Bhutan’s recognition of Bangladesh without waiting for Indian advice was a clever move. It was a calculated gamble to assert its independence, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. T himphu, the capital of Bhutan had very few comforts in 1971. For us, who went to Bhutan from Tokyo, with a nine-month old baby 42 years ago, the feeling was that we had walked backwards in time by about half a century. The first motorable road was opened only in 1968 and there were no commercial flights into Bhutan. The drive from the border town of Phuntsholing in India to Thimphu took the whole day, with a lunch break at Chukha, a small rivulet at that time, but a gigantic hydro-electric project now. Electricity was a rarity and we had to huddle around a bukhari , which burns wood to provide a level of comfort in the bitter cold. Life did not, however, stand still in Thimphu. 1971 was an exciting year in Bhutan and as the only diplomatic mission in the country, India was very much a partner in the changes that took place. Even at a time when tension was high on the India-East Pakistan border, Bhutan and we were… Read full this story
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