The Bhutan-India relationship is the epitome of honest friendship, founded on the bedrock of trust and respect between two great minds – His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It is a classic example of coexistence and friendship between two nations of different demographics, cultures, economies, strengths, and landmasses. The fact that it continues to endure and thrive into the 21st century is simply because it transcends the conventional and popular model of correlation and mundane reciprocity. And it is there to stay and grow from strength to strength.
Our monarchs have always placed the Bhutan-India relationship in the forefront of Bhutan’s priority. Throughout history we Bhutanese have always stood behind our kings and have always found meaning and purpose in their visions and dreams. That trust continues to the present day and will continue beyond, since it is in doing so that we identify our strength, unity, and identity: the corner stones of our sovereignty. It is with this sense of identity that we recognised India as our closest and dearest neighbour and cherish this unique relationship woven into eternal knots with trust and respect.
There are many reasons to celebrate this unique model of friendship between the two countries and Mountain Echoes is a unique manifestation of the people-to-people relationship. It has brought together the peoples of the two countries on a singular platform to share and showcase their wisdom and experiences and to learn from and understand each other better. The past years of Mountain Echoes have succeeded in fulfilling the purpose of its existence. 2015 is a very special year for Bhutan as His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck turns sixty, which is indeed a great occasion for celebration in Bhutan. Therefore, the 2015 Mountain Echoes will become a special event by dedicating it to the sixtieth birth anniversary of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. I wish Mountain Echoes all the best of luck and success in its entire endeavour.