With an eye on China, Modi bats for shared culture and heritage during Bhutan visit


Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets after he was conferred with the 'Order of Druk Gyalpo' by King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, in Thimphu on Friday (ANI)

India-Bhutan Relations: Modi assures the Himalayan country of support at every step to make both BB i.e. “Brand Bhutan and Bhutan Believe” successful.

Our Bureau
Thimphu (Bhutan)

King of Bhutan conferred on Friday Prime Minister Narendra Modi the Order of the Druk Gyalpo, the highest honor of the Himalayan country. As per ranking and precedence established, the Order of the Druk Gyalpo was instituted as the decoration for lifetime achievement and is the pinnacle of the honor system in Bhutan, taking precedence over all orders, decorations and medals.

Earlier PM Modi, who is on a two-day state visit had called on Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at the Tashichho Dzong Palace in Thimphu.

He also attended a cultural programme at the Tendrelthang Festival Ground in the presence of Bhutan King.

Earlier, PM Modi received a rousing welcome from the people who turned out in large numbers to accord a warm reception in Bhutan. In an unprecedented welcome for PM Modi in Bhutan, people lined up the streets across the entire stretch of 45 kilometers from Paro to Thimphu. Hundreds of locals awaited Prime Minister Modi’s arrival at the palace.

After he arrived at the Tashichho Dzong Palace earlier today, PM Modi received a ceremonial welcome there. PM Modi also received a special welcome at his Hotel in Thimphu as youngsters from Bhutan gave a cultural performance of Garba on the song written by PM Modi. Making the Gujarati folk dance more graceful, youngsters wore Gujarat’s traditional attire, Ghagra-choli and Kurta Paijama.

The performance was staged after PM Modi interacted with the members of the Indian diaspora and the local people of Bhutan who gathered to welcome him outside the Hotel in Bhutan’s national capital, Thimphu.

The members of the Indian community on meeting PM Modi expressed their happiness and said that they felt honored to meet PM Modi. India and Bhutan share a unique and exemplary bilateral relationship founded on mutual trust, goodwill, and understanding.

Modi who is on a State visit to Bhutan on Friday said that the aspirations and goals of the youth of India and Bhutan are similar and assured the Himalayan country of support at every step to make both BB i.e. Brand Bhutan and Bhutan Believe successful.”

In his address at Tashichho Dzong Palace here, PM Modi recalled his first visit to Bhutan as the Prime Minister of India in 2014. “The relations of Bhutan and India are as ancient as they are new. After becoming the Prime Minister of India in 2014, Bhutan was the first foreign country I visited. I remember the warm welcome I had received 10 years ago when I came to this Land of the Thunder Dragon.”

Affirming India’s support for Bhutan, he said, “The aspirations and goals of the youth of India and Bhutan are similar. India has set a target of becoming a developed country by 2047, while Bhutan has set a target of becoming a high-income country by 2034. To fulfill your goal, India is standing with you at every step to make both BB i.e. Brand Bhutan and Bhutan Believe successful.”

He stated that India and Bhutan are parts of shared heritage and highlighted the Buddha connection between the two nations. PM Modi said, “India and Bhutan are parts of a shared heritage. India is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. It is the place where Lord Buddha attained Nirvana. Whereas, Bhutan is the place which embraced and conserved the teachings of Lord Buddha. It has kept alive the tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism.”

PM Modi also held a meeting with his Bhutanese counterpart, Tshering Tobgay and reviewed bilateral ties. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the multifaceted partnership between India and Bhutan.

PM Modi and Tobgay held discussions on various aspects of the multifaceted bilateral relations and forged an understanding to further enhance cooperation in sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, youth exchange, environment and forestry, and tourism, according to the Ministry of External Affairs press release.

Formal diplomatic ties between the two countries were established in 1968, with the cornerstone being the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1949 and subsequently renewed in February 2007.

Over the years, high-level exchanges have played a pivotal role in nurturing the strong bond between India and Bhutan.

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