A Very Successful Royal Visit to India

Email

The Royal visit to New Delhi from 31st October to 3rd November was a big success by all standards. Most importantly, it demonstrated a new sense of heightened importance and even sensitivity given to Bhutan by the top leadership in New Delhi.

His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Gyalsey to on a diplomatic visit to New Delhi. (Source: http://thebhutanese.bt)

 

The success of any visit by a leader to a foreign capital is judged by three counts. The first is on who the leader is meeting, the second is on the nature of the talks and the third is the press coverage.

The Bhutanese Royal couple was very well-received in India

In that regard, the Royal visit to New Delhi from 31st October to 3rd November was a big success by all standards. Most importantly, it demonstrated a new sense of heightened importance and even sensitivity given to Bhutan by the top leadership in New Delhi.

It was clear that the Indian government had laid out the red carpet for the visit of His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Gyalsey to New Delhi.

The invitation for the visit came from the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi who is the head of government and the effective centre of power for all major government decisions in India.

During the visit, His Majesty The King, Her Majesty and HRH The Gyalsey was firstly received at the airport by the Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. This was a break from the normal protocol as it was not a state visit.

Normally most Bhutanese leaders in the past were received by a Minister of State equivalent to a Deputy Minister.

The meeting list for a non-state visit was an impressive one, starting from India’s head of state the President of India, Vice President of India, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and various other cabinet ministers who came along with their senior most bureaucrats and officials.

The President of India, who is India’s apolitical head of state and ‘numero uno’ in the state protocol went out of his way to publicly thank His Majesty The King for Bhutan’s positive role in resolving the recent standoff.

A rare honour – an invitation to dinner at the personal residence of the Prime Minister

Another significant moment in the visit was an invitation to dinner at the personal residence of the Prime Minister, an honour that is rarely bestowed on other visiting foreign dignitaries.

Even with the visit already taking place, another highly significant aspect was an official invitation for a state visit to His Majesty The King for marking the 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year. His Majesty The King has accepted the invitation.

Though the exact details of the talks between the two countries have not been released, it is the norm between governments not to let out confidential discussions and details.

Visit enhances bilateral ties between Bhutan and India

However a press release before the visit made it clear that the discussion was going to be comprehensive, “The Royal visit would provide an opportunity to both sides for reviewing the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation, including befitting celebrations for the golden jubilee of Bhutan and India’s diplomatic relations in 2018, and to advance the special bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation.”

During the visit another release indicating substantial and fruitful talks mentioned that, “During a cordial meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residence, His Majesty and Prime Minister Modi exchanged views on a broad range of subjects covering bilateral friendship and cooperation, including the 50th Anniversary of formal diplomatic ties between Bhutan and India which will be celebrated next year, as well as regional and international matters of mutual concern and interest.”

The release said that His Majesty has also expressed appreciation for India’s generous support for Bhutan’s socio-economic development. “Such warm, frank and frequent exchanges of views between the leaders of the two countries are a hallmark of the very close and special relations between Bhutan and India,” added the release.

Such meetings between top leaders gives an opportunity to avoid the layers of bureaucracy and protocol, especially in a large country like India, and allows the leader of a neighbouring country like Bhutan to get to the point on matters that are important.

All of the above not only reiterated the old and friendly ties between the two nations, but also demonstrated a new level of appreciation for Bhutan in New Delhi that will lead to better ties between the two countries.

As for the press coverage there was active interest in the Indian media and also among the diplomatic and strategic community over the visit. This is also good for any visiting foreign dignitary or leader as it shows the genuine interest of a nation and its people. The coverage was not only extensive but overwhelmingly positive, in appreciation of Bhutan.

HRH The Gyalsey delighted many and garnered much media attention in India

An important ‘X’ factor that not only garnered more media attention but also a lot of social media attention was the presence of HRH The Gyalsey. This would be the first major official visit of HRH The Gyalsey to a foreign country. Even at a very tender age of 20 months, he has made the country proud by His Royal Highnesses’ sheer calm, composure and dignity in front of the foreign media and foreign leaders. Going by the behaviour of HRH The Gyalsey, many mistook HRH to be older with one media outlet calling HRH The Gyalsey a five year old. HRH The Gyalsey soon started trending in the Indian social media.

At a more serious level, in any diplomatic visit or talk there is always an official and officious air which at times can become counterproductive if both sides stiffen up too much. In that sense the presence of HRH The Gyalsey, visible in numerous photos and videos, instantly disarmed even the senior most Indian politicians and officials who posed for photos with HRH The Gyalsey. Bhutan in that sense had a perfect goodwill ambassador in HRH The Gyalsey who added special warmth to the visit.

All in all, apart from the formal nature of a visit like this, the meetings with the top Indian leadership, the gestures made and also the extensive press coverage was a genuine effort to listen to Bhutan and be more sensitive to its concerns. This indicates more appreciation from New Delhi over Bhutan’s importance.

 

By Tenzin Lamsang (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on The Bhutanese.

 


Related Posts

His Majesty the King and Queen of Bhutan Attends the Funeral of...

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty Gyaltsuen are in Bangkok to pay their last respects to His Majesty the late King...

Oct 26, 2017 14:15

The King grants valuable postal collections to the Bhutan Postal...

As the World Postal Day was celebrated on 9 Oct, the Bhutan Postal Museum was endowed with a rare and valuable...

Oct 11, 2017 18:42

His Majesty, the King grants Dassain Tikka

The Durga Puja was held on 1 Oct at the Lingkana Palace by priests from the Hindu Dharma Samudaya. At the Puja, His...

Oct 03, 2017 06:28

Government to grip GST dialogue with India

The recent Composition Scheme of India under GST brought impact hence government looks forward for negotiation with...

Aug 06, 2017 19:16

Bhutan is the best place to do business in the Indian...

Compared to its neighbours, Bhutan is still the considered the best place to do business in the region. India is ranked...

Nov 06, 2017 10:23

6th Anniversary of Bhutan's Royal Wedding

Today, 13 October 2017 marks the 6th anniversary of the fairytale wedding between the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar...

Oct 13, 2017 11:12

Latest

News

General Election 2018: DNT To Head New Government In Bhutan

This is Bhutan’s third general election. The primary round of elections was held in September, where four parties contested to make it to...

Oct 19, 2018 18:51

Surgery To Separate Bhutanese Conjoined Twins Postponed

One of the twins' health has declined, revealed late night tests just before surgery on Friday.

Oct 12, 2018 16:27

Features

Constructive Steps Taken To Mitigate Impact Of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) In Lunana, Bhutan

Lunana houses four major lakes-Thorthomi, Raphstreng, Luggye and Baytsho. So far, the Thorthomi and Raphstreng lakes are two of the 25...

Oct 20, 2018 08:58

Discover Drupthob Chagzampa – The Great Iron Bridge Builder Who Constructed At Least 60 Suspension Bridges In Bhutan And Tibet

Revered as Drupthob Chagzampa or the ‘Great Iron Bridge Builder’, he was an early and unequalled master of engineering skills.

Oct 14, 2018 16:33

Sports

Bhutan's 'Judo Girl' Fighting For Her Sport Back Home

By competing at the Youth Olympic Games Bueno Aires 2018, 16-year-old Yangchen Wangmo is blazing a trail for judo in the small archery-mad...

Oct 10, 2018 12:45

Two Para Athletes To Represent Bhutan At 3rd Asian Para Games (6-13 Oct) In Palembang, Indonesia

Organised by the Asian Paralympic Committee, the Asian Para Games will be held from 6 - 13 October in Jakarta - Palembang, Indonesia.

Oct 06, 2018 13:06

Business

Bhutan’s DHI Business Acceleration Programme Partners With the University of Texas’s IC2 Institute To Draw On Their Expertise

The press release states that DHI has hired the services of IC2 Institute under the University of Texas, USA as a partner for the programme.

Oct 16, 2018 17:08

Bank At Your Doorstep – Bank Of Bhutan Introduces ‘Banking On Wheels’

Bank of Bhutan (BoB) introduced ‘banking on wheels’ on 3 Oct 2018. It travels to various areas in Thimphu on a fixed weekly schedule.

Oct 09, 2018 17:36

Travel

Bepzur Chukpo’s Mansion In Bumthang Is A Rich Depository Of Bhutanese Culture And Lifestyle

While there are no existing written documents about the history of the house, people believe it to be the home of Zimpon Thraipai Raza, who...

Oct 21, 2018 16:54

A Run Unlike Any Other, Get Up Close With Charming Locals And The Magic Of Bhutan’s Highlands In The Laya Run

The third edition of the Laya Run will take place on October 23 from Panjothong to Laya.

Oct 18, 2018 17:14

Lifestyle

Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Award Voted COMO Uma Punakha In Bhutan As The 3rd Best Hotel In The World

The Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Award is the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry.

Oct 19, 2018 18:59

ShaMa Foundation Reaches Rural Bhutan, Helps To Provide Potable Water To Remote Villages

The program aims to provide access to safe drinking water in remote and challenging geographies in Bhutan.

Oct 15, 2018 20:39

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!