December 21, 2021 - 10:23 am

Bhutan Confers Highest Civilian Award On India's PM 

    Bhutan has conferred its highest civilian award the "order of the Druk Gyalpo", also known as "Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo", on PM Modi. The announcement of the award coincided with Bhutan's 114th National Day. Modi also conveyed his greetings to the neighboring country and said India will always cherish the country as one of its closest friends and neighbours and will continue to support its development journey in every possible ways.

    The highest civilian honour from Bhutan joins a long visit of awards Modi has received from foreign countries. Last year, PM Modi received the "Legion of Merit by the US Government' award of the US Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. In 2019, Russia conferred on him its highest civilian honour 'Order of St. Andrew' award. The UAE also confirmed its highest civilian honour 'Order of Zayed Award' on Modi in 2019. He had received the 'Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud', highest honour of Saudi Arabia awarded to non-muslim dignitaries, in 2016 and 'State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanatullah Khan', highest civilian honour of Afghanistan, in the same year. He was conferred 'Grand Collar of the state of Palestine Award", highest honour of Palestinian awarded to foreign dignitaries, in 2018 and 'Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddin', highest honour of the Maldives for foreign dignitaries, in 2019. Modi received 'King Hamad Order of The Renaissance', the top honour from Bahrain, in 2019. He has also been conferred numerous honours from International organisations and foundations.

    The award comes at a time when Bhutan is struggling to deal with growing Chinese pressure on their border as well as trying to work out a border deal with Beijing, which some reports had suggested did not suit India. The award is seen as a political gesture to India, underlining the importance of the relationship. India and Bhutan share close ties, especially in the economic and defence sectors. Bhutan and India enjoy the closet relationship is well known. It should not be surprising that India's PM should get the highest civilian honour but the year Bhutan has been subjected to unprecedented pressure by China to settle a border problem.