Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be in heaven? Well, to be honest, we do not have an answer. What we can tell though is that leading thinkers of our time, from President Obama (who seem to have a particular taste for Bhutan’s favourite chilli & cheese dish) to Professor Joseph Stiglitz (the Noble fame economist), all agree that amidst all the disconcerting developments of the world, Bhutan is as close one can get to an Utopia, or as the Bhutanese themselves call it, the Shangrila, a place in the heavenly realms of the Universe. It must be said that Bhutan is still a developing country and so not perfect, as perfection is generally understood in this sense today. But the country has been on a robust growth trajectory which in itself is unremarkable for a small Himalayan country.
What has been impressive, on the other hand, is the country’s commitment to wholesome and sustainable development that includes concerns for its unique cultural heritage and environmental ethics. Bhutan’s progress has also been the story of the privileging of individuals and their noble freedom within an enabling environment that meaningful democracy ensures. However, today democracy itself has proved corruptible in the very country that promotes it globally and thus, in Bhutan, indiscriminate and ignoble electoral politics has been informed by the wisdom of a genuinely progressive constitutional Monarchy. The journey of Bhutan towards wholesome development has thus been an effort to realize the heaven that resides in each us. Want to know more? Come explore this wonderland called Bhutan, which offers privileged access to a limited number of tourists each year in the interest of preserving the balance of its fragile environment and culture. The next could be you!
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