If there is one word to take away from the 114th National Day Address, then it is ‘Accountability’ with a capital A.
While Bhutanese are good at making grand plans and designs on paper, our bane is when it comes down to implementation and taking accountability for our actions.
The accountability asked for by His Majesty should not be understood only in terms of a public servant being accountable to an agency or a service provider to the public, but it is a much deeper term.
His Majesty is asking us to be accountable with the aim of achieving our national goals.
This call for accountability could not come at a more crucial time as Bhutan has arrived at the crossroads, and we must now decide what kind of a future we want.
If we continue down the same path as now then we will be headed for disaster with a stagnant economy, burgeoning government sector eating up all resources, country far away from self-sufficiency, a largely poor population heavily dependent on the government and the young and talented heading out in large numbers.
We will be unable to face the massive challenges that climate change, technological changes and other unforeseen developments will bring.
The potential for social and political strife will only increase as people lose faith in the state and one another.
It will be like a virus finishing us off from within to the point that our very sovereignty will be at stake.
The other road or choice before us is to heed His Majesty’s concerns, take it to heart and then come together to implemente the changes not only in our organizations but also within ourselves, our work culture and our attitudes.
If we head down this path, then the future is a bright one with a richer and more stable Bhutan and Bhutanese, which not only provides the jobs of the future for its youth but is also much better placed to handle any future challenges.
The choice is there for all to make.
“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”