A Humble Tribute to our Fourth Druk Gyalpo

Picture a 16-year old prince who had just lost his father addressing a nation that had just lost its leader. Imagine the young prince taking over the reins of both the government and the nation at such a tender age. This is our Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Picture an intelligent, selfless and hardworking leader leading his nation through an unprecedented pace of socio-economic development. Imagine the young leader guiding his nation along a unique and holistic path of development that believes in Gross National Happiness as the primary purpose of development. This is our Fourth Druk Gyalpo. Picture a leader whose compassion and love for his people takes him regularly to all the remote corners of his nation.

Picture that leader walking through remote villages, meeting his people, holding their hands and talking to them, sharing a meal or listening to their stories. This is our Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Imagine a king who gives up his luxurious palaces and chooses to live in a simple ordinary cottage; who places the needs of his people before his own, who chooses to voluntarily give away all his positions and power to the people, who chooses to abdicate the throne at the prime age of 51, who introduces a unique system of governance based on parliamentary democracy that allows for his impeachment against the strong wishes of his people. This is our Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Imagine a King working tirelessly, dealing personally with politicians and bureaucrats of a neighboring nation, to revise an important treaty that was signed some 60 years before. Through his farsighted vision and wisdom, he realized the future implications of the outdated treaty for his country and his people. This is our Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Imagine a nation caught in a grave security problem with large groups of militants. Imagine a leader who is ready to sacrifice his life for the security and the well-being of his country and his people. Imagine the head of the nation putting his life at great risk by personally leading his small army to fight against large groups of better trained and better equipped militants. This is our Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Picture someone who is loved, admired and respected by every citizen of his nation. Imagine someone whose photos are hung on the walls of every temple and every home. This is our Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Never in the history of mankind lived a King with such compassion and love for his people. Isn’t our Fourth Druk Gyalpo a living Bodhisattva?

–Sonam Jatso

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