Memorial Chorten - Thomas L. Kelly

Memorial photo of the present King's father, Jigme Wangchuck, who became the second hereditary king of Bhutan. He ruled during the great depression and WWII, but these catastrophic world events did not affect Bhutan because of its barter economy and isolation. His Majesty Jigme Wangchuck refined the adminisrtaive and taxation systems and brought the entire country under his direct control. King Jigme Wangchuck died in 1952 and was succeeded by his son, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who had been educated in India and England and spoke fluent Tibetan, English and Hindi. His picture is seen to the left and right of his father. He constituted the National Assembly in 1953 and abolished serfdom in 1956, reorganized land holdings, created the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) and police force, and established the High Court. To improve relations with India he invited Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, to visit Bhutan in 1958. However, as he lad Bhutan into the modern world, he emphasized the need to preserve Bhutanese culture and tradition.

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