Today the 2nd of May is the Birth Anniversary of His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck the father of modern Bhutan. The Royal Person truly understood the plight of the common people of Bhutan as well as the human rights of his subjects.
As soon as the King ascended the Throne, he established the National Assembly and his subjects were granted the right and responsibility to elect/ nominate their own popular choice to represent them in the National Assembly. Later the King abolished the serf system.
Then the King established the Royal Advisory Council and again the people were granted the right and responsibility to nominate their own choice of representatives.
But the greatest impact in the livelihood of the common people of Bhutan was doing away with all kinds of material taxes that burdened Bhutanese common man. Today if you looked into the rural taxes on home ownership, farm land and domestic animals, you would realise that these are very nominal taxes. In fact in my view the taxes may have been done away altogether but for the greater significance that such nominal tax represents.
a) The sense of community contribution to the nation building.
b) for statistical purpose that should help national planners.
The nominal taxes are structured in such a way that at a glance His Majesty was able to ascertain how many families among his subjects lived in a hut, a proper dwelling or possessed or did not possess milking cow, ploughing bull and pack pony. What size of farm land and manpower in a family.
Today is also the national day for Teachers. However, I feel that the most genuine Guru of all Bhutanese young and old as well as the sovereignty of the Kingdom is His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
His Majesty gave his subjects a voice in the administration of the Kingdom. The welfare of his people was his foremost concern.
His Majesty ensured that common people would be able to find a socially comfortable life and economically a sustainable livelihood within their rural communities. The King accepted his people as they were.
His Majesty the King caught the attention of the world by boldly declaring Bhutan's recognition of the independence of Bangladesh. Bhutan was the first Country in the world to recognise Bangladesh as a sovereign nation. This national expression of sovereignty move in the international arena was further consolidated by securing the UN membership for Bhutan. The political significance in the international arena of these two political moves is immeasurable. I feel that we as a nation have much to be grateful and everlasting reasons to celebrate his Birth and Reign.