Druk Chirwang Tshogpa have just been granted registration as a political party. To all our ancestors – the many magnificent men and women who have shaped Bhutan and moved on; to all our sisters, brothers, children and parents – the humble, hardworking and uncomplaining citizens who toil to keep us strong; and to all the wonderful Bhutanese who will form our future generations, I promise this:
Druk Chirwang Tshogpa comes ONLY to take Bhutan forward. Druk Chirwang Tshogpa comes ONLY to wipe the tears of every Bhutanese so we may be a truly happy nation. Druk Chirwang Tshogpa comes ONLY so Bhutan may be a nation worth emulating in the comity of nations. So that when other nations look at us, they see not the small boundaries of our country but the limitless generosity of our citizens. They see the strength of our simplicity; they see the vision of our mind that keeps us vibrant economically. And they see a Bhutan in their hearts – wherever they may be in this world – that they want in their own countries. It is for THIS and for this ALONE that the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa comes. But the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa will not do all this by itself. It will do so with every single Bhutanese. It will do so because the goodwill and the blessings of every single Bhutanese will be with it.
It is possible that future generations will judge this to be a historic moment. They might say a party was born that judges its own progress by the progress of the nation, a party was born that just justifies its existence by its open door philosophy where the humblest of Bhutanese will find an ear that shall listen and a hand that shall comfort. A party that believes that the number of seats it wins is merely a mandate to work harder and not the fruits of power to enjoy for itself.
That is for historians to judge. For us, as we welcome Druk Chirwang Tshogpa into this world, we know what each one of us has already conquered to reach here. Bhutan is a nascent democracy. We are only now learning how to open ourselves up to the wisdom of our citizens in ballot boxes; we are only now learning to be political parties that shall be assessed not by themselves but by others. We are only now learning to be OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.
The first year in anyone’s life is one of celebration. And so it was with our own first democratic election. We had joy because we had a government. We may not have expected too much from them because they were the first, after all. But from the second year on comes judgment in anyone’s life. In a few months, we shall have our second election. This is when choices will be made.
Words will be weighed; actions shall be tested. For, we Bhutanese know better now. So what shall we judge? How shall we generate trust? Druk Chirwang Tshogpa makes no claim that its members shall serve. We have reached this moment only by making service a habit. Druk Chirwang Tshogpa shall not glorify what it does without a thought. We, on the contrary, expect fellow political parties also to make a habit of serving others and not seeking applause for it.
Druk Chirwang Tshogpa believes that glory for Bhutan is when our brothers support and work for the betterment of all our sisters. Glory for Bhutan is when our youth is actively involved and has gainful work so they become influential thinkers, economists, musicians, sportspeople, cinema artistes, politicians, journalists, doctors, engineers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, members of Civil Society – and above all great men and women. Glory for Bhutan is when we do not forsake old friends who have stood by us even as we welcome other nations as new allies. Glory for Bhutan is when we wake at night so the needy may sleep. Glory for Bhutan is when no Bhutanese is left behind, no matter how far away from Thimphu they may live. Glory for Bhutan is when all Bhutanese have the freedom to follow their beliefs and work for the common good – in the best capacity they can.
To all this, Druk Chirwang Tshogpa commits itself. I am fortunate to have a large family of Bhutanese with me at Druk Chirwang Tshogpa who are all people of high skill and honour. We shall give our time, labour, integrity and ability in the service of Bhutan. May Bhutan rise even more and take her place as a thought leader in the fellowship of nations.