the implicating hand behind the end of Monarchy.
The 4th was the BBS live picture before Modi’s address to the Bhutanese Parliament. Was it a live picture? I believe so. In between the national flags of Bhutan was the Indian tricolor flag upon which a raven perched. As long as the raven had the wisdom and the courage to perch upon the tricolor flag pole of India, it is my belief that the Kingdom of Bhutan shall remain the sole sovereign nation of the Deities and people of Bhutan. The past year witnessed unprecedented domination of Bhutan by India and the 2nd democratic government of Bhutan did not seem to care where its foot was placed. It was, therefore, a deep relief that the events at Tashichhodzong were successfully held and that the raven sat perched on the tricolor flag pole just before the Indian Prime Minister addressed the Bhutanese Parliament. To me it was a sign that the Monarch and the Deities of Bhutan shall reign supreme in the years ahead for sovereign Bhutan. May Pelden Drukpai Chho - Chang always protect the Nation and the Bhutanese people. My deepest faith in the Deities and the Dratsang.