Transcript of His Majesty’s Special Address to the NDC Golden Jubilee Inaugural Session:
(HM is greeted with a huge applause as he leaves the dais he was sharing with Indian President, chiefs of Indian armed forces, navy and air force)
Most Honourable President of India,
I remember vividly my days at the National Defence College. I can recall looking at the plaque bearing Pandit Nehru’s speech at the entrance of the building, as I walked in on my first day. From that moment on, every time I attended classes, presentations or various NDC activities, I was constantly reminded of Pandit Nehru. Not simply the words on the plaque – though profound they are.
It’s the spirit of Nehru - one can always sense the complete dedication and commitment to country in Pandit Nehru’s every word and action. And throughout my stay here, I found that the institution of NDC, embodies that noble spirit.
There is a sense of purpose in the establishing of the NDC, the activities it undertakes and the manner in which every senior Indian official who attends NDC approaches their stint here. This singular purpose is the strengthening of Mother India. I have great admiration for the institution and for the people who have been through its doors and gone on to serve India so well.
The high standards of achievement, experience and commitment shown by those at NDC are a direct result of the achievements of India as a nation, and herald the immensely bright future ahead.
I came to NDC as the Crown Prince of a friendly country. I came to learn and to be a part of the Indian family. Yet, I shall remember my year in Delhi at the NDC for one thing – optimism. Why? I saw, up close, in my interactions with leaders in government, civil service or private sector – my daily work at the NDC – and personal experiences throughout the city – the immensely bright future for India. And as India’s closest friend and neighbour, this bright future augured nothing but the best for Bhutan as well. I came to India in early 2005 as a friend of India, appreciative of the role of India in Bhutan’s progress. I left a year later, as the staunchest proponent of Indo-Bhutan friendship as the key to Bhutan’s future, even in this new globalized world.
Your Excellency, my dear friends, India is a world leader. It is not her economic or military might alone – above all, it is the character of the Indian nation - her commitment to democracy, to engendering global equality among nations, to liberty. This noble Indian character is directly reflected in the unique steadfast friendship she, a giant of a nation in every respect, has forged with a small Himalayan neighbour.
My friends, when I came to the NDC, I had no idea at the time that my father would abdicate in 2006. So I had a year in which I had the freedom and time to experience the social and cultural life of Delhi; and the good fortune to meet and learn from many of India’s senior leaders in government and business and above all, to make friends for life. When I look back, I feel it was destiny that gave me the most wonderful opportunity to spend myy last year before becoming King, in India.
Thus, coming to NDC is one of the best decisions I have made. My love and affection for India and her people was further strengthened by a complete faith in the greatness of India and the bright future ahead for our two nations.
Before I conclude, I must say, Your Excellency, that it is a special honour to be in the presence of the President of India for whom I have the highest regard and respect. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Government of India for the warmth and kindness with which they have received me and arranged my visit. I thank the Commandant of NDC and its esteemed faculty for the excellent preparations and for inviting me. I am delighted to be back, especially to have been reunited with my friends from the 45th Course. (huge applause) What a wonderful time we had yesterday evening. (LAUGHTER and applause)
Ladies and gentlemen, you know that I consider myself a part of the Indian family
and nothing makes me happier than being able to return to India. So I thank you for having me here and I look forward to many more meetings in the future.
Thank you la!
(HM is greeted with a huge applause and an ovation)