As usual 24th June, 2012 was a normal and peaceful Sunday when all govt offices, agencies and private organizations were closed on weekend holiday and everyone relaxing and readying themselves for yet another week days’ work. All activities were in a standstill and people enjoying the holiday when all of a sudden everyone was shaken by the horrific news of fire accident of Wangdiphodrang Dzong being broadcasted by BBS.
It was announced by BBS at 6.00 pm news that the historic Wangdi Phodrang Dzong has been completely gutted by fire.
At first I could not believe myself whether this news was really true or not.Nonetheless in utter disbelief I asked myself, ‘if it is not true, how could BBS tell such terrific and shocking news to the listeners – that too to the whole nation?’
But soon every inch of doubt and curiosity was overcome by the live telecast pictures of engulfed Wangdi Phodrang Dzong by fire – which was at its height by the time everyone witnessed the live telecast.
It was indeed a most pitiful and heart-aching sight for everyone to see the most strategic, historic and precious Dzong being engulfed by fire and burnt to ashes all of a sudden in front of everyone’s eyes. No one would have ever thought or dreamt that such a colossal and dreadful incident, such as this, would befall Bhutan.
This incident was so dreadful and gigantic that not even the whole of people residing in Wangdi Phodrang who were on site could contain the huge whirlpool of fire, let alone the people of whole nation when everything was beyond human control due to precarious location of the Dzong coupled with huge gust of strong winds blowing.
Oh, what a horrific nightmare and a great loss to the nation!
Despite the shocking tragedy and heavy loss of 374 years old historic monument to fire – one of the four natural elements on earth, it is a great relief for everyone today to know that no human casualty has been witnessed in the incident and all the precious relics – the ‘nangtens’ of the Dzong have safely been recovered and handed over to Dratsang as announced by BBS.
It is also a great relief for the people of Bhutan to know that irrespective of whatever hardships and financial constraints Bhutan might face, the Government under Royal Command has already finalized its decision to restore the lost Dzong to its original state or even greater in quality and strength.
As we console ourselves with all these good tidings, let us pay our solemn tribute and gratitude to Their Majesties for personally overseeing the fire incident of the Dzong. Let us also pay our heartfelt gratification and congratulations to all three wings of Bhutan force and security personnel, dzongkhag officials and people of Wangdi for successfully recovering all the precious ‘nangtens’ from the Dzong-in- ruins.
In nutshell, the past is past and it cannot be undone. The only thing we can do now is reunite ourselves in this hour of disaster and take all possible precautionary measures to prevent such tragic incidents occur again in future and also pray to ‘Kencho- Sum’ that history do not repeat itself.
The aftermath of 24th June, 2012 incident is a sorrowful state as this.
We only have the remains of simple stone-walls which is the only hope of every Bhutanese.