No two countries in the world understand each other so well or share so much as India and Bhutan, said Modi
BHUTAN has understood the essence of happiness and it is not a surprise that the Himalayan nation has become synonymous in the world for its concept of Gross National Happiness, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Sunday. Addressing the students of the Royal University of Bhutan, Prime Minister Modi said the world had a lot to learn from Bhutan where development, environment and culture are not at loggerheads but in synergy. “In any part of the world, if we ask the question what do you associate with Bhutan, the answer will be the concept of Gross National Happiness. I am not surprised. Bhutan has understood the essence of happiness,” he said.
“Bhutan has understood the spirit of harmony, togetherness and compassion. This very spirit radiates from the adorable children who lined the streets to welcome me yesterday. I will always remember their smiles,” Modi said. Gross National Happiness is a term coined by the fourth King of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972. The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing. “Bhutan’s message to humanity is happiness. Happiness which springs from harmony. The world can do with a lot more happiness. Happiness, which shall prevail over mindless hate. If people are happy, there will be harmony, where there is harmony, there will be peace.
And it is peace that will help societies achieve progress through sustainable development,” Modi said. “Here, development, environment and culture are not at loggerheads but are in synergy. With the creativity, energy and commitment of our youth, our nations can achieve all that is required for a sustainable future – whether it is water conservation or sustainable agriculture or making our societies free of single-use plastic,” Modi said. No two countries in the world understand each other so well or share so much as India and Bhutan, Modi said as he emphasised that New Delhi and Thimphu are such “natural partners” in bringing prosperity to their people. Modi said it is natural that the people of Bhutan and India experience great attachment to each other.
After all, they are close not just due to their geography. Their history, culture and spiritual traditions have created unique and deep bonds between our peoples and nations, he said. “India is fortunate to be the land where Prince Siddhartha became Gautam Buddha. And from where the light of his spiritual message, the light of Buddhism, spread all over the world. Generations of monks, spiritual leaders, scholars and seekers have burnt that flame bright in Bhutan. They have also nurtured the special bond between India and Bhutan,” the Prime Minister said in the majority Buddhist country. “As a result, our shared values have shaped a common world-view,” Modi said in the presence of Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering. “Now, today, I am here, with the future of Bhutan. I can see the dynamism, and feel the energy. I am confident that these will shape the future of this great nation and its citizens. Whether I look at Bhutan’s past, present or future, the common and constant threads are - deep spirituality, and youthful vigour. These are also the strengths of our bilateral relationship,” he said.
BHUTAN’S LEADER OF OPPOSITION MEETS MODI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Bhutan’s Leader of Opposition Pema Gyamtsho on Sunday and the two leaders discussed the issues of bilateral interests. “PM @narendramodi met with Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Leader of the Opposition of the National Assembly of Bhutan. Strong bilateral relationship enjoy support across the entire political spectrum in Bhutan,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. Earlier, Modi paid his respects at the National Memorial Chorten, a revered monument honouring the late Third Druk Gyalpo. “Felt humbled after paying my respects at the National Memorial Chhorten, which honours the late Third Druk Gyalpo, who was a stalwart committed to peace, harmony and sustainable development,” Modi said.