On 11th November, 2015, the hearts and minds of Bhutan were focused on a ceremonial stand in Changlimithang, where His Majesty the King stood with His Majesty the Fourth King.
The nation witnessed the honoring of the past 34 years of a Golden era under His Majesty the Fourth King, that defines the prosperous, stable, sovereign and peaceful Bhutan of today.
This honour, love and remembrance was led in the present by His Majesty the King, who while continuing the good work of the Great Fourth, is also laying new foundations for Bhutan.
The future was assured when His Majesty the King announced that Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen was expecting a Prince and Royal Heir.
A sense of national well being, and in many ways, a sense of being part of one big family was never stronger.
His Majesty the King addressed not only the well known areas of contribution made by His Majesty the Fourth King, but His Majesty also provided deep personal insights on His Majesty the Fourth King.
We learned of a King, who not only expected the best from others in serving the nation, but was tougher and more exacting on himself.
We learnt that, the Bhutan of today, would not have been possible without the sheer determination, strong leadership, integrity, capability and self-sacrifice of the Great Fourth.
We learnt of a leader who moved mountains for his country and people, and if that was not enough he was ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.
As His Majesty gave the Royal address in Changlimithang, there was lumps in many throats and moist eyes as the people recognized the heavy truth in those golden words.
Going beyond Changlimithang stadium, it is a matter of pride for us that in today’s globalized world, there still exists a Kingdom ruled by Golden Monarchs, who stand for not only conventional good leadership traits but also a deep and almost religious commitment to serve their people and country.
This commitment is visible in the incredible self-sacrifice of His Majesty the Fourth King, in not only giving up power and introducing democracy but spending 34 years in solving huge problems that would have crushed a lesser leader.
It is touching to see the deep and genuine love, respect and gratitude expressed and demonstrated by His Majesty the King for His Majesty the Fourth King. After all, it takes a greatness of character to recognize and celebrate greatness in another.
In all of this, the people’s sentiments were not only visible in the hoops of great joy and tears of deep emotion, but also in the deeply touching Zhabten, that can be recited in that manner only by a people who truly mean every word and emotion in it.
The people’s enthusiasm and love was visible in the way Changlimithang was filled beyond overcapacity, and how they stayed to the very last just to catch a glimpse of their Kings.
Given that it was his day, His Majesty the Fourth King could have chosen to sit back and enjoy the programs and adulation, but the Great Fourth as is in his nature went around mingling with the people. It was not just the Great Fourth meeting his subjects but there was a deeply humane, touching, familiar and even family like quality to The Great Fourth’s interactions with the people.
The Great Fourth went from tent to tent and person to person warming hearts and giving visual reassurance and happiness by His Majesty’s sheer presence. It seemed in some ways like a benevolent and respected father coming out to meet his many children, knowing that he affected every one of them in a deep way.
As His Majesty the Fourth King went around meeting the people, His Majesty the King stood in the backdrop, a King, no doubt, but also a dutiful and devoted son.
There is a saying that good sons and daughters make for good fathers and mothers, and good fathers and mothers in turn raise good sons and daughters.
In that sense the future of Bhutan is secure in the Wangchuck Dynasty, that rules the hearts and minds of its people.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
John Quincy Adams