Saturday, January 17, 2015

A different Tshering Tobgay and a new geopolitical Position for Bhutan.

India saw a very different side of the personality of His Excellency the Prime Minister of Bhutan at Vibrant Gujarat. It is my personal take that His Excellency's personal profile shot up high in both the political and business world of India. Following the heady Gujarat address, there was a marathon of high level Meetings with all important dignitaries of the Republic of India. India was no longer patronising in its attitude to Bhutan's Tshering Tobgay. The Prime Minister himself looked very comfortable and confident during all the official engagements. And the change in the demeanour of Indian Officials and Corporate Executives was not just noticeable but receptions seem spruced up.
What I observed is not as on the spot witness but from clipses of scenes shown on BBSC television.

Indian political sensitivity had to have reluctantly absorbed the implication of Meeting between the Prime Minister of Bhutan and the Secretary of United States. Bhutan on it own would not have been in position to seek a bilateral meeting with the 4th in line strongmen of America. His Excellency Norbu Wangchuk confirmed my presumption that it had to be America who initiated the high level Meeting. India could not have obstructed such a America initiated Meeting especially with the planned visit of American President to India during Republic Day.

I shall dwell upon the sudden change of political equation for Bhutan after an appropriate interval. However let me just state that once an Author titled his book on Bhutan as ,' Bhutan on the Wings of Change' . This time too Bhutan is on the wing of change but it is not just economic development or opening doors to modern era. The Kingdom of Bhutan is at a crossroad to a complex future whose stewardship could demand all the depth and majestic political experiences and acumen of the whole of Wangchuck Dynasty. Thankfully we now have a well experienced King who has proved that he not only had paid heed to political lessons that his great father imparted but in his royal vein  runs the political strategic dynamism of his grandfather who secure Bhutan's membership of the United Nations.

In a way the ascending of the 5th King on the Dragon Throne fulfilled ,should I term it, the prophecy of His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. During my student days at Ugyen Wangchuck Academy, I asked the 3rd King, " How did the Wangchuck Dynasty came about and how far did His Majesty expected it to continue?" At that time there was no Bhutanese history text books in Schools so my curiosity of the past was genuine whilst my anxiety of the future was propelled by forces of democracy making inroads in many regions of the world.

I do not know the exact tidings the Prime Minister of Bhutan is bringing from India and from America. The political reality is that India is serious; United States is serious; China is serious. They are all very serious about the geopolitical position of Bhutan. The King of Bhutan has no alternative but to be more serious than all the other three put together because the subject of international seriousness is his own Kingdom of Bhutan.

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