Gongzim Ugyen Dorji, a diplomat with powerful negotiations skill was someone who never saw violence as an option rather chose to mediate.
He was a simple man born to Kazi Shaba Punchung and Tsherim a farmer’s daughter from Tsento in upper Paro in 1855.
Being born during a tumultuous time where concept of nationhood in our country was poorly understood because of constant civil strife and rifts within and outside the country. He grew up accompanying his father for many official work where he would travel from place to place constantly, thus growing up to be known famously for his negotiation skills.
In 1888, when he was 33 years old, he was appointed as Bhutan Agent by the British government and in 1900, he was appointed as Kutshab for Southern Bhutan.
He played a great supporting role in establishing the monarchy system for our country and also contributed a lot in establishing friendly ties with British India. While serving as a Kazi to our first Druk Gyelpo, he addressed a letter to the Council of State, the Zhung Lhengye suggesting the enthronement of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck for the good of the country and the people.
And in the year 1907, he was appointed as the first Chief Minister of Bhutan, thus starting the monarchy system of governance.
The first Druk Gyelpo Ugyen Wangchuck decided to appoint Ugyen Dorji as Gongzim for his incomparable service rendered to Bhutan and to Druk Gyalpo himself during the period of consolidation.
Gongzim Ugyen Dorji played an important role in supporting the monarchs to turn a dream of a strong nation into reality.
Though the journey of this simple man who shared the dream of his master, the first King of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck has unfurled the story of a nations transitions from civil strife to peace, the ingenious foreign policy helped preserve our country from any harm.
As the first Chief Minister, he assisted the first King with introduction of modern education in 1914 by sending 46 Bhutanese boys to Kalimpong. He paid for their education and 12 of the students later qualified to become the first teachers, veterinary doctors, engineers and forest rangers of our country.
He also took the responsibility of imparting English education by setting up the first secular western school in Bumthang with 18 students in 1915.
Gongzim Ugyen Dorji was still serving as the first Chief Minister of Bhutan when he took his last breath which was on June 1916.
His story in particular is an example and a tribute to all the Bhutanese who served and continue to serve their monarchs with complete dedication.
Source : Perfect TMX TMT