India & Bhutan: All-weather friends eye new horizons

It’s set to be a unique year in the annals of the all-weather friendship between India and Bhutan. As President Pranab Mukherjee heads on his maiden trip to the strategically located Himalayan state early November, the timeless and exemplary relationship between the two fraternal neigbours will once again be in the spotlight. The presidential visit underlines a confluence of civilizational, economic and geostrategic imperatives that grounds special ties between the world’s largest and youngest democracies. 2014 is, therefore, set to be a watershed year as this is the first time the president and the prime minister of India would have visited this Himalayan nation, which prefers to measure its national wealth in terms of gross national happiness, within months of each other.
President Mukherjee’s forthcoming visit to Bhutan will build on these winning ideas and reinforce the template of B4B – Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan for Bharat – which has been eloquently articulated by Prime Minister Modi. This idea of intertwined destinies has been aptly encapsulated by Bhutan’s king, who has said memorably: “My bond with India is for life, for it arises from two loves — my love for India and, my love for Bhutan and my people.” This sense of deep fraternal bonding and synergy of interests will endure amid the relentless flux of time and gain new force in days to come.

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