King Jigme Singye Wangchuck

Gross National Happiness

Image source: U.S. Department of State

Year of Birth




Field of Knowledge


Jigme Singye Wangchuck (born 11 November 1955) is the former king of Bhutan (Druk Gyalpo) from 1972 until his abdication in favor of his eldest son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, in 2006. An absolute monarch, during his rein of a secretive kingdom, Wangchuk banished 1/6th of Bhutan’s Nepali-speaking citizens in the name of preserving Bhutan’s national identity in the 1990s.The expulsion was done to preserve Bhutan’s unique national identity (One Nation, One People” policy) which the country boasts today. Wangchuk’s government carried out this ethnic cleansing as it regarded the Nepali speaking population a cultural and political threat to Bhutan’s minority ruling class the Druk’s (Drukpa). About 108,000 of these stateless Bhutanese are still living in seven pitiable refugee camps in Nepal although many have been resettled in Western nations.


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