This week is celebrated as ‘Special Dedication Week’ to His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo on His 60th birth anniversary in Bhutan. Every day-for –a-week, we are having different messages and programs. We light butter lamps for the king which is arranged (a small altar) in front of the assembly ground. We sing Zhabten( a special prayer for long life). Many students’ speakers spoke about the fourth king in the morning assembly. There is also quiz questions based on the fourth king’s life.
We solemnize this week to our living legacy. We express and show our gratitude, honor, homage, accolade, commendation, felicitation, wish, pledge, gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciation, greeting and pay tribute, and we pray for his happy and long life. To honor the occasion, I recounted a short fact about the fourth Druk Gyalpo during one of my a week duties (Teacher on Duty)
King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was born at Dechencholing Palace, Thimphu on 11 November 1955, to the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Her Majesty Queen Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck.
The mantle of leadership, when Bhutan was at a crossroads both domestically and internationally, fell on him, on June 2, 1974, when he became the king of Bhutan at the age of 18.
He married to the four queens, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck and Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, who all are daughters of Yab Ugyen Dorji and Yum Thuji Zam.
He brought many landmark developments, like construction of Chukha Hydropower Project, road networks, decentralization of administrations, opening to tourism, became member of many organization like WHO, UNESCO, World bank, IMF, SAARC, established RIM in Bhutan, established Gewog Yargay Tshochung, etc…
During his reign, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck expanded diplomatic relation with many foreign countries. His Majesty foreign policy deepen Bhutan’s relations with many countries especially India. Bhutan also received many high level foreign visitors including various Prime Ministers of India; Yasser Arafat; Prince Naruhito of Japan, the King Birendra of Nepal, Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh, and I.K. Gujral; and Prince Charles of Wales, to name a few.
The country overcame the militancy of the southern rebels in the 1990s. His Majesty led the "operation flush out" team against ULFA, KLO and NDFB militants. The well-armed militants from Assam and Bengal had illegally entered jungles of southern Bhutan and camped in some 30 locations while carrying out attacks back in Assam and Bengal. Our King personally headed the military operation and flushed them out in three days, that might have brought security threat to the country.
The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, also drafted the Constitution of Bhutan with his people, providing the legal framework for a democratic, political system for Bhutan. The drafting of the Constitution for the kingdom of Bhutan is an exemplary stride towards democracy. In many countries the changes in the system of governments were brought externally through revolution and public strife. However, the Bhutanese are fortunate since the change came as a gift to the people of Bhutan from the Throne. The Constitution was offered to the people at a time when the country enjoyed unparalleled peace and stability with total harmony and unshakable fidelity between the King and the people.
The fourth king abdicated the thrown for the people in 2006 and in favor of his son Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
A larger than life figure, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck is a national hero of different historic dimensions and aspects of national status and life. His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck is the creator of GNH (Gross National Happiness) and the Father of the Nation.
I also recited a short oath to our king which I have written very recently:
Our joy ring, we sing
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light
Great god, our king.
King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
United,peace and spring of development brought
Long live our beloved king.
May His Majesty enjoy many years of happiness and may the flag of Pelden Drukpa continue to flutter high under the reign of his son, His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Long live the Fourth Druk Gyalpo! Palden Drukpa Gyelo!
Not only me, our students also read so many beautiful messages and tributes to our king.
One of these messages is written below; which was read out by Mr. Dawa Thsering of class V B. I wrote this piece for him.
My King: The Jewel of our Country
My king, my country’s king. He is helpful to all the people. He worries about his country. He makes good decision to help people, when any problem comes.
I am glad to have smart and brave king. He guides our small nation with great love and affection. He is guiding us to the realms of modernity without sacrificing our great tradition. He is our guardian.
My king is my parent. He is very popular everywhere. He has built many schools and hospitals, roads, electricity, etc, for his people.
I have my poem here for you, Your Majesty.
You are the bud of love
And country’s king
You are so special
You are king of hearts
And jewel of our country.