Dr. C.T. Dorji is civil servant (retd.), historian, academic, writer and multi-disciplinary scholar. He received his early education in Bhutan as a novice. In 1961, he went to India and studied in modern schools and eventually he obtained a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) at the Magadh University, Buddhagaya, India in April 1990. He also studied Public Administration and Public Policy in London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), London during 1991-92 academic sessions. He did research on history of Bhutan from Buddhist sources from PhD Thesis. In the process, he reconstructed the history of Bhutan as seen through Bhutanese eyes.
Dr. Dorji joined Bhutan Civil Service in 1968 and served for 37 years and retired on superannuation in June 2005. He participated in many international conferences and presented papers on varied subjects. He is also a Nehru Fellow and member of many professional bodies and associations including Fellow, Royal Historical Society, London and Member, World Buddhist University Council, Bangkok.
With the publication of his doctoral thesis entitled “History of Bhutan based on Buddhism” in 1994, he authored and edited 23 books on different aspects of Bhutanese history and culture and Mahayana Buddhism. Dr. Dorji is a Visiting Professor to Acharya Nagarjuna University, India in the Centre for Mahayana Buddhist Studies and Guest Lecturer to Royal University of Bhutan in Paro College of Education.
His hobby is trekking, traveling and meeting people of different nationalities and favourite proverb “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”
The word “prominent” means jutting out, projecting; easily seen, conspicuous; distinguished or important. By prominent is here meant distinguished or important (yongs-grags-chan). Now let’s ponder as to how a man or woman becomes prominent. It is true that there is no single golden key that can unlock every Iron Gate of prominence. As such, every man or woman is a key to himself or herself. The world does not see the struggling part but only sees the success. So, one must work hard! It is essential that prominent people possess positive qualities, good manner and right attitude to be role model in the society. They may be declared as “prominent” only when qualified in terms of some measures arbitrarily employed or officially authorized and recognized in some way or the other. In this context, not everyone is prominent, but some.
In fact, to be “big” is not to be prominent. The big men or women are forgotten as soon as they come down the pedestal as a stone thrown into the sky falls down automatically. Truly, the prominent people cannot be dethroned and forgotten. One must leave name and fame behind when you die (mi-sa-hag-hgyo-ru gtam-sa-steng) so that your name will remain immortal and remembered all the time by everybody.
This book contains the names of our illustrations political and religious leaders and their associates of modern Bhutan who devoted their lives in shaping the destiny of our nation and led it to the 21st century as a sovereign in depended country. The names of those men and women are also included in this book who made individual contributions by creating history of some sort of their own and pioneered as the first in Social and cultural studies and ultimately became path-finders for future generations. Such innovations also helped Bhutan to come up in the limelight of international arena.
Of course, there are numerous prominent people in Bhutan who substantially contributed their best in the above mentioned fields at different stages and circumstances of the history of Bhutan and their names deserved to be recorded for future references. However, the names of only 100 prominent people have been featured in this book for the period from 1907 to2008 to commemorate the Coronation of His Majesty Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Fifth king of Bhutan on 6 November 2008 and Hundred Years of Monarchy in Bhutan.
As a matter of fact, the criteria for labeling a person as one of the prominent people of Bhutan needs to be decided in an open forum essentially with public feed-back but it requires more time and research in identifying and finalizing a person as a “prominent” person. Therefore, I have used the following references which are authentic sources to identity and select 100 prominent people of modern Bhutan:
1.Lhoyi Chhojung Losar Nawi Gyen or Lho-Druk Chhojung (Religious History of Bhutan)
2. Druk Karpo (History of Bhutan)
3. History of Druk Desis and hereditary Kings of Bhutan
4. Drukgi Gyalrub Selwi Donmey (History of Bhutan)
5. Of Rainbows and Clouds
6. Bhutan Quiz
7. History of Bhutan based on Buddhism
8. Blue Annals of Bhutan
9. Kuensel Issues from 1967 onwards
It is difficult to get adequate and accurate information for lack of documented references. Therefore, wherever there is paucity of information, mention has been made as NAIA (no adequate information is available). There is considerable scope for further research and documentation.
Traditionally, there was no system of using surname of family in Bhutan except two prominent families of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck and Kazi Ugyen Dorji emerged at the beginning of the 20th century who established Wangchuck and Dorji families respectively. All names in this book have been arranged in alphabetical order. The names of these two prominent family members will appear under surname of Wangchuck and Dorji whereas for other; the first name spelled in capital. However, names of Their Majesties the Kings and the Queens of Bhutan have been placed in the beginning to commemorate the Coronation of His Majesty Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Fifth King of Bhutan on 6 November 2008 and Hundred Years of Monarchy in Bhutan.
A genuine attempt has been made to include as many references as possible under each person to authenticate the information and also help for future reference to write biography on each prominent person. All information culled from various reference sources have been duly acknowledged in the bibliography. Comments, Criticism and suggestions are most welcome!
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