The demise of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the longest reigning monarch in the world has come as a rude shock for the people of Thailand. The 88 year old King who ruled for seven decades was widely revered not just in his own country but across the world. Interestingly, he had maintained strong cultural connection with Northeast India, especially Assam, though he never visited the place.
Thai King and his connection to Assam
In November, 2013, the cultural connection between Tai-Phake community of Namphake village in Assam’s Dibrugarh district to Thailand were strengthened on Wednesday with the observance of the Royal Kathina robe offering ceremony by Thailand’s Royal family in the Buddhist monastery of this village.
A 23-member royal delegation from Thailand headed by Kiattikhun Chartprasert, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had brought gifts sent by the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, for the monks of Namphake Buddhist monastery. Chartprasert also handed over a donation of Rs 5.07 lakh by the King for renovation of the monastery. During his visit, he had said, ‘His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has designated me to present the Kathina robe to the congregation of Buddhist monks who have gathered here today at Namphake Buddhist temple in Namphake village, the home of Tai-Phake people whose identities, traditions and cultures are very much similar to the Thai people.’
King’s demise mourned by Indian Leaders
Meanwhile, condoling the death of the King, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said, ‘Heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of his majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. People of India share the sorrow and grief of the people of Thailand.’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, ‘People of India and I join the people of Thailand in grieving the loss of one of the tallest leaders of our times, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.’