Every time I am on that flight from Delhi to Paro, I am reminded of the specialness of this corner of our world. Looking out the plane window the lofty Himalayan ranges and Mighty Everest peek from above the cotton-balled clouds, the vast Indian plains – desired throughout history by conquerors – is right below, and the roof of the world, though not visible, lies just beyond those towering peaks. Then the dramatic landing into Paro valley; as the plane enters the valley one can almost reach out and touch the ancient monasteries atop those steep hills.
As the plane alights, the surrounding silence is yet another reminder that Bhutan is unlike many countries. Geography and population have been our blessings – well, of sorts. For the most part we have always looked at it as being a blessing. We have always been aware of the geo-political realities and managed to survive within these realities. But incidents during our second general elections were a cruel reminder that being sandwiched between the world’s two largest populations in the world (often suspicious of each other) really seems to overshadow everything we do.
Arriving in the aftermath of a very contentious and divisive election made that even more evident – that our local politics is influenced, and can be influenced, by this harsh geographic reality. It seems then that there is evermore the need for us to work on building upon the only thing that has distinguished us as a nation – our sovereignty and integrity – and not compromising it just for the sake of winning an election.
Now that it is behind us, it is time to move on and focus on the issues that lie before us. The Economy, Education, Social Issues, Agriculture, the list is endless.
A hearty Congratulations from The Raven team to those who have assumed office. It is our hope that you will live up to the demands of your office and the expectations of those that have put you there. What should be remembered, through the words of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo who initiated Democracy in Bhutan, is that we are in service to the people, not to a select few. It is through this sacred duty as office holders that officials should strive to work along with the innumerable Bhutanese who have struggled alongside their Kings and government to make this country what it is today.
“In taking note of the progress that our nation has made over the past thirty four years, I would like to state that whatever we have achieved so far is due to the merit of the people of Bhutan.” His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.