• Short Summary

    THE ANCIENT KINGDOM OF BHUTAN LIES IN THE EASTERN HIMALAYAS BETWEEN TIBET AND INDIA, BOUNDED ON THE WEST BY SIKKIM.

  • Description

    THE ANCIENT KINGDOM OF BHUTAN LIES IN THE EASTERN HIMALAYAS BETWEEN TIBET AND INDIA, BOUNDED ON THE WEST BY SIKKIM. THE TINY STATE IS HALF-INDEPENDENT: IT MANAGES ITS OWN INTERNAL AFFAIRS BUT ITS FOREIGN RELATIONS ARE "GUIDED" BY INDIA UNDER THE TERMS OF A SPECIAL TREATY SIGNED 14 YEARS AGO.

    BHUTAN IS STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT TO INDIA AS IT GUARDS ONE OF THE MOST EASILY ACCESSIBLE ROUTES FROM TIBET TO THE INDIAN PLAINS. THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT HAS AVOIDED ANY DIRECT OR INDIRECT INTERFERENCE IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE STATE BUT HAS GIVEN IT SUBSTANTIAL ECONOMIC AID.

    LESS THAN FOUR YEARS AGO, BHUTAN HAD NO ROADS, NO MOTOR VEHICLES AND NO STANDING ARMY. TODAY, THERE IS A WELL-TRAINED ARMY AND A NETWORK OF ROADS WHICH LINK THE DISTANT PARTS OF THE MOUNTAINOUS LAND AND PROVIDE AN EASY LINK WITH INDIA.

    THOUSANDS OF BHUTANESE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON PROJECTS RANGING FROM ROAD-BUILDING TO RIVER-TAMING AND IRRIGATION WORKS, MOST OF WHICH ARE FINANCED AND SUPERVISED BY THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT AND TECHNICIANS. EVERY ABLE-BODIED CITIZENS IS REQUIRED TO WORK FOR ABOUT SEVEN WEEKS ON ONE OF THESE DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES.

    INTENSIVE BUILDING ACTIVITY HAS BROUGHT REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES IN THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF THE BHUTANESE PEOPLE. SMALL BAZAARS HAVE SPRUNG UP ALL OVER THE LAND AND THE OLD BARTER SYSTEM HAS BEEN REPLACED BY MONEY.

    THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC REVOLUTION IN BHUTAN WAS LARGELY DUE TO MR JIGME DORJI, THE PRIME MINISTER WHO WAS KILLED BY AN ASSASSIN'S BULLET IN 1964. THE CHINESE OCCUPATION OF TIBET AND THE SINO-INDIAN BORDER DISPUTE MADE HIM AWARE OF THE DANGERS OF THE ISOLATION WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAD ALWAYS INSISTED ON AS A MEANS OF ENFORCING THE PEACE. HE LAUNCHED A SERIES OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES AND SOCIAL REFORMS WHICH HAVE BROUGHT MEDIEVAL BHUTAN INTO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.

    ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THE POPULATION OF 800,000 ARE OF TIBETAN STOCK AND SPEAK A BASICALLY TIBETAN LANGUAGE. THEY ARE MOSTLY BUDDHISTS WHO RECOGNISE THE DALAI LAMA AS THEIR SPIRITUAL LEADER. THE OTHER THIRD OF THE POPULATION ARE MAINLY NEPALESE AND THEY ARE CONCENTRATED IN THE HILLS WEST OF THE RIVER AMO CHU. ALL OF THEM, HOWEVER, HAVE BENEFITED FROM SOCIAL REFORMS WHICH HAVE INCLUDED THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY, THE GRADUAL EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN, A LIBERALISATION OF ROYAL RULE AND AN INCREASE IN LITERACY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACGQO0P087I6D2RI257HN6JG9I
    Media URN:
    VLVACGQO0P087I6D2RI257HN6JG9I
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/05/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:05:36:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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