The dawn of a new crisis loomed around the nation’s frontiers of the southern Duars, a narrow tract of land at the foot of the lower Bhutan Himalayas. The Duars separated Bhutan from the British India, and the goodwill established between the two countries in the 18thcentury by the British Trading missions rapidly wore down and, this led to the Duar war in 1864. The British forcibly annexed the Duars from Bhutan.
At the second half of the 19th century the powers and authority lay in the hands if a quasi independent ruler. This period saw the powerful British seeking trade relations with Tibet. This influence and developments possessed great threat to Bhutan, but was overcome by the political acumen of TrongsaPenlop Ugyen Wangchuck. He was a dynamic leader who successfully played the role of a mediator between British India and Tibet. This maneuver helped him cement his image in Bhutan thus futhering his sturdy authority, against the background of a country plagued by political instability and civil war. In the year an assembly of clergy, the government and the people unanimously elected the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan with the title of DrukGyalpo (Precious King of the Thunder Dragon).
He displayed extraordinary leadership and statesmen qualities. With his devout faith in religion and with his genuine desire to improve the lives of his people made him an outstanding statesmen. As a man of destiny he united the country and established the central authority, thus bringing peace and stability to the country and also laid the foundation for the emergence of modern Bhutan. He was succeeded by his son JigmeWangchuck(1926-52), during whose reign the nation continued to enjoy peace and stability.
The enthronement and reign of His Majesty The 3rd monarch Jigme Dorji Wangchuck(1952-72) was blessing in disguise to the fellow citizens as he opened the eyes of our nation by exposing the door of our country to the outside world. Not only that but also under his wise leadership, our country got the membership of Colombo Plan in 1962 followed by being the member of the United Nations in 1971. As the sun slowly penetrates into the different layers of the atmosphere, the then king slowly and swiftly took major role in reforming country’s social, economic and political institutions which like the reflecting mirror clearly reflects his wise, tender, compassionate and enlightened leadership.
During the reign of His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck, dramatic alteration occurred especially in the field of politics. Like the fish in the water knows about the vitality of water when it is placed on the sand, His Majesty knew the importance of great participation of his people in nation building process and as a result he decentralized the power to the common people followed by establishment of District Development Committees in all the eighteen districts of the kingdom. Our country is geographically small carrying about population of 7lakhs and is situated in between two large countries China and India in the north and south respectively. Knowing the above fact, with the help of his outstanding wisdom, His Majesty gave the top most priority in building up a small and compact but efficient government which can function as smoothly as the silk and which is as stable as carbon. Like the chili being the main ingredient in Bhutanese dish; power is also the main deciding factor of the nation’s sovereignty. Thus, the authentic leader also made sure that the power of the nation does not solely lie in the hands of individuals or personalities. Being one of the vigilant leaders, he did not forget about our rich culture and heritage so he also stressed on conserving and promoting country’s unexploited culture and heritage.
On the other hand under his fruitful guidance Bhutan had succeeded in establishing good bilateral relations with many countries. As the phenomenon of dawn and dusk piled up like the stake of coins, His Majesty had enormous achievements in upholding the country’s image by means of being an active member of several multilateral organizations. The reign of His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo was and is one of the most remarkable one as he succeeded in establishing a nation with great political stability, socio and economic progress and above all restructuring a harmonious society where every individuals know about their own responsibilities and also respect each other’s fundamental rights. Therefore, in short like the cool and serene ocean breeze has met the hunger of the hot and dry dessert; His Majesty had achieved in fulfilling the desires and hopes of his people.