The Nation’s Need – Transformation of the Self

The 23rd of September, 2022, has entered the annals of Bhutan as one of the most significant days in the nation’s journey. After two and a half years, our borders were opened. In other words, technically we were isolated from the world for the same period of time. If we did not feel the breeze of isolation, it was because of technology.

The opening is also significant because of other reasons. We are undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Despite hitches like the shape of our economy and the migration to Australia, Bhutan is moving with the world. We may be one of the last countries that was connected to the internet. But today, we have one of the only three Super Fab Labs in the world. We have understood that there is no going forth without technology and after talking for several years, we are now diversifying our economy. And in small, yet very significant approaches, under the unfaltering guidance of His Majesty the King, our youth are now endowed with skills that will ensure that they are either gainfully employed or become entrepreneurs in various professions they have now mastered.

The increase in sustainable development fee (SDF) for dollar paying tourists from USD 65 to USD 200 was a demonstration to the world that Drukyul is bold. Being bold means believing in ourselves and understanding that nothing will be gained if we do not venture forward. The unseen and unknown cannot and will not sway us from moving into unchartered territories.

Additionally, we are now embarking on making “Low Volume, High Value,” the fulcrum around which all our policies revolve. The per-capita contribution of our workforce should increase. The size of the civil service may decrease; but its strength should increase.

After 15 years of experimentation in the democratic field, we have now realized that our legislators need experience. A degree holder could make a good legislator; but he/she may not be an excellent one. And an individual or a nation that pursues excellence cannot be held back from progressing.

And we have the seamless light; the star Christopher Columbus and other explorers used, manifested in our beloved King. All we need to do is grasp the vision of His Majesty and begin playing our roles in different ways. We talk about this on several forums. No one forgets to mention this in their speeches and addresses. But are we practicing it?

September 23, 2022 is a special day. Its specialty can be augmented, it can be made a precious day, if all of us agree that we are better preachers than actors and embark on a very important transformative exercise – transformation of the self. The Nation needs this.