fifty years ago December 31, 1970 Archives

From the Archives (December 31, 1970): Bhutan and India(From an Editorial)

Bhutan’s membership of the United Nations would meet the legitimate aspirations of its ruler and people. There has always been a fear that Bhutan’s entry into the comity of nations might make its territory the scene of unsettling rivalries between nations seeking to extend their influence and between rival “isms”. Bhutan has for a long time sought a status similar to that of Nepal and had hence felt that membership of the U.N. was essential as an attribute of full and unfettered sovereignty. India has sympathised with this view. It cannot be ignored, however, that there is a nucleus of anti-Indian politicians in Bhutan, which has made no secret of its dissatisfaction with the very friendly relations which the King of Bhutan has always cultivated with India. There had been some unrest in the small armed forces and the King had to put an end to that as it also spelt personal danger to him. King Wangchuk has repeatedly emphasised in recent months that he has no desire to be an absolute monarch and that he is quite willing to change the form of administration to suit the legitimate aspirations of his people. A sudden change in the political set-up can only mean a dangerous upheaval and this can be avoided by going through a process of gradual constitutional change to representative government.

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