Just as 11th November is special to the hearts of all the Bhutanese, so is it in the United States of America. Annually, 11th November is declared as a national holiday to commemorate those military veterans who were involved during the World War I (WWI).
Until date, this day is held with a high esteem and reverence, ever since the U.S President Woodrow Wilson declared ‘Armistice Day’ in 1919.
Armistice Day is a hallowed anniversary observed annually to honor and applaud those heroes involved in bringing an end to the WWI. Hence, this day is also revered as “the war to end all wars” or “Remembrance Day” in the United Kingdom. History has it that, the agreement was placed between Germany and all those Allied nations to dissolve the WWI hostilities and resentments 7 months prior to the Treaty of Versailles which was officially signed in France on 28th June 1919. The Armistice was actually been operational on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Since then, this has been one sacred occasion in the U.S. calendar to pay homage to those military personal who, out of patriotism have sacrificed for the communal good.
Concurrently, on Friday, 11th November, 1955, when the Americans were observing their ritualistic Veteran’s Day, the Land of the Thunder Dragon (Bhutan) was gifted with an extraordinary prince. This blue blood birth not only was the cause of happiness for the Wangchuck Dynasty, but was a prophesised godly gift to the nation in a form of human prince.
So, today in order to pay my humble tribute and to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of His Majesty the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, I personally write these 10 REASONS why 11th November is a VETERAN Day for the Bhutan.
1. The Prophecy Upholder: Guru Rinpoche (the Lotus-born
emanation of Buddha) who visited Bhutan in the 8th century has
prophesised to one of the Buddhist luminaries Terton (Treasure discoverer)
Drukdra Dorji that, in a place called Womtrong (the original name of
Dechencholing today), a boy of unparalleled character will born to lead his
country to the greatest height of success (To read the prophecy, click on the image above). And truly, as an answer to the prophecy, His Majesty
the King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was born on 11th November, 1955 in Dechenchholing
palace in Thimphu. By the age of 17, His Majesty had assumed the role of his
father, the late Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who has passed away
unexpectedly. But even as a youngest monarch of the world, King Jigme Singye
Wangchuck was brave to lead the country through all thick and thin. And amazingly,
under his magnificent rule, the nation has witnessed a mammoth developments by
leaps and bounds. Thus, right from a very tender age, His Majesty the King has
manifested the charisma of a veteran and an unrivalled macho monarch ever evolved
in the lines of our history. The prophecy of Guru Padmasambhava, a revered
spiritual figure of Bhutan, was unfurled on this day. The nation basked under
the sun of unwavering peace, prosperity and happiness.
|The 4th Druk Gyalpo King Jigme Singye Wangchuck|
2. The Name Revealer
His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo is popularly revered with a special name ‘Jigme’, which means ‘No fear’ and ‘Singye’ which means a ‘Lion’. In brief he is a fearless lion of the men, adorned with an immaculate qualities of the lha ‘Wangchuk’ (chenrigzee).
3. The Contented Buddhist
His Majesty the 4th King lives in a simple single storied cottage built with woods (The Samtenling Palace). He is man who is not disillusioned with the materialistic attachments and believes in nothingness and impermanence, the soul of understanding Buddhism.
4. The Ultimate Father of Happiness
More than a national pride, Gross National Happiness (GNH) has now been an international pursuit. The GNH is a holistic approach development philosophy that caters to both material and spiritual wellbeing. In a layman tongue, it is a kind of happiness which does not come at the cost of wellbeing of other people. It was the brainchild of His Majesty the King that came into existence as early as 1972 soon after the enthronement. His Majesty the King always knew that, the ultimate aim of every human being was happiness. Today after the UN’s adoption of pursuing happiness as the 9th Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which was proposed by Bhutan during the 65th session of UN General Assembly in 2011, GNH has been a much sought philosophical commodity.
5. The Genuine Emperor
The visionary 4th Druk Gyalpo has envisioned that it is the experience that gives the best practical lesson. Thus, with an intention to offer King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck an early kinghood know-hows, His Majesty has abdicated the golden throne after reigning for the last 34 years. Till date, we are bestowed with a king composed of an unsurpassed qualities.6. The Power Giver
Unlike any other nations, Democracy in Bhutan is a pure gift. The ultimate power to elect the leader of our choice was bestowed from the throne. However, the system of participation by the people in nation’s development was already in place from the time 5 year plan was introduced in 1981. That same year, Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogdu (DYT) was established while a decade later, Gewog Yargay Tshogdu (GYT) was instituted to further the people’s participation till the grassroots level. By 1998, the first set of cabinet ministers (Lengye Zhungtshog) took the role of a highest decision making.
7. The Pioneer of a Golden Constitution
The sacred mother of all laws of the nation (the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan) was brewed from more than 50 finest constitutions of the world. His Majesty has then personally visited to meet and discuss with the people. Launched in 2001, today it serves as a national roadmap for any executive and legislative proceedings.
8. The Green Monarch
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan mandates to preserve 60 percent of our country under forest cover, but amazingly, it maintains more than 74 percent in a form of sanctuary and parks. Consequently, this has made our country to be one of the hottest and rich biological corridor that absorbs the highest carbon footprints. In this recognition, in 2005, His Majesty the King was conferred the “Champions of the Earth’s Award”. The following year, the “J Paul Getty Conservation Leadership Award” swept in. And in the same year 2006, His Majesty was conferred the Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto Award from Japan.
9. The Brave Soldier
The thick jungles of Bhutan has been an asylum for the insurgents of India in late 90s. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) had already established several bases in the Bhutanese soil. Many attempts were made by the Royal Government to initiate a peaceful negotiations to leave the Bhutanese soil, yet it failed. In December 2003, His Majesty has personally sacrificed his life by leading in the Operation Flush Out. For His Majesty the 4th King, when it comes to serving the nation, it was more than sacrificing his own life.
10. The Farsighted King
Under the golden reign of His Majesty the 4th King, Bhutan had experienced a quantum leap of developments. The free education and health facilities for the people of Bhutan still remains as a celebrated home story. The concept of ‘One Nation, One People’ is a happiness song of our country where there is no discrimination against sex, gender, race, caste or religion. Besides opening doors to modernization, His Majesty has always ensured that Bhutan remains sovereign and independent throughout. With the sunshine of the unwavering peace and prosperity, Bhutan truly is, a place where happiness matters the most.
“Good leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand”- Colin Powell