Royal Address evokes national sentiments

His Majesty’s address left many people thinking if they are doing their duties as they ought to

In an unprecedented Royal address during the opening session of the Third Parliament’s eight session on November 4, 2022, His Majesty touched on several aspects of national interest, including the nation’s economy, challenges, opportunities, responsibilities, the transformation and others. With each word of His Majesty heavily loaded with concerns about the country’s present and the future, journalists in the media gallery of the parliament could not control their tears from falling down. The scenario and feelings were the same in all parts of the country.

“His Majesty said that in the last 16 years as King, there has not been a single moment where His Majesty did not worry about the country and people,” Sonam Dorji, a social worker based in Thimphu said. He added that the Royal address showcased how much His Majesty is concerned about the nation. “This is not the first time that I am listening to His Majesty’s address. But today’s address was very different. It made me think that what I am doing is nothing and that I can and should do more for the country,” he said, his voice shaking.

Khedrup Dorji, working in the planning and policy division of the Economic Affairs ministry said, he just could not control his tears. “The golden words still echo in my head and today the whole nation would have understood how concerned His Majesty is – not just about the present, but the future, too, ” he said. “We have to do more without expecting much in return. My spirit to serve unconditional has been augmented,” he said.

“As I laid back on my chair, listening to His Majesty’s speech, my heart ached and cried within for the pain that resonated from each word of His Majesty,” Karma Dema, currently undergoing the Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (PGDPA) at the Royal Institute of Management (RIM) said.

“Karma Dechen’s is the epitome of the lives of every Bhutanese today and our hardships and struggles are the biggest concerns of His Majesty. I am amazed how His Majesty is aware and concerned about the tiniest problems that we confront,” she said, adding that if all service providers could also think and show concerns for the people and nation like His Majesty does, Bhutan would become “extraordinary” as His Majesty said.

Tshering Dendup, gewog administrative officer (GAO) of Karmaling gewog, Dagana said it was the right time for the Royal Address. “His Majesty’s golden words will now serve as a guideline and reminder to all branches of the government, corporations, private sectors and the people,” he said, adding the Royal Address was “really heart touching.”

Dekar, an employee of a civil society organization (CSO) asked if there is any King or Emperor in the world who walks around streets and talks to people. “I have not read or heard about Kings engaging in such activities and His Majesty is doing so to understand the people’s problems and address them,” she said. Mother of a new-born baby, who is on maternity leave, Dekar said she just could not control her emotions. “I shed tears after a long time,” she said.

Ugen Tshering Dukpa, a civil servant said that as he listened to His Majesty’s address, it made him reflect and think, “Have I done enough?” “I couldn’t ascertain the depth of His Majesty’s concern and whatever I have done so far seemed so shallow. I think we have basked for too long under the sun of peace and prosperity, reaping benefits toiled by our past leaders. It is time that we now roll up our sleeves and get to work,” he said.

A civil servant from Mongar who is about to leave for Australia said after the address he vowed to return back to the country after completion of his masters. “I had initially planned to stay a little longer. But my decision has now changed. And when I return, I will come with skills that are required in the 21st century,” he said.

Tandin Wangchuk, a private employee, who is currently in Samdrup Jongkhar said he and his colleagues took leave in the morning to listen to the Royal Address. “We always think that we are doing something for the country. But today’s address reflected that what we do is nothing. It was a message from His Majesty to all the people that we ought to do more and that we can, no matter in what positions we work,” he said. Tandin added that it was also a question to all citizens. “Are we really concerned about the country? Moreover, His Majesty said that people should not think that everything will be done by His Majesty. And this is the mentality of most Bhutanese, irrespective of the positions they hold,” he said.

Pema Choki, engineer of the department of roads (DoR), based in Samdrup Jongkhar called the address a wake-up call for all citizens. “His Majesty mentioned that with the transformation, people are working harder, which clearly indicates that if we want to, we can work. I am not saying that I am perfect, but most of our people think about returns when they work a little bit more.” she said. Pema added that she hopes His Majesty’s “golden words about leaders and accountability,” will be kept in mind by all leaders as they function as leaders.

Sonam Wangdi, a graduate from Gedu College of Business Studies said he was “emotionally drained,” listening to His Majesty’s concerns about youth. “We are very fortunate but this does not mean that we stay idle. At every point possible Bhutanese youth should contribute towards achieving the national goals, which will lighten His Majesty’s concerns. I do not think that we are doing this now,” Sonam said.

Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu