Coming Closer to the King

Michael Hutt

in Unbecoming Citizens

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195670608
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081806 | DOI:
Coming Closer to the King

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This chapter discusses the radical reforms undertaken by the Bhutanese state after the coronation of the third Wangchuck king in 1952, and their impact upon the Lhotshampas. The reforms of the 1950s can be explained in terms of the personality of King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Bhutan's relationship with newly-independent India. After the establishment of the monarchy, innovations in Bhutan included a land reform movement (1952), and the creation of the National Assembly (Tshogdu) in 1953. The Nationality Law of Bhutan (1958) was repeatedly used to grant citizenship to the population of southern Bhutan. Schools in southern Bhutan taught Dzongkha as well as Nepali. The author describes how the Lhotshampa contributed to the building of roads and how they were allowed to settle in the previously forbidden southeastern districts of the country. Integration between southern and northern Bhutan was encouraged.

Keywords: Bhutanese reforms; Bhutanese state; King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck; Lhotshampas; southern Bhutan; Nationality Law; Tshogdu; grant of citizenship; Bhutanese integration

Chapter.  8272 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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