During the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) campaign in Samtse, the DCT president said the meaning of the noble philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) has been interpreted in academic manner, and without a practical relevance to the people.
“Gross National Happiness is a noble philosophy propagated by the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and the essence of this farsighted vision is that every people of Bhutan should be happy,” Lily Wangchhuk told the gathering. “Before we try to sell GNH outside, it is important for us to address fundamental problems faced by our people like providing safe drinking water, food, quality education and health service among others.”
She said that if Bhutan is, indeed to realize GNH, the first step is to meet the basic needs of lower and middle-income groups. “We cannot be happy when people don’t have enough food to eat and a decent roof over their heads,” said Lily Wangchhuk. “We must create the right conditions for the people to pursue happiness first. And that’s what our approach is going to be,” she added.
Lily Wangchhuk said that every citizen must enjoy equal rights and have access to equal opportunities, notwithstanding their background, faith, gender and age. “We are committed to providing these opportunities for all. Every citizen must enjoy the dignity, respect and honor to live a healthy and happy life,” she said, adding that her party gives the utmost importance to social justice.
DCT president Lily Wangchhuk also reiterated that so long as there is a difference between rich and poor, haves and have-nots, and imbalance in socio-economic development between people and regions within the country, GNH remains a farfetched dream.
The people in Samtse were informed that DCT will add concerted effort to achieving His Majesty’s vision of GNH. “We don’t want to go with a begging bowl asking for aid and assistance. We aspire to create self-reliant economy. We want to create conditions where our own people can generate wealth and jobs for ourselves,” the DCT president said.
Touching on the census issue faced by people in the south, Lily Wangchhuk said there was an earnest need to resolve the issue for good. “We cannot ignore this issue since it affects the lives of many people. Our party will review and take positive steps to address this problem,” she said. “As a GNH nation, it is our responsibility to ensure that there is no discrimination and that everyone enjoys dignity and respect in the country,” she added.